aahista aahista – munir niazi

For word meanings and explanatory discussion in English click on the “Roman” or “Notes” tab.

آہستہ آہستہ ۔ منیر نیازیؔ

۱

اُگا سبزہ در و دیوار پر آہستہ آہستہ

ہوا خالی صداؤں سے نگر آہستہ آہستہ

۲

گِھرا بادل خموشی سے خِزاں آثار باغوں پر

ہلے ٹھنڈی ہواؤں میں شجر آہستہ آہستہ

۳

بہت ہی سُست تھا منظر لہو کے رنگ لانے کا

نشاں آخر ہوا یہ سرخ تر آہستہ آہستہ

۴

چمک زر کی اُسے آخر مکانِ خاک میں لائی

بنایا سانپ نے جسموں میں گھر آہستہ آہستہ

۵

مرے باہر فصیلیں تھیں غبار خاک و باراں کی

ملی مجھ کو ترے غم کی خبر آہستہ آہستہ

۶

منیرؔ اس ملک پر آسیب کا سایہ ہے یا کیا ہے

کہ حرکت تیز تر ہے اور سفر آہستہ آہستہ

आहस्ता आहस्ता – मुनीर नियाज़ी

उगा सब्ज़ा दर-ओ-दीवार पर आहस्ता आहस्ता

हुआ ख़ाली सदाओं से नगर आहस्ता आहस्ता

घिरा बादल ख़मोशी से ख़िज़ाँ-आसार बाग़ों पर

हिले ठंडी हवाओं में शजर आहस्ता आहस्ता

बहुत ही सुस्त था मंज़र लहू के रंग लाने का

निशाँ आख़र हुआ ये सुर्ख़-तर आहस्ता आहस्ता

चमक ज़र की उसे आख़र मकान-ए-ख़ाक में लाई

बनाया साँप ने जिस्मों में घर आहस्ता आहस्ता

मेरे बाहर फ़सीलें थीं ग़ुबार-ए-ख़ाक-ओ-बाराँ की

मिली मुझ को तेरे ग़म की ख़बर आहस्ता आहस्ता

मुनीर इस मुल्क पर आसेब का साया है या क्या है

के हरकत तेज़-तर है और सफ़र आहस्ता आहस्ता

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. muneer niyaazi (1923-2006) from lahore, pakistan. He writes in both urdu and punjabi. This has echoes of Oliver Goldsmith’s, The Deserted Village where he moans the decay of rural life because of migration to the cities during rapid industrialization. In this case the decay may be due to government neglect, but the poet unmistakably mourns decay and depopulation.
1
 uga sabza1 dar-o-diivaar2 par aahista aahista
hua Khaali sadaaoN3 se nagar aahista aahista    
1.greenery 2.doors and walls i.e. homes 3.sounds
The picture is a village/town abandoned and decaying. Gradually, over time, greenery/wild plants grow out of the cracks of walls and roofs. The town is “emptied” of normal sounds of life. The poet mourns the change, perhaps due to the neglect of government.

2
chamak1 zar2 ki use aaKhir3 makaan-e-Khaak4 meN laaii
banaaya saaNp ne jismoN5 meN ghar aahista aahista    
1.shine, glitter 2.gold 3.at last 4.house of dust/soil, grave 5.bodies
This has echoes of Thomas Gray’s Elegy … The paths of glory lead but to the grave. The glitter of gold finally brought him to the grave. Snakes made a home in his bosom gradually. While it is more normal to speak of worms in the grave, this has echoes of the legend that snakes guard buried treasures.

3
ghira baadal Khamoshi se KhizaaN-aasaar1 baaGhoN par
hile ThanDi havaaoN meN shajar2 aahista aahista    
1.showing signs of autumn 2.trees
The garden/orchard has gone through its autumn/winter. Spring rolls in. Silently clouds gather over gardens that have been showing signs of autumn. In the cool breeze, trees slowly stir back to life. But it is not clear if this is bringing back life to the region itself or just to the trees.

