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Monday, August 02, 2010

Punjabi Poetry by Faiz

Until not so long ago, I knew Faiz Ahmed 'Faiz' mainly as a renowned poet of the Urdu language. It was only after I started writing this blog and, as a result, came into contact with some bloggers from the Pakistani part of Punjab that I came to know that he composed compelling verse in Punjabi as well. The following piece is, arguably, the most popular one:

Rabbaa sachyaa, tuuN tay aakhyaa si
jaa O bandyaa jagg daa shaah aiN tuuN
saaDiaaN naimtaaN teriaaN daultaaN naiN
saaDa naib tay aalijaah aiN tuuN
ais laare tay tor kad puchhyaa ee
ki ais nimaanay tay beetiaaN naiN

kaday saar vi layi O Rabb saaiNyaaN
teyre shaah naal jagg ki keetiaaN naiN
kitay dhauNs police sarkaar di ai
kitay dhaandli maal patwaar di ai
iNvaiN haDDaaN vich kalpe jaan meri
jiveiN phaahi 'ch koonj kurlaaundi ai
changaa shaah banaaya ee Rabb saaiNyaaN
paulay khaanday vaar na aauNdi ai
meinuuN shaahi nahiN chaahidi Rabb meiray
meiN tay izzat da tukkar mangnaa haaN
meinuuN taaNgh nahiN mehlaaN maaRiaaN di
meiN tay jeevan di nukkar mangnaa haaN

meri manneiN tay teriaan meiN mannaaN
teri sauNh jay ik vi gal moRaaN
jay aih saudaa nahiN pujdaa taaN Rabbaa
feyr meiN jaaNvaaN tay Rabb koi hor loRaaN

It has been translated into English by Khwaja Tariq Mahmood as follows:

O God almighty, you had ordained
Go, O you man, you are king on earth
You own our benevolence and our blessings
As exalted vice-regent on land and firth

Despatching us with that pledge, did you ever enquire
How this poor wretch was faring and feeling
Did you, O provider of the world, indeed so desire
The treatment for your king that the world was dealing

By government functionaries some times repressed
By revenue bailiffs, some times oppressed
For all this, my soul seethes depressed
Like a bird in cage utterly possessed
How well you fashioned a king, O God
Incessantly pummelled and unredressed

I do not need kingship, O God almighty
I just need to sustain with bread, with respect
I just do not crave for a palatial enclave
I need just a nook, enough to protect

Your will I will respect, if you accept my request
I swear not to waver or to deflect
But, if O God, my plea is not so approved
For another God, then, I shall go in quest

As for musical performances, not only has it been rendered soulfully by Tina Sani in a recent Coke Studio episode, although juxtaposed with some other pieces of poetry (as can be listened to in the following),

but some excerpts have also been set rather well to rock music by Atif Aslam (as can be listened to below).