Friday, October 07, 2005

To My Rival

To My Rival is a poem by the renowned late Pakistani socialist poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. I really couldn't capture it's beauty even if I tried. The real fun of Urdu poetry is reading it in Urdu. It's like Persian poetry. However excellent the translation, the actual essence is lost. The intoxiation that is found in Persian can never be found in the translation. Nonetheless, Faiz is essentially an Urdu poet. Here I've tried a hurried translation of one of his very beautiful and famous poem, Rakeeb Se (rakeeb=rival in love, se=to/adressing someone, rakeeb se would loosely mean adressing the rival in love).

To My Rival

Come let's sit together, because attached to you are the memories of that beauty,
which had made this heart the house of fairies.
In whose love we had forgotten the world
And made the end a novel, a fantasy.

Those ways have known your feet,
which her intoxicating youth fancied;
Through which have passed processions of her splendor,
Of which these eyes have been idol worshippers.

Those lovely wafts have played with you, in which
the sad scent of her raiment still lingers.
The light of the moon has radiated on you through that entrance,
Which still holds the melancholy of nights past.

You have seen that forehead, those cheeks, those lips,
in whose imagination I have lavished my life.
Those forlorn and mesmerizing eyes have been raised to look at you.
YOU know why I have squandered my life away.

On us the favors of the sorrow of love are mutual;
Favors so many that I may lose count.
What we have learnt, what we have lost in this love,
None could understand other than you, even if I tried.

I learnt humbleness and devotion to those deprived;
Hope and loss, the meaning of pain and sorrow, I learnt.
The trials and tribulations of the underdog I learnt to understand;
The meaning of cold sighs and yellow faces, I learnt.

Whenever the helpless sit and weep, whose
boiling tears sleep in their eyes,
The eagles snatch crumbs from the mouths of the weak
They come down in calculated flocks.

Whenever in these bazaars, the flesh of the laborer is sold
Then the blood of the poor is spilt on the roads.
A fire boils inside, burns my heart, don't ask!
I cannot seem to control of my heart then...

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