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Rambling on: a dose of faiz

Thursday, May 05, 2005

a dose of faiz

here is a translation of faiz's subh-e-azadi the dawn of freedom done by the late dr. mahbub ul haq who i recall was the finance minister in martial law administration of zia-ul-haq

...that he was such an able writer comes as a pleasant surprise...for those who are fans of faiz will remember that this one starts as

yay daagh daagh ujaala yeh shab guzeeda sahr, vo intizaar tha jis ka, ye vo sahar to naheen

here is the translation

an elusive dawn by dr. mahbub ul haq

this trembling light, this night-bitten dawn,
this is not the dawn, we have waited for so long
this is not the dawn whose birth was sired
by so many live, so much blood

generations ago, we started our confident march
our hopes were young, our goals within reach
after all, there must be some limit
to the confusing constellation of stars
in a vast forest of the sy
even the lazy languid waves
must reach at last their appointed shore

and so we wistfully prayed
for a consummate end to our painful search
many a temptation crossed our forbidden path
many inviting bodies, many longing arms
many seductive pleasures beckoned on our way

but we stayed faithful to our distant dream
we kept marching to a different drum
we kept searching for our lost freedom
we kept looking for our elusive dawn

We are told: our new Dawn is already here;
Your tired feet need journey no more
Our rulers whisper seductively
Why this constant struggle? Why, this perpetual search
Come, joun us, enjoy this new-found wealth
Built by the toil of our “liberated” poor

And yet, even today
Our hearts are aflame
Our desires unquenched
Our goals unmet

Was there a streak of light?
Where did it go?
The wayside lamp just blinked unawares

This is yet no relief in the darkness of the night
No liberation yet of our souls and minds
So let us keep marching, my tiring friends
We have yet to find our elusive dawn

(from the
Requiem For An Unsung Messiah
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
The Great Interpreters
Pakistan Herald Publications (Private) Limited
Karachi, Pakistan 2004)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Suhas said...

I am looking for an English translation of Faiz's "Ham Dekhenge", even an amateur one would be very welcome.

11:03 PM  
Blogger zaka ikram said...

great work....
jisko urdu main boltay hain k bohat Arq-rezi k sath mehnat ki gaye hai...zabardst...

6:10 PM  

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