Friday, June 21, 2024

Poems from the ‘other’ side

Faiz Ahmad Faiz (left) and Habib Jalib (right)

Sutputra Radheye

Since 2014, hate has been manufactured through every medium to eradicate historical and cultural relationships we shared and thus alienating poetry and art from the other side of the border.

From banning artists to setting up a fundamentalist narrative around poems of Faiz Ahmad Faiz- the populist regime has tried it all. Another reason for this hate has been the progressive approach of poets like Faiz and Habib Jalib. So, the aim of these translations is to write back to the ‘populist’ regime with love like Urdu always has. I dedicate these poems to all the sane souls of both sides of the border.

I shan’t accept

Original title: Dastur

Poet: Habib Jalib

Translation: Sutputra Radheye

The one only in whose palace the light glows

To bear the happiness of a tiny lot

In the shadows, nurtured by all policies

 A black dawnofsuch ritual

 I shan’t accept. I shan’t acknowledge.

I have no fear of the execution ground either

I am Mansur,convey it to my nemesis-

You frighten us with the walls of jail, but why?

 The words of oppression, the nights of ignorance

 I shan’t accept. I shan’t acknowledge.

Flowers are blooming in the bough, you pronounce

Alcohol is reaching the alcoholics, you pronounce

Slits in the chests are getting stitched, you pronounce

These public lies, this loot of sense

I shan’t accept. I shan’t acknowledge.

You have robbed us of our solace for years

In no way will your spell be casted this time

To be the healer of the wounded, you pretend, why?

You are no healer, even if all differ

I shan’t accept. I shan’t acknowledge.

Dogs

Original name: Kutte

Poet: Faiz Ahmad Faiz

Translator: Sutputra Radheye

Of the streets, they are rover kaput dogs

Accorded, to whom, is the taste of poverty

Their wealth- the insults of the world

The scolding of the earth- their earning

Neither rest at night nor relief in the morning

Filth is their house, drain is their home

If ever spoilt, start a quarrel among them

Just show a piece of chapatti among them

They- who are kicked by anyone, and everyone,

They- who die of exhaustion from poverty,

They- the oppressed creations if ever holds head straight

The mankind will forget all its insurgence.

They- if wish, can conquer the world

They- even can chew the bones of their masters

Somebody- point out their insults to them

Somebody- shake their sleeping tails, waking them.

Sutputra Radheye is a poet and translator.

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