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”!
Nisar mein teri galyion ke, aye watan ke jahan chali hai rasm keh koi na sar utha kay chalay jo koi chahnay wala tawaf ko niklay nazar chura kay chalay, jism-o-jaan bacha 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 hai ahl-e-dil kay liye ab yeh nazm-e-bast-o-kushaad ke sang-e-wakhast muqayyad hain, aur sag azaad The heart is in a tumultuous wrench at the sight Of stones and bricks locked away and mongrels breathing free Bohot hai zulm kay dast-e-bahana joo kay liye jo chand ahl-e-junoon, tera naam lewa hain banein hain ahl-e-hawas, mudda’ii bhi, munsif bhi kisay wakeel karein, kisse munsafi chahein 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? magar guzaarne walon kay din guzartay hain teray firaaq mein yun subh-o-shaam kartay hain But those whose fate it is to live through these times Spend their days in thy mournful memories bujha jo rozan-e-zindaan to dil yeh samjha hai keh teri maang sitaaron se bhar gayi hogi chamak uthay hain salasil tu hum nay jana hai ke ab sahar tere rukh per bikhar gayi hogi 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 gharz-e-tasawwar-e-shaam-o-sahar mein jeetay hain girift-e-saaya-e-deewar-o-dar mein jeetay hain Thus one lives in the memories of thy dawns and dusks Imprisoned in the shadows of the high prison walls yunhi hamesha ulajhti rahi hai, zulm se khalq na in ki rasm nayi, na apni reet nayi yunhi hamesha khilaye hain hum nay aag mein phool na un ki haar nayi hai, na apni jeet nayi 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! isi sabab say falak ka gila nahin kartay tere firaaq mein hum dil bura nahin kartay Thus we do not blame the heavens Nor let bitterness seed in our hearts (in times of parting) gar aaj tujh se juda hain tu kal bhem hongay yeh raat bhar ki judaayi tu koi baat nahin gar aaj auj pe hai taali’-e-raqqeb tu kia yeh chaar din ki khudaayi tu koi baat nahin 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 jo tujh se ehd-e-wafa ustawaar rakhtay hain ilaaj-e-gardish-e-lail-o-nahar rakhtay hain.. Those that love thee keep, beside them The cure of the pains of a million heart- breaks Faiz Ahmead Faiz firaq - memory/rememberance khalaq - world/duniya/khudai