Shared visions: Khushwant Singh and Fahmida Riaz 2/2

Concluding his piece he wrote “Our own record in protecting Muslim life and property is nothing to be proud of. Remember the adage — those who live in glass houses cannot afford to throw stones on others.”

Amazing to hear such a voice of sanity when merchants of sensationalism want to sell yet another acrimonious phase in Indo-Pak relations!

After reading this piece, I recalled another interesting article (published in November 2005) by KS – Voice of sanity. The highlight of that piece was a translation of a poem by the Pakistani poet Fehmida Riaz. The inimitable Fehmida Riaz, who is a favourite of mine, was disappointed during her stay in India with the growing trends of exclusion – an anathema to the plurality of India.

Naya Bharat (New India)

Fehmida RiazTum bilkul hum jaisey nikley
Voh moorkhta, voh ghaamarpan
Aakhir pahunchi dwaar tumhaarey

You turned out to be just like us;
Similarly stupid, wallowing in the past,
You’ve reached the same doorstep at last.

Preyt dharma ka naach rahaa hai
Saarey ultey karya karogay
Tum bhee baithey karogey sochaa
Kaun hai Hindu, kaun naheen hai
Ek jaap saa kartey jao
Kitna veer mahaan tha Bharat

Your demon [of] religion dances like a clown,
Whatever you do will be upside down.
You too will sit deep in thought,
Who is Hindu, who is not.
Keep repeating the mantra like a parrot,
Bharat was like the land of the brave

Cont. [1] [2]

Published on August 11, 2006 at 10:35 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. I am a lawyer and editor, LAW ANIMATED WORLD, of which you can more by visiting our weblog given above. I am impressed by Fahmida Riaz’s poetry and would like to have her poems in Urdu/Hindi script sent to me by e-mail and also permission to translate and publish them in our journal (in English). Especially I request for her poems, Aakhri Baar, Naya Bharat (this above one) and Bhagat Singh ka Murat (Statue of Bhagat Singh) to be sent to me in Urdu/Hindi script. The translation by Kushwant Singh is good but in some respects may not convey the real meaning of the poem. For instance in ‘preyt dharma ka nach raha hai’ (is it naach – dance or noch – squeeze?)where is the term clown? Perhaps she meant that demon is dancing in the garb of religion or demon is squeezing (noch) the religion. I may be wrong but I am not happy with Kushwant Singh’s translation. – IM Sharma, 6-3-1243/156, M.S. Makta, Hyderabad – 500 082, INDIA; Ph: +91-040-23300284

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