la-faani huruuf – josh

لا فانی حروف – جوش  ملیح آبادی

 

لکھ رہی  ہیں، لکھ رہی  ہیں، لکھ رہی  ہیں اُنگلیاں

موت کی خونیں حکائیت، زندگی کی داستاں

جوت ہیرے  کی جگائے، کوئیلے کے انگ میں

دامنِ طرزِ   بیاں کو ڈوب دیتی رنگ میں

 

روشنائی سے  ہزاروں خال و خد کو جھالتی

شعلۂ رُخسار میں نوکِ قلم  کو ڈھالتی

سرُمئی سطروں  پہ دوڑاتی شعاعِ دِل نشیں

سنگ موسیٰ کو عطا کرتی جمالِ مرمریں

 

جوشِ مستی میں صریرِ  کِلک پر گاتی ہوئی

لفظ کو انواستی، معنی کو اُجلاتی ہوئی

روئے این و آں کو تابِ کہکشاں دیتی ہوئی

بے صدا آفاق کے منہھ میں زباں دیتی ہوئی

 

زندگی کے یخ کدے میں آگ بھڑکاتی ہوئی

دِل کی پرتیں کھولتی حرفوں کو چٹکاتی ہوئی

جامۂ فکر ونظر  کی آستیں چنتی ہوئی

کلکِ جنباں سے تحیل کی رِدا بُنتی ہوئی

 

ولولوں کومعارضِ تحریر میں لاتی ہوئی

لیلیِ احساس کی ہر  پور چٹخاتی ہوئی

کانپتی میزان پر ارض و سماکو تولتی

عقدہ اسرارِ جولاں ناخنوں سے کھولتی

 

ناچتی، گاتی،تھرکتی، شوخیاں کرتی ہوئی

سینہ کاغذ میں، دِل کی دھڑکنیں بھرتی ہوئی

دِل کے خونِ تازہ  کی  بوندوں کو ٹپکاتی ہوئی

فرشِ قرطاس و قلم پر پھول برساتی ہوئی

 

آہِ سوزاں کو نوائے ارغنوں دیتی ہوئی

نرم پوروں سے ادب کی کشتیاں کھیتی ہوئی

مرمر  و آہن کو شیشوں کی کھنک  دیتی  ہوئی

آ نسووں کو فصلِ  باراں  کی دھنک دیتی  ہوئی

 

دائروں  میں  بند کرتی با ہزاراں   پیچ و خم

سسکیوں کی تھرتھراہٹ، زمزموں کا  زیر  و  بم

ابرِ  غم  کی  چھاؤں میں   پازیب جھنکاتی ہوئی

آ نسوں کو موتیوں کے  ہار   پہناتی ہوئی

 

اُنگلیوں سے گِر رہا ہے خونِ دِل کا آبشار

بج رہا ہے آ نسووں کی نرم لڑیوں کاستار

اُنگلیوں میں پرفشاں ہیں جلوہ ہائے دِل نشیں

کاکُل و رخسار و خال و نرگس ولعل و جبیں

 

بہرِ  تفسیرِ  شکوہِ شیب و ہیجانِ شباب

لکھ رہی  ہیں داستانِ قعر و تاریخِ حباب

لکھ رہی ہیں، لکھ رہی ہیں، لکھ رہی ہیں صبح و شام

موجِ گیتی کے ترانے اوجِ گردوں کے  پیام

 

نغمہ زن ہیں کلکِ جنباں میں رموزِ کائنات

جبرئیل  و انبیاوکرُسی و ذات و صفات

اُنگلیاں  چھلکاچکیں گی جب معا نی کے ایاغ

جل اُٹھینگے دائروں کے طاق میں لاکھوں چراغ

 

سرمیٔ  سطروں کی گلیوں میں بہے گی طرفہ نہر

جگمگااُٹھیں گے ساحل پر خرد افروز شہر

شہر کے غرفوں سے جھانکیں گے بتانِ لالہ فام

عود کی لپٹوں سے مہکیں گے تمناکے خیام

 

شمسۂ  قصرِ ہُنر پر جھلجھلائیں گے حروف

تاجِ  دولت کی  دمک پر مسکرائیں گے حروف

یوں سِجل نقطوں میں ہوگی تابِ دُر ہائے عدن

شاعروں کی مفلسی شاہوں پہ ہوگی خندہ زن

 

