Saraswati Mela

Faiz on Dreams and Longing

"The Moon went ,from the streets of Lahore
...One night it went up to Faiz
Or so we heard
To ask Faiz to compose a verse..
To implore Faiz to compose a verse..
The pulse of Time has stopped..
Say a verse so that the pulse may beat again...
- Gulzar ( Yaar Julahe)

It is often the case that the pulse of time has stopped. We just live and forget what it means to be alive It is exactly then that we need aan experienced physician. Sometimes to help us with our physicality, sometimes with our souls. We need the competence of a doctor who can not only check our pulse but also sometimes place his hands on the pulse of time for various ailments that plague both of us. It might prescribe medicines that we pass onto the generations to come. Moreover the medicines coming from literature and poetry don’t really have an expiry date.

Read this ghazal by Faiz Ahmad Faiz which talks about the anguish of striving for dreams and also about the sorrows which can’t be washed frpm tears, however hard we may try. The path is equally precious, if not more even without the destination and every grief is valid, even ( especially) the one without pretensions. Hope, the loneliness that haunts when we  are among people but when we don’t have anyone to speak the language of our dreams, the need to be in abundance and conversation with our dreams and ideals alone – this ghazal sings of all these and more..

Read Faiz so that the pulse of time may beat again..

nahīñ nigāh meñ manzil to justujū hī sahī

If the destination is not in sight, the perseverance suffices

nahīñ visāl mayassar to aarzū hī sahī

When the union with the beloved isn’t possible. the longing suffices

na tan meñ ḳhuun farāham na ashk āñkhoñ meñ

There’s no blood in my body to shed, nor tears in my eyes

namāz-e-shauq to vājib hai be-vazū hī sahī

Yet the devotion and offering of my longing is vaild , even without the ritualistic ablutions

kisī tarah to jame bazm mai-kade vaalo

My fellow taverners ! Let the revelry begin any which way

nahīñ jo bāda-o-sāġhar to hāv-hū hī sahī

What if there’s no wine and wine-goblets, let the hullabaloo suffice  

gar intizār kaThin hai to jab talak ai dil

If the wait is long and painful , Oh my heart!

kisī ke vāda-e-fardā kī guftugū hī sahī

Let console ourselves as we talk about the empty promises of meeting..

dayār-e-ġhair meñ mahram agar nahīñ koī

If in foreign lands, there is no compatriot of soul

to ‘faiz’ zikr-e-vatan apne rū-ba-rū hī sahī

Faiz, then discuss your homeland with yourself..

If there is something that can increase the depth of Faiz’s poetry it’s Abida’s ( Abida Parveen) singing. Come! And give away your hearts as two greats of our time share a scared communion .. 


(Faiz's ghazal translated by Shubhangie Mishra)