Pushto Poetry: Things are like they were!

Aadil Shah

The poem below is breath-taking in its original content in Pushto. My love for the verses made me try and ruin them through a translation but that could be forgiven, for everything is fair in love and .. err .. I don’t wanna talk of war as it reminds me our war ravaged Pushtun belt — a sad sad story being played in our backyards.

Lets look at the rich Pushto literary tradition and we’ll find people like Rehman Baba, Khushal Khan, Ghani Khan, Amir Hamza Shinwari and many many more who stirred the hearts and souls through the magic of their words.

This guy Rahim Khan Majrooh, Kohat based poet, a member of the Pushto Adabi Society Islamabad, is exceptionally talented in writing Pushto free verse and Hykos. His verse flows like the Abaseen and the incorporation of modern images makes his poems all the more interesting.

Ya me azad kda pa zangal ke da balbal pa shante

Ya me khundi kda pa orbal ke da yao gul pa shante

To your decisions.
The train of time hasn’t left, yet.
The waters haven’t risen
Above their levels–
The dikes are un-inundated.
The ways to escape are still open.
People don’t yet know, as
The story is still
A secret between you and me.
The night is still ripe
And the dawn hasn’t burst, yet.
My laughter hasn’t yet been snatched
By the turbulent flashes of your beauty.
My sleep is still peaceful
From the distraction of your hypnotic eyes.
The fresh, tiny wound [of love]
Hasn’t yet turned cancerous.
The embryonic seed hasn’t yet rooted
from the flower-pot to soil.
Our nameless relation
Is yet to find an identity.
The matters of our lives
Are treading steady in their direction.
I, Majrooh, am still blissful
In my current state of life.
The buttons on my shirt
Are still nicely fastened;
[un-plucked by over-indulgence]
Things, whatever you wish — remorse,
Or loving me to death, are still a possibility
Because we do not, still, have
A means of connection,
Except the currents of air.
The ill-match of a rug-mat
With that of a velvet cloth
Hasn’t yet patched with deep stitches.
I’ve yet to savor the luscious
Taste of our union.
My gaze is still fixed, in wait,
On the paths of assurance,
As I stand on the rooftop of uncertainty.
Your silhouette hasn’t yet shaped
Into a complete picture.
Still we are poles apart
In our status in life.
Like someone with a perfect vision
You can spot me around.
I can sense, you’re here
Somewhere with me –
Blind, I can look at you,
But I cannot see you.
I can’t figure you out
In a flock of swans.
I look at your mercy
Like a prisoner does.
Either set me free in a jungle
Like a nightingale
Or, fix me like
A flower, in your locks.
Still, my love, things are like they were!
Still, you can give a second thought
To your decisions.
The train of time hasn’t left, yet.
The waters haven’t risen
Above their levels–
The dikes are un-inundated.
The ways to escape are still open.
People don’t yet know, as
The story is still
A secret between you and me.
The night is still ripe
And the dawn hasn’t burst, yet.
My laughter hasn’t yet been snatched
By the turbulent flashes of your beauty.
My sleep is still peaceful
From the distraction of your hypnotic eyes.
The fresh, tiny wound [of love]
Hasn’t yet turned cancerous.
The embryonic seed hasn’t yet rooted
from the flower-pot to soil.
Our nameless relation
Is yet to find an identity.
The matters of our lives
Are treading steady in their direction.
I, Majrooh, am still blissful
In my current state of life.
The buttons on my shirt
Are still nicely fastened;
[un-plucked by over-indulgence]
Things, whatever you wish — remorse,
Or loving me to death, are still a possibility
Because we do not, still, have
A means of connection,
Except the currents of air.
The ill-match of a rug-mat
With that of a velvet cloth
Hasn’t yet patched with deep stitches.
I’ve yet to savor the luscious
Taste of our union.
My gaze is still fixed, in wait,
On the paths of assurance,
As I stand on the rooftop of uncertainty.
Your silhouette hasn’t yet shaped
Into a complete picture.
Still we are poles apart
In our status in life.
Like someone with a perfect vision
You can spot me around.
I can sense, you’re here
Somewhere with me –
Blind, I can look at you,
But I cannot see you.
I can’t figure you out
In a flock of swans.
I look at your mercy
Like a prisoner does.

Either set me free in a jungle

Like a nightingale

Or, fix me like

A flower, in your locks.

5 Comments

Filed under Pakistan, poetry

5 responses to “Pushto Poetry: Things are like they were!

  1. i wish Aadil Shah had continued giving the originial in Pashto as well … there are some of us Pashtoons on Pak Tea House who would have enjoyed reading the poem in its original tongue.

  2. Brilliant. Does anyone have a reading of this in Pashto?

  3. @ Zeenat Jahan … Here it it! I know I haven’t done a good job with romans but I hope it is still readable.

    La hum sa ladh raghale na di gula
    La ta pa khpalo faisalo dobara
    Ghaur kawalay hum she
    La da wakht gade pa station waladh de
    La daryaboona rakhatale na dee
    La hum warkhoona oobo warhe na dee
    La tole lare da farar khlase dee
    La hessok na dee khabar
    La da qeesa zama ao sta tar mianz da
    La tyara ghoon de shpa chaodale na da
    La sta da husan fitna garo jalwo
    Zama khanda ma na throdhale na da
    La sta da stargo da khumar la shara
    Zama khoboona pa aman pate dee
    La dagha nawe ao tankay shan zakham
    Da tol wajood nasoor jodh shawe na de
    La pa gam-le ke zarghoon shawe tukham
    Zmake ta hum muntaqil shawe na de
    La de be nooma taalluq sa noom moondale na de
    La da jwand warha maamlaat taqreeban
    Pa khpal dagar sahi sahi rawan dee
    La za Majrooh hum pa khpal haal ke mast yem
    La me tan’hay da grewan tole dee poora la khaira
    La che sa ta ghwarhe mumkin dee hagha
    Hum pkhemantia hum jarwatal zaka che
    La silsila da rabt-e zamoonga
    Da minat bara da hawa pa chapo
    La da yao taat ao da bakhmal dagha be joda jodakht
    Paiwand aghaste na de
    La kho ma sta da mulaqaat da khwago
    Hess khwand aghaste na de
    La za da shak pa baam waladh da yaqeen lar-e saram
    La sta saye wajood moondale na de
    La zamoong mianz ke dee balha da tafawoth fasele
    Da sta misaal da stargawar de che ledale yem ta
    Guman kaom — dalta wos hum
    Charta mojood ye ta pa khwa ke zama
    Za rhandookay yem ta ta goram ta ledal-e na sham
    Da zanho sail de shanakhat da sta kawal-e na sham
    Da yao qaidee pa shant-e sta rahm o karam ta goram

    Ya me azad kda pa zangal ke da balbal pa shant-e
    Ya me khundi kda pa worbal ke da yao gul pa shant-e

  4. @ Emmy Alim … Thank you! You can have a look at the original in romans in the above comment.

  5. Bloody Civilian

    Aadil

    you’ve done an excellent job with the romanisation. thanks! it is a beautiful piece of poetry, indeed.