اور جب نم ناک سطروں کو سکھا دے گا سفوف

قصرہائے  سنگ بن  جائیں گے  بلوریں حروف

آئیں گے   پھر  گردشِ  دوراں کی زد  پر وہ قصور

اُن پہ جھپٹیں گے سنیں، اُن کو جھنجوڑیں گے شہور

 

ہونکتے ارض وسما،کڑکائیں گے اُن پر کماں

اُن کو روندیں گے کروڑوں دونگڑوں کے کارواں

اُن پہ بولے گاہتوڑا، وقتِ پرُ اَجلال کا

گھن بجےگا اُن پہ عالم کوب ماہ و سال کا

 

جاہلوں کی ٹولیاں اُن کو گرانے آئیں گی

اُن پر اوچھے ناقدوں کی تیوریاں منڈلائیں گی

اُن کے کجلانے کو گرجے گا فقیہوں کا خضاب

اُن پہ کڑکے گا چھچھورے بادشاہوں کا عتاب

 

اُن کو مانڈاجائے گا تاج و کمر کی دھوپ میں

اُن کو پھٹکیں گے مبلغ داڑھیوں کے سوپ میں

اُن کو مسلیں گی بھیانک ایڑیاں کہسار کی

برچھیاں جھپٹیں گی اُن پر ثابت و سیار کی

 

اُن کو لاکھوں خیرہ سر طوفان ڈھانے آئینگے

اُن سے لا تعداد اندھے زلزلے ٹکرائینگے

اُن کو  روندینگی  ہزاروں  پلٹنیں آفات کی

اُن کو کِھرچیںگی کروڑوں چھینیاں لمحات کی

 

اُن پہ برسے گی دما دم آگ، بھوبل، دھول، برف

پھر بھی لو دیتارہیگا تاابد ایک ایک حرف

اُنگلیوں کی رو میں ترشے ہیں جو اصنامِ  جمال

دَائماؒ تاباں رہیں گےمثلِ وَجرِ ذوالجلال

 

وارثانِ دہر سے آ نکھیں ملا سکتا ہے کون

کعبۂ فنکارکو دُنیامیں ڈھا سکتاہے کون

کانپتاہے، اِنکسارِ طبعِ شاعر کے حضور

تاج داروں کاتکبر، دیوتاوں کاغرور

 

داورانِ  خلوت و   پیغمبرانِ انجمن

اللہ اللہ عظمتِ پائیندہ اربابِ فن

مانگنے آ تی ہے اِن سے دولتِ حشم و زباں

نطق سے عاری زمیں، آ نکھوں سے اندھا آسماں

 

روز جھکتی ہے پئے دریوزۂ علم و یقیں

اِن کے بابِ کفر پر ادیانِ عالم کی جبیں

اِس تمناّ میں کہ سیکھیں بات کرنے کے اُصول

اِن کے دروازوں کو آ کر کھٹکھٹاتے ہیں رسول

 

اور اُٹھ جاتے ہیں جب دُنیا سے یہ شاہانِ راز

دیوتاآتے ہیں پڑھنے کو جنازے کی نماز

نوعِ اِنسانی کبھی اِن کو بُھلاسکتی نہیں

موت کی آ ندھی چراغ اِنکابُجھاسکتی نہیں

 

ہم نشیں! تاریخ شاہد ہے کہ اَقطابِ سخن

سر پہ سہرا باندھتے ہیں جب پہنتے ہیں کفن

نا قدانِ خامہ  پرور، مفیتیانِ ذی حشم

اِن کے ایواں میں نظر آتے ہیں مرفوع القلم

 

کون آئے ذہن کے تاج و علم کے سامنے

کانپتی ہے  تیغِ چنگیزی قلم کے سامنے

نغمۂ پائیندۂ گیتاو قرآں کی قسم

جل اُٹھے اِک بار تو بجھتی نہیں شمع قلم

 

تا  ابد  رہتی ہے قصرِ شاعری کی آب و  تاب

چغد نوبت می زند بر گنبدِ  افراسیاب

طرّ ہ طرفِ کلاہ  پر مسکراتاہے اَدب

لرزشِ مژگاں سے تاروں کو بجھاتا ہے اَدب

 

اوّل اَوّل آندھیوں میں سنسناتاہے قلم

پھر  اُنھیں اپنے چراغوں پر نچاتا ہے قلم

کشورِ وَقتِ جہاں کو فتح کرتے ہیں حروف

قبر میں شاعر اُترتا ہے اُبھرتے ہیں حروف

 

