Jal gaya – tha ik roshniyon ka shaher

Aggrieved by the recent sinister, senseless violence and brutal murders in Pakistan, this is my feeble attempt at poetic expression. I have also trans-created this Urdu poem below titled Adrift


Jal gaya – tha ik roshniyon ka shaher
Bujh gaye kitnay jaltay aur adh-jalay chiragh
Magar kotwaal-i-shaher ne mur kar na dekha

Jism kis ka, khoon kahan aur maut kaisee?

Yeh qatl na tha dosto
Yeh qatl hai ik ehad ka
Yeh nohaa hai insaniyat ka


Insaniyat ka khatma karnay walay jantay nahee
Insaan marta hai – bhujta nahee


Ahle-hawas aur ahle-dil
Huay sab ke sab, aseer-i-shab-i-siyah


aur ham
roshniyon ke muntazir
bhujtey jugnoo-on ko dhoondtay
thakay haray

gharon ka rasta bhool gaye





Once a city of lights, stands ruined
Lamps – lit and half-lit, all extinguished
And the guardians of the city, unmoved


Which body, what blood and whose death?

This was not a murder my friends
This was the murder of our times
A prolonged elegy of humanity


Those hell-bent on erasing humanity, are, unaware
Man dies but cannot be lost


The bleeding hearts and the hearts with no remorse
All trapped in the darkness of the night


And we the forlorn
Wait for the light
Attempting to seek dying fireflies
Tired, exhausted

Lost on our way home…


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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful and so relevant to the current turmoil in Pakistan

  2. did u write it?

  3. Indeed. Just scribbled some lines the night before while watching the idiot box..
    Yeh be-hooda nazm is nacheez ki kawaish hai
    thanks for asking 🙂

  4. …it is sad but this too shall pass…

  5. Dear Raza,
    Nice poem and very apt to current times. Here are some lines from Sahab Qizilbash (1930-2004):

    Bhuj Rahen Hain Chirag Dair-o-Haram
    Dil Jalao Ke Roshni Kam Hai.

    (Temple and mosque lamps are going out
    Let the heart burn to eschew darkness)


  6. Very well written…..

    jale dil ko lafz de diye…

  7. Wah, subhan allah. the initial lines are superb and so is the line
    ‘Insaniyat ka khatma karnay walay jantay nahee Insaan marta hai – bhujta nahee’.
    waqai kya tassur raha hoga jiske zer-e-asar yeh nazm takhliq hui. I wish you could post it in Urdu rasmul Khat also here.
    As I was away to Lucknow and there were certain reasons I couldn’t access net, I unfortunately got delayed in reading and responding.

  8. I could not stay in Lahore, a voice kept on saying Karachi needs you. It needs all the healers, spiritual and physical, and I can’t give up:
    Dil na umeed tau nahin nakaam hi tau hai
    Lambi hai gham ki shaam magar shaam hi tau hai

  9. Dear Raza!

    Bhut aala! Saghar Siddiqui ka aik shaer:

    Jis ehed main lut jaye faqiron ki kamayee
    Us ehed kay sultan say kuch bhool hoi hay

    Aamir Shouket

  10. Just read your poem.You may have written it about the situation in Pakistan but it applies to the whole strife torn world of today……..Karachi,Delhi,Mumbai,Kabul,Iraq,America anywhere where man has forgotten his essential humanity and only remembers the label of his religion.

    Very well said Raza sahib

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