Translations by Huzaifa Pandit

Dastoor, Habib Jalib

Deep jis ka sirf mahellaat hi main jalay,
Chand logon ki khushyon ko lay ker chalay,
Wo jo saye main har maslihat kay palay;
Aisay dastoor ko,
Subh e bay noor ko,
Main naheen maanta,
Main naheen jaanta.

Main bhee kha’if naheen takhta e daar say,
Main bhee Mansoor hoon, keh do aghyaar say,
Kyun daraatay ho zindaan ki divar say,
Zulm ki baat ko,
Jehel ki raat ko,
Main naheen maanta,
Main naheen jaanta.

Phool shaakhon pay khilnay lagay tum kaho,
Jaam rindon ko milnay lagay tum kaho,
Chak seenon kay silnay lagay tum kaho,
Iss khulay jhoot ko,
Zehan ki loot ko,
Main naheen maanta,
Main naheen jaanta.

Tum nay loota hai sadyon hamara sakoon,
Ab na hum per chalay ga tumhara fusoon,
Charagar dard mandon kay bantay hau kyun?
Chara gar main tumhain kiss tara say kahoon?
Tum naheen charaagar,
Koi maanay magar,
Main naheen maanta,
Main naheen jaanta.

The Constitution

Its ornamental candle splutters
In the few barracked posh lanes.
Only the calligraphic joy
Of a fistful of people is inscribed
In its careful accounts.
It fattens in the shaded pavilions
Raised from the stripped skin
Of the wretched weak ones.
Shall I consent to such a tradition?
The pale phantom of the dim dawn
Exorcised from the grave of night.
No! I refuse to agree.
I don’t recognize
This well-crafted hoax of reality.

Who is scared of the bald hangman’s waxed noose?
Not me, not me!
Inform the enemy
I am Mansur – the sufi martyr
Absorbed in selfless heresy.
Shall the padlocked walls of prison frighten me?
The dialogues behind barred doors
On novel ways of tyranny.
This flaccid dark night
Of scholarly ignorance.
I will not lend it my consent
I do not recognize its sovereignty.

You say: “Look! The drowsy spring sneaks
In through open windows
In soft shades of slow blue evenings
And the fresh scent of the falling sun
Glows in the pink blossom
Of vain almond trees.
Let none abstain today
Let the lover drink to his fill
From the moon brewed winery.
Old raw wounds have begun to heal
Inside our crushed hearts”.
This open shamefaced lie
To confiscate and seal our intelligence.
I do not agree
I do not fancy any such reality.

Have you not reigned over us for centuries?
Taxing our last relics of tattered dignity
Looting every ornament
Of our hard earned integrity
Under the lordly title of
The Lord’s deputy – his chosen ones
The guardians of divine peace
Administrator of Lord granted liberty.
The spell lies shattered;
We have broken free
From the rotten prison of your wily pomposity.
Stop! Strip off the masque.
Don’t pretend to be the messiah
And heal our raw blood sutured wounds.
Why should I invoke you?
You know no remedy-
You are no healer of our corporeal malady.
Let the deceived coronate
You as their messiah.
I consent to no such jugglery.

Beloved Slayers- a Faiz translation
(tum meray paas raho)
tum mere paas raho
mere qaatil, mere dildaar, mere paas raho
jis gha.Dii raat chale
aasamaano.n kaa lahuu pii kar siyah raat chale
marham-e-mushk liye nashtar-e-almaas chale
bain karatii hu_ii, ha.Nsatii hu_ii, gaatii nikale
dard kii kaasanii paazeb bajaatii nikale
jis gha.Dii siino.n me.n Duubate huye dil
aastiino.nme.n nihaa.N haatho.n kii rah takane nikale
aas liye
aur bachcho.n ke bilakhane kii tarah qul-qul-e-may
bahr-e-naasudagii machale to manaaye na mane
jab ko_ii baat banaaye na bane
jab na ko_ii baat chale
jis gha.Dii raat chale
jis gha.Dii maatamii, sun-saan, siyah raat chale
paas raho
mere qaatil, mere dildaar, mere paas raho


Stay beside me,
My murderer-
my beloved stay by me.
As the night cloaked in stealth marches,
Inebriated from the blood of days
Heralding the balm of fragrance,
And star studded lances-
Hums elegies as it mourns
And marches as it jests
despite its troubles
by the echo of the tinkles
of grey- blue anklets of pain –
recounting aches of yore.
When hope that slumberes in
Melancholic hearts is awoken
And gazes at the sleeved bare hands
In hope and expectation.

When the soft melody of gurgling wine
Resembles a toddler’s loud sobs
Who would not be calmed
Try how hard you may.
When every act, every thought is jilted,
And success stays away.
When the night raises its flag of imperious darkness
And flaunts its might.
When the clock strikes the hour:
the brooding night is braided
Stay beside me,
My murderer
my darling
stay beside me-

Huziafa Pandit is a writer based in Kashmir. He can be reached at [email protected]

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