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…


Karachi – some lines from Ibne Insha

I am grateful to my long lost friend Zaman for sharing these remorseful lines from Ibn-e-Insha, the great Urdu poet and writer.

I am posting the original version in Urdu along with a maladroit translation (attempted by this author).

Meri Hasratoon ka Roma
Meri Wehshatoon ka Deli
Mera Baldia Karachi

Mujhey Aur Kon Janey
Yehi dey to dey Gawahi
Key Haseen Sooratoon say
Yahan her gali bharee thee.

The Rome of my unfulfilled desires
The Delhi of my wildernesses
My city Karachi

Who else knows me?
Only Karachi can testify
Beautiful faces, once,
lived here on every street

Image above is from here