ناز کر ائے  دِل کہ آہ و ارغنوں کے   درمیاں

لکھ رہی ہیں، لکھ رہی ہیں، لکھ رہی ہیں اُنگلیاں

लाफ़ानी हुरूफ़ – जोश मलीहाबादी

 

लिख रही हैं, लिख रही हैं, लिख रही हैं उंगलियाँ

मौत की ख़ूनी हिकायेत, ज़िंदगी की दास्तान

जोत हीरे की जगाये, कोएले के अंग में

दामन ए तर्ज़ ए बयाँ को डूब देती रंग में

 

रौशनाई से हज़ारों ख़ाल ओ ख़द को झालती

शो’ला ए रुख़सार में नोक ए क़लम को ढ़ालती

सुरमा’ई सतरों पे दौड़ाती शो’आ ए दिल नशीं

संग ए मूसा को अता करती जमाल ए मरमरीं

 

जोश ए मस्ती में सरीर ए किल्क पर गाती हुई

लफ़्ज़ को अनवास्ती, मा’नी को उजलाती हुई

रु ए ईन ओ आं को ताब ए कहकशां देती हुई

बे सदा आफ़ाक़ के मुंह में ज़बां देती हुई

 

ज़िंदगी के यख़ कदे में आग भड़काती हुई

दिल की परतें खोलती हरफ़ों को चिटकाती हुई

जामा ए फ़िक्र ओ नज़र की आस्तीं चुनती हुई

किल्क ए जुंबां से तहययल की रीदा बुनती हुई

 

वलवलों को मारिज़ ए तहरीर में लाती हुई

लैली ए एहसास की हर पूर चिटकाती हुई

काँपती मीज़ान पर अर्ज़ ओ समा को तोलती

उक़दा ए असरार ए जौलां नाख़ुनों से खोलती

 

नाचती, गाती, थिरकती, शूख़ियां करती हुई

सीना ए काग़ज़ में दिल की धड़कनें भरती हुई

दिल के ख़ून ए ताज़ा की बूँदों को टपकाती हुई

फ़र्श ए क़िरतास ओ क़लम पर फूल बरसाती हुई

 

आह ए सोज़ाँ को नवा ए अरग़ोनूं देती हुई

नर्म पूरों से अदब की किश्तियाँ खेती हुई

मरमर ओ आहन को शीशों की खनक देती हुई

आंसुओं को फ़स्ल ए बारां की धनक देती हुई

 

दाएरों में बंद करती बा हज़ारां पेच ओ ख़म

सिसकियों की थरथराहट ज़मज़मों का ज़ेर ओ बम

अब्र ए ग़म की छाओं में पाज़ेब झनकाती हुई

आंसुओं को मोतियों के हार पहनाती हुई

 

उंगलियों से गिर रहा है ख़ून ए दिल का आबशार

बज रहा है आंसुओं की नरम लड़ियों का सितार

उंगलियों में पर फ़शां हैं जलवा हा ए दिल नशीं

काकुल ओ रुख़सार ओ ख़ाल ओ नर्गिस ओ लाल ओ जबीं

 

बह्‌र ए तफ़सीर ए शिकवा ए शेब ओ हैजान ए शबाब

लिख रही हैं दास्तान ए क़ार ओ तारीख़ ए हुबाब

लिख रही हैं, लिख रहीं हैं, लिख रही हैं सुबह ओ शाम

मौज ए गेती के तराने औज ए गर्दूं के पयाम

 

नग़मा ज़न हैं किल्क ए जुंबां में रूमूज़ ए काएनात

जिब्रा’ईल ओ अंबिया ओ कुर्सी ओ ज़ात ओ सिफ़ात

उंगलियाँ छलका चूकेंगी जब मा’अनि के अयाग़

जल उठेंगे दाएरों के ताक़ में लाखों चिराग़

 

सुरमई सत्रों की गलियों में बहे गी तुरफ़ा नहर

जगमगा उट्ठेंगे साहिल पर ख़िरद अफ़रोज़ शह्‌र

शह्‌र के ग़ुरफ़ों से झांकेंगे बुतान ए लाला फ़ाम

ऊद की लपटों से महकेंगे तमन्ना की ख़याम

 

