intesaab – a dedication

aaj ke naam
aur aaj ke gham ke naam
aaj ka gham jo hai

zindagi ke bhare gulsitaan se khafa
zard patton ka ban, jo mera des hai
dard ki anjuman jo mera des hai

gulsitaan – garden; zard – pale; anjuman – banquet


clerkon ki afsurda jaanon ke naam

kilm-khurda dilon aur zabaano ke naam
postmanon ke naam
taange-waalon ke naam
rail-baanon ke naam
kaarkhano ke bhole ziyaalon ke naam

afsurda – benumbed; kilm-khurda – moth-eaten; rail-baan – rail driver; ziyaalon – workers


un dukhi maaon ke naam

raat mein jinke bachche bilakte hain
aur neend ki maar khaaye hue
baazuon se sambhalte nahi
dukh bataate nahi
minnaton, zaariyon se behelte nahi

bilakte – cry; zaariyon – cries


un aseeron ke naam

jinke seenon mein farda ke shabtaab gauhar
qaidkhaanon ki shoreeda raaton ke sar-sar
mein jal-jal ke anjum-numaan ho gaye
aane waale dinon ke safeeron ke naam

aseer – prisoner; farda – tomorrow; shabtaab – luminous; gauhar – gem; shoreeda – mad, frantic; anjum-numaan – star-like; safeeron – harbinger


aaj ke naam
aaj ke gham ke naam


– faiz ahmed faiz

To live in a country like India is to live with a certain anesthesia of the heart. Every day, I see men, women, children beg me for 10 rupees. Every day, I spend 20 times that money on a drink at a cafe, and every week, 50 times that much over a meal. Faiz’s poem is a dedication to this sorrow of the everyday – a reminder, in the hope that we do not forget our reality.

A dedication to today, and to the anguish of today. This anguish that broods in the midst of life’s beauties. A forest of dry leaves, that is my country. A banquet of sorrows, that is my country. To my country, a poem.

To those clerks, benumbed by the sheer monotony of their work. To moth-eaten hearts and tongues, who do not voice their anguish for it shall only fall on frozen hearts. To the postmen, to the coachmen, to the railway drivers, to the innocent workers of the factories,  a poem. To those multitudes of masses who struggle to make a living, a poem.

Let us not let our hearts freeze to those around us. Let us not live with the same moth-eaten hearts and tongues. Let us live with a heart that really beats, and bleeds because it beats, because it feels, a life that means something to others.

To mothers who live in poverty. Whose children cry all night, and will not be comforted by those arms that haven’t slept; children who do not say what ails them, why they cry; children who are consoled neither by prayers, nor by tears. To those mothers, a poem.

And to the millions of prisoners, who carry in their hearts a pearl to illuminate the days to come; a pearl that shines like the stars, having burnt in the madness of prison. To those prisoners, poem. To the harbingers of a better future, a poem.

To today, and to the anguish of today, a poem.

Let us not close our eyes. Let us not live for ourselves and our ambitions alone. Let us live for the heart, ours and theirs..

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~ by tdcatss on June 7, 2014.

2 Responses to “intesaab – a dedication”

  1. Wow, what a poem… You have translated and brought out its essence really well. :-) As usual. Learning bits of Urdu from your posts. By the way, this post reminded me of that old song… Seene mein jalan…

  2. thanks :)

    you can find seene mein jalan on this blog too. it’s a masterpiece i feel, of existential poetry.

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