Urdu - my mother tongue. Strongly influenced by the beautiful Persian and Turkish languages, Urdu is both elegant and immensely poetic.
As a teenager, I was a voracious reader of urdu poetry, a gently sensual mingling of words with love. Sometimes rebellious, other times inspiring. Faiz Ahmed Faiz or as known in the literary circles as Faiz Saahab, is dubbed as one of Pakistan’s greatest poets and one of my all-time favourites.
Today, I would like to share with you a beautiful poem written by Faiz Saahab, Dasht-e-Tanhaai (and its translation), a set of painstakingly threaded words which never cease to give me goosebumps in the raw emotions they capture.This poem was also later sung by popular Pakistani vocalist, Tina Sani. If you are a fan of Faiz Saahab and urdu literature, the song warrants a hearing. You will find the link at the end of this post.
~ Faiz Ahmed Faiz
dasht-e-tanhaai mein, ai jaan-e-jahaan, larzaan hain
In the desert of my solitude, oh love of my life, quiver
teri avaaz ke saaye,
the shadows of your voice,
tere honthon ke saraab
the mirage of your lips
In the desert of my solitude,
duri ke khas-o-khaak tale
beneath the dust and ashes of distance
khil rahe hain tere pehlu ke saman aur gulaab
bloom the jasmines and roses of your proximity
uht rahi hai kahin qurbat se
From somewhere very close,
teri saans ki aanch
rises the warmth of your breath
apani khushbuu mein sulagti hui
smouldering in its own aroma,
slowly, bit by bit.
dur ufaq par chamakati hui
far away, across the horizon, glistens
drop by drop
gir rahi hai teri dil daar nazar ki shabnam
the falling dew of your beguiling glance
is qadar pyaar se hai jaan-e jahaan rakkhaa hai
With such tenderness, O love of my life,
dil ke rukhsaar pe
on the cheek of my heart,
is vaqt teri yaad ne haath
has your memory placed its hand right now
yun guman hota hai
that it looks as if
garche hai abhi subah-e-firaaq
(though it’s still the dawn of adieu)
dhal gaya hijr ka din
the sun of separation has set
aa bhi gaye vasl ki raat
and the night of union has arrived.
Bravo Faiz Saahab, bravo !
And here is the hauntingly soulful rendition by Tina Sani
Allow this song to seep into you, I promise you, it will.
Until next time…
Translation source : http://www.egothemag.com/urdupoetry/archives/2005/10/dashtetanhai.html