May 22, 2006 at 7:50 am 1 comment

Kaifi Azmi

Listen (to the poet read)

kabhii jumuud kabhii sirf intishaar saa hai
jahaaN ko apnii tabaahii ka intizaar saa hai

Manu ki macchlii na kashtii-e-Nooh aur ye fizaa
ke qatre qatre meN tuufaaN be-qaraar saa hai

maiN kisko apne gariibaaN ke chaak dikhlaaooN
ke aaj daaman-e-yazdaaN bhii taar-taar saa hai

sajaa-saNvaar ke jisko hazaar naaz kiye
usii par Khaaliq-e-Kaunain sharm-saar saa hai

sab apne paaNv pe rakh-rakh ke paaNv chalte haiN
Khud apne kaaNdhe per har aadmii savaar saa hai

jise pukaariye miltaa hai Khandar se javaab
jise bhii dekhiye maazii ke ishtehaar saa hai

hu’ii to kaise bayaabaaN meN aa ke shaam hu’ii
ke jo mazaar yahaaN hai, meraa mazaar saa hai

ko’ii to suud chukaaye, ko’ii to zimmaa le
us inqilaab kaa, jo aaj tak udhaar saa hai

A translation (by Falstaff)

Sometimes aroused, sometimes indifferent,
The world awaits its own destruction.

No warning, no ark will save us now;
Every drop of this air is restless with storms.

To whom shall I speak of the fraying of my collars,
When even the Creator is dressed in rags?

He whom we were proud of, celebrated –
It is he who stands ashamed, in the eyes of God.

Each man walks in his own footsteps now
Each man carries his weight on his own shoulders.

No matter whom you call the ruins will answer
No matter where you look the past is advertised.

How did we come to this? In the twilight
Of this wilderness, every grave is as my grave.

Let someone pay the price, let someone lay claim
To the debt of this revolt, that still lies heavy upon us.

Kaifi Azmi (yes, that is right, Shabana Azmi’s father). One of the major Urdu poets from India. Read is biography from the LoC link above.

The apathy, indifference, the underlying restlessness and finally a cry to revolt.

The one line that struck me was,

jise bhii dekhiye maazii ke ishtehaar saa hai

To me this meant, people are now just ghosts of what they were.

To kick start people and hustle up a revolution is what Kaifi was about. Hope to see more of him poems soon.



Entry filed under: Black Mamba, Kaifi Azmi, Urdu.

Tum kya gaye ke rooth gaye din bahar ke The Stories

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. radhika  |  August 17, 2009 at 10:06 am

    ko’ii to zimmaa le : let someone lay claim
    does one lay claim to a debt? Would be more like “let someone take responsibility for … the debt


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