Nisar mein teri galyion ke, aye watan ke jahan…

by Vikram

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

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