In this beautiful nazam, Faiz laments about the country and its condition. He talks about the repression of the masses and how power has become both judge and prosecutor. But he also talks how people will take everything back. He exhorts us to believe this dark night too shall pass, to defy the odds and keep believing. Beautiful words just can't praise enough. The most striking imagery that stunned me was "chali hai rasm keh koi na sar utha kay chalay"!
My salutations to thy sacred streets, O beloved nation!
Where a custom ‘that none shall walk with his head held high’ has been invented
And if a devotee yearns to go on pilgrimage
Then He must walk, with eyes lowered & body crouched in fear
The heart is in a tumultuous wrench at the sight
Of stones and bricks locked away and mongrels breathing free
In this tyranny that has many an excuse to perpetuate itself
Those crazy few that have nothing but thy name on their lips
Facing those power crazed that both prosecute and judge, wonder
To whom does one turn for protection, from whom does one expect justice?
But those whose fate it is to live through these times
Spend their days in thy mournful memories
When hope begins to faint, my heart has often conjured
Your forehead sprinkled with stars
And when my chains have glittered
I have imagined that dawn must have burst upon thy face
Thus one lives in the memories of thy dawns and dusks
Imprisoned in the shadows of the high prison walls
Thus always has the world grappled with tyranny
Neither their rituals nor our rebellion is new
Thus have we always grown flowers in fire
Neither their defeat, nor our final victory, is new!
Thus we do not blame the heavens
Nor let bitterness seed in our hearts (in times of parting)
We are separated today, but one day shall be re- united
This separation that will not last beyond tonight, bears lightly on us
Today the power of our exalted rivals may touch the zenith
But these four days of omniscience (power) too shall pass
The cure of the pains of a million heart- breaks