all night



aapki yaad aati rahi raat bhar

chaandni dil dukhaati rahi raat bhar


raat bhar dard ki shama jalti rahi

gham ki lau thartharaati rahi raat bhar


baansuri ki sureeli suhaani sada

yaad ban ban ke aati rahi raat bhar


yaad ke chaand dil mein utarte rahe 

chaandni jagmagaati rahi raat bhar


koi deewana galiyon mein phirta raha

koi aawaaz aati rahi raat bhar


– makhdoom mohiuddin 
















it came all night, a memory of yours

and my moist eyes smiled, all night


all night, burnt a lamp of pain

a flame of sorrow too, quivered, all night


the call of the flute – melodious, pleasing

it came to me as your memory, all night


the moon too, became your memory

it set into the sea of my heart

but the moonlight shimmered, all night


a madman wandered the streets again

a voice haunted me, all night


The author of this poem – Makhdoom Mohiuddin – and Faiz Ahmed Faiz were good friends, fellow poets and activists. While Makhdoom lived in India and Faiz lived in Pakistan, they appreciated their common language, culture, history and the contemporary struggles of their people. One night in 1969, on hearing of Makhdoom’s death, Faiz wrote a poem using similar vocabulary and metre as a tribute to Makhdoom. I have translated Faiz’s poem a few posts ago.


Makhdoom’s poem is sparse, simple, yet deeply evocative. Faiz’s poem, perhaps more affecting than Makhdoom’s, is wistful and lyrical. A beautiful rendition of Makhdoom’s poem by Chhaya Ganguli, from the film Gaman:


~ by tdcatss on May 22, 2013.

2 Responses to “all night”

  1. Sir,

    There is an error in the second line of the nazm. I believe it should be “chasm-e-nam muskurati rahi hai raat bhar”. The line “chaandni dil dukhaati rahi raat bhar” is from Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s version.

    Venu Rao

  2. Thank you :)

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