शमसा ए क़स्र ए हुनर पर झलझलाएंगे हुरूफ़

ताज ए दौलत की दमक पर मुस्कुराएँगे हुरूफ़

यूं सजिल नुक़्तों में होगी ताब ए दुर-हा-ए-अदन

शाएरों की मुफ़लिसी शाहों पे होगी ख़न्दा ज़न

 

और जब नमनाक सत्रों को सुखा दे गा सुफ़ूफ़

क़स्र-हा ए संग बन जाएंगे बिल्लोरीं हुरूफ़

आयेंगे फिर गर्दिश ए दौरां की ज़द पर वो क़सूर

उन पे झपटेंगे सिनें, उन को झिंजोड़ेंगे शुहूर

 

हौंकते अर्ज़ ओ समा, कड़काएँगे उन पर कमां

उनको रौंदेंगे करोड़ों दोन्गड़ों के कारवां

उन पे बोले गा हतोड़ा वक़्त ए पुर अजलाल का

घन बजेगा उन पे आलम कोब माह ओ साल का

 

जाहेलों की टोलियाँ उन को गिराने आएंगी

उन पर औछे नाक़ेदों की तेवरियां मंडलाएंगी

उन के कजलाने को गरजेगा फ़क़ीहों का ख़िज़ाब

उन पे कड़केगा छिछोरे बादशाहों का इताब

 

उन को मांडा जाएगा ताज ओ कमर की धूप में

उन को फटकेंगे मुबलिग़ दाढ़ियों के सूप में

उनको मसलेंगी भयानक एड़ियाँ  कोहसार की

बरछियाँ झपटेंगी उन पर साबित ओ सय्यार की

 

उन को लाखों ख़ीरा सर तूफ़ान ढ़ाने आएंगे

उन से लातादाद अंधे ज़लज़ले टकराएंगे

उन को रौंदेंगी हज़ारों पलटनें आफ़ात की

उन को खुरचेंगी करोड़ों छेनियाँ लम्हात की

 

उन पे बरसेगी दमादम आग, भोबल, धूल, बर्फ़

फिर भी लौ देता रहेगा ता अबद एक एक हर्फ़

उंगलिओं की रौ में तरशे हैं जो असनाम ए जमाल

दाएमन ताबाँ रहेंगे मिस्ल ए वज्र ए ज़ुलजलाल

 

वारेसान ए दहर से आँखें मिला सकता है कौन

काबा ए फ़नकार को दुनिया में ढ़ा सकता है कौन

कांपता है इनकेसार ए तब’अ ए शाएर के हुज़ूर

ताज दारों का तकब्बुर, देवताओं का ग़ुरूर

 

दावरान ए ख़िलवत ओ पैग़म्बरान ए अन्जुमन

अल्लाह अल्लाह आज़मत ए पाइन्दा ए अरबाब ए फ़न

मांगने आती है इन से दौलत ए हश्म ओ ज़बां

नुतक़ से आरी ज़मीं, आँखों से अंधा आस्मां

 

रोज़ झुकती है प’ए दरयूज़ा ए इल्म ओ यक़ीं

इन के बाब ए कुफ़्र पर अद्यान ए आलम की जबीं

इस तमन्ना में के सीखें बात करने के उसूल

इन के दरवाज़ों को आकर खटखटाते हैं रसूल

 

और उठ जाते हैं जब दुनिया से ये शाहान ए राज़

देवता आते हैं पढ़ने को जनाज़े की नमाज़

नौ ए इंसानी कभी इन को भुला सकती नहीं

मौत की आंधी चिराग़ इनका बुझा सकती नहीं

 

हम नशीं! तारीख़ शाहेद है के अक़ताब ए सुख़न

सर पे सेहरा बाँधते हैं जब पहेनते हैं कफ़न

नाक़िदान ए ख़ामा परवर, मुफ़्तीयान ए ज़ि हशम

इन के ऐवानों में नज़र आते हैं मर्र्फ़ू-उल-क़लम

 

कौन आए ज़ह्‌न के ताज ओ अलम के सामने

काँपती है तेग़ ए चंगेज़ी क़लम के सामने

नग़मा ए पाइन्दा ए गीता ओ क़ुर्’आं की क़सम

जल उठे एक बार तो बुझती नहीं शमा ए क़लम

 

ता अबद रहती है क़स्र ए शाएरी की आब ओ ताब

चुग़द नौबत मी ज़नद बर गुंबद ए अफ़रासियाब

तुर्रः ए तरफ़ ए कुलाह पर मुस्कुराता है अदब

लरज़िश ए मिज़्हगां से तारों को बुझाता है अदब

 