4
bahut hi sust1 tha manzar2 lahu3 ke raNg laane ka
nishaaN aaKhir4 hua ye surKh-tar5 aahista aahista    
1.slow, gradual 2.scene 3.blood, lahu raNg laana means to feel the full effect of the blow/bleeding 4.at last, inevitably 5.more red
The full effect of the blow/cut was felt only gradually. Inevitably the mark/wound became redder and redder.

5
mere baahar fasiileN1 thiiN Ghubaar2-e Khaak-o-baaraaN3 ki
mili mujh ko tere Gham4 ki Khabar5 aahista aahista    
1.boundaries, barricades 2.fog 3.dust and rain 4.sorrow, pain 5.news
This may be the poet away from his home/village/region. He has been away and blinded by a fog which created barricades (of urban life and wealth) through which he could not quite see … could not discern what was going on (because it was going on gradually and also because he was surrounded by the fog of city life). I was surrounded by a fog of ‘dust and rain’. I got news of your pain/decay only gradually.

6
munir1 is mulk2 par aaseb3 ka saaya hai ya kya hai
ke harakat4 tez-tar5 hai aur safar6 aahista aahista  
1.pen name of the poet 2.country 3.curse 4.movement, activity 5.rapid 6.journey, progress
O, munir, is there a curse on this country, or what. There seems to be a lot of rapid/busy activity but no progress towards the goal.

muneer niyaazi (1923-2006) from lahore, pakistan.  He writes in both urdu and punjabi.  This has echoes of Oliver Goldsmith’s, The Deserted Village where he moans the decay of rural life because of migration to the cities during rapid industrialization.  In this case the decay may be due to government neglect, but the poet unmistakably mourns decay and depopulation.
1
uga sabza1 dar-o-diivaar2 par aahista aahista
hua Khaali sadaaoN3 se nagar aahista aahista

1.greenery 2.doors and walls i.e. homes 3.sounds

The picture is a village/town abandoned and decaying.  Gradually, over time, greenery/wild plants grow out of the cracks of walls and roofs.  The town is “emptied” of normal sounds of life.  The poet mourns the change, perhaps due to the neglect of government.
2
ghira baadal Khamoshi se KhizaaN-aasaar1 baaGhoN par
hile ThanDi havaaoN meN shajar2 aahista aahista

1.showing signs of autumn 2.trees

The garden/orchard has gone through its autumn/winter.  Spring rolls in.  Silently clouds gather over gardens that have been showing signs of autumn.  In the cool breeze, trees slowly stir back to life.  But it is not clear if this is bringing back life to the region itself or just to the trees.
3
bahut hi sust1 tha manzar2 lahu3 ke raNg laane ka
nishaaN aaKhir4 hua ye surKh-tar5 aahista aahista

1.slow, gradual 2.scene 3.blood, lahu raNg laana means to feel the full effect of the blow/bleeding 4.at last, inevitably 5.more red

The full effect of the blow/cut was felt only gradually.  Inevitably the mark/wound became redder and redder.
4
mere baahar fasiileN1 thiiN Ghubaar2-e Khaak-o-baaraaN3 ki
mili mujh ko tere Gham4 ki Khabar5 aahista aahista

1.boundaries, barricades 2.fog 3.dust and rain 4.sorrow, pain 5.news

This may be the poet away from his home/village/region.  He has been away and blinded by a fog which created barricades (of urban life and wealth) through which he could not quite see … could not discern what was going on (because it was going on gradually and also because he was surrounded by the fog of city life).  I was surrounded by a fog of ‘dust and rain’.  I got news of your pain/decay only gradually.
6
munir1 is mulk2 par aaseb3 ka saaya hai ya kya hai
ke harakat4 tez-tar5 hai aur safar6 aahista aahista

1.pen name of the poet 2.country 3.curse 4.movement, activity 5.rapid 6.journey, progress

O, munir, is there a curse on this country, or what.  There seems to be a lot of rapid/busy activity but no progress towards the goal.

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