अव्वल अव्वल आंधियों में सुनसुनाता है क़लम

फिर उन्हें अपने चिराग़ों पर नचाता है क़लम

किश्वर ए वक़्त ए जहाँ को फ़तेह करते हैं हुरूफ़

क़ब्र में शाएर उतरता है उभरते हैं हुरूफ़

 

नाज़ कर ए दिल के आह ओ अरग़नूँ के दरमियां

लिख रही हैं, लिख रही हैं, लिख रही हैं उंगलियाँ

la faani huroof – josh malihabadi

Click on any passage for meanings and discussion.

likh rahi haiN, likh rahi haiN, likh rahi haiN ungliaN
maut ki Khuuni hikaayet1, zindagi ki daastaaN2
jot3 heere ki jagaaye, ko’ele ke aNg4 meN
daaman-e tarz-e bayaaN5 ko Doob deti raNg meN
1.bloody story 2.story 3.jyothi-brilliance 4.body/heart 5.hem of stylish (refined) speech
They write, they write, my fingers keep writing, the blood soaked story of death, the glory of life. Sparkling like a diamond in a heap of coal. This could be that the meaning sparkles like a diamond while the black writing is like a heap of coal. Alternatively, the writing of other poets is like a heap of coal, and Josh’s stands out like a diamond in that heap. Painting the apron of speech in rich colours.

raushnaaii6 se hazaaroN Khaal7-o-Khad8 ko jhaalti9
sho’la-e ruKhsaar10 meN nok-e qalam11 ko Dhaalti12
surma’ii13 satroN14 pe dauRati15 shu’aa-e dil-nashiN16
saNg-e muusa17 ko ata18 karti jamaal-e marmariiN19 
6.red ink 7.mole, beauty spot 8.stature, tall, slender (beauty) 9.polish, clean 10.flame (redness) of cheeks 11.point of the pen 12.mould, cast 13.grey 14.lines (of writing) 15.to make something run 16.heart pleasing rays of light 17.black stone 18.grant 19.beauty of (white) marble
Polishing thousands of beauty spots with colour. The point of the pen dipped in the beauty (ink) of the beloved. Giving pleasant radiance to drab grey lines, bestowing the beauty of marble on rough hewn rock. There is an interesting double meaning possible. “saNg e muusa” is black marble while “saNg e marmar” is white marble. A straightforward interpretation is words grant black marble the lustre of white marble. If “sang e musa” is interpreted as the stone tablets that Moses brought down from the mountain – is there an implication that god is not a very fine stone mason. The stone tablets that Moses received were “rough hewn” and needed polish. Iqbal also says, “man aanam ke az sang aaiina sazam” … It is I who polished a mirror out of rough stone … doing one up on god!

josh-e masti1 meN sariir-e kilk2 par gaati hui
lafz3 ko anvaasti4, ma’ani5 ko ujlaati6 hui
ruu7 e een-o-aaN8 ko taab-e kahkashaN9 deti hui
be-sadaa10 aafaaq11 ke muNh meN zabaaN deti hui
1.enthusiasm of joy 2.music (scraping on paper) of pen 3.words 4.give a place to live 5.meaning 6.making clean/clear 7.face 8.this and that, ordinary 9.brilliance of constellations 10.voiceless 11.horizons, skies
Dancing with joy to the music of pen and paper. Ghalib calls the scraping of pen on paper equivalent to the flapping of the wings of an angel (who brings divine inspiration for Ghalib to compose). Giving a home to words, making meaning clear. Bestowing brilliance/beauty to everyday/ordinary thoughts. Giving voice to the voiceless world.

zindagi ke yaKh-kade12 meN aag bhaRkaati13 hui
dil ki parteN14 kholti harfoN15 ko chiTkaati16 hui
jaama’17-e fikr-o-nazar18 ki aastiiN19 chunti20 hui
kilk-e jumbaaN21 se tahayyal22 ki rida23 bunti24 hui
12.ice box 13.setting fire 14.layers 15.words 16.making blossom 17.robe 18.reason and vision 19.sleeve 20.make wrinkles, stylish refinement 21.moving pen 22.drawing attention to 23.shawl 24.weave
Rousing passion (setting fire to) in cold/icy souls. Removing layers (mysteries) of hidden desire, causing words to blossom. Refining the robe of reason and vision. Weaving a robe for Attention (personified) with the moving pen. The act of weaving is akin to the act of writing.

valvaloN1 ko ma’ariz-e tahrir2 meN laati hui
laili-e ehsaas3 ki har puur4 chiTKhaati5 hui
kaaNpti miizan6 par arz-o-samaa7 ko tolti8
uqda9-e asraar-e jaulaaN10 naaKhunoN se kholti
1.passions 2.field of writing 3.Laila of emotions 4.knuckles 5.cracking (cracking knuckles–amazement) 6.trembling at the balance point of the fulcrum, delicate balancing 7.earth and sky 8.weigh, take the measure of 9.knot 10.fettered (tied) mysteries
Bringing passion to the field/arena of words that make the Laila of emotions dumbfounded and amazed. Taking the measure of the earth and sky on a fine balance. Undoing the knots of tangled secrets.

naachti, gaati, thirakti, shooKhiyaN11 karti hui
seena-e kaaGhaz meN dil ki dhaRkaneN bharti hui
dil ke Khuun-e taaza ki boondauN ko Tapkaati hui
farsh12-e qirtaas-o-qalam13 par phool barsaati hui
11.playfulness 12.floor, platform 13.paper and pen
Dancing, singing, swaying, playing tricks. Giving lifeless paper the throbbing/feelings/emotions of a beating heart. Dripping blood of fresh wounds of the heart (expressing pain). Strewing petals in the path of pen and paper (expressing joy).

aah-e sozaaN1 ko navaa-e arGhunuuN2 deti hui
narm pooroN3 se adab4 ki kishtiyaN kheti5 hui
marmar-o-aahan6 ko shiishoN7 ki khanak8 deti hui
aaNsuoN ko fasl-e baaraaN9 ki dhanak10 deti hui
1.sorrowful sigh 2.sound (music) of the organ 3.soft (sensitive) knuckles (fingers) 4.literature 5.row (boat) 6.marble and steel (hard) 7.crystal 8.tinkle 9.rainy season 10.rainbow
Giving the sweetness of music to sorrowful sighs. Navigating the ocean of writing with a subtle/soft touch of fingers. Granting the soft tinkle of crystal to hard iron and cold marble. A rainbow of colours for the rain of tears.

daa’eroN11 meN band karti ba hazaaraN12 pech-o-Kham13
siskiyoN14 ki thartharahaT15 zamzamoN16 ka zer-o-bam17
abr-e Gham18 ki chhaaoN meN paazeb19 jhankaati hui
aaNsuoN ko motiyoN ke haar pahnaati hui
11.circles 12.thousands 13.tangles and twists 14.sobs 15.trembling 16.spring, river 17.ripples 18.cloud of sorrow 19.ankle bells
Bringing twists/turns/entangled puzzles by the thousands into circles (fields of knowledge). To encircle twists and turns is to bring subtleties and complexities within the domain of understanding. That is what words/fingers (of the poet) are doing. (Writing about) the sounds of trembling/broken sobs and rippling brooks, tinkling ankets under clouds of sorrow. Making necklaces of pearls out of drops of tears.

uNgliyoN se gir raha hai Khuun-e dil1 ka aabshaar2
baj raha hai aaNsuoN ki narm laRiyoN ka sitar
uNgliyoN meN par-fashaaN3 haiN jalva-ha’4-e dil nashiiN5
kaakul6 o ruKhsaar7 o Khaal8 o nargis9 o la’al10 o jabiiN11
1.blood of the heart, sorrow 2.waterfall, torrent 3.flying from 4.faces (beauties) 5.heart pleasing 6.curly forelocks 7.cheeks 8.mole, beauty spot 9.eye 10.ruby (red lips) 11.forehead
The story of the sorrowful heart flows from the fingers (of the poet) like a waterfall. They play sitar/music on strings of tears, and yet heart warming scenes fly from the same fingers, curly tresses, beautiful faces, bright eyes, ruby lips, shining brows.

bahr-e tafsiir12 e shikwa-e sheb13 o hejan-e shabaab14
likh rahi haiN daastaaN-e qa’ar15 o tariiKh-e hubaab16
likh rahi haiN, likh rahin haiN, likh rahi haiN subah o shaam
mauj17-e geti18 ke taraane19 auj-e garduuN20 ke payaam21
12.for the sake of explaining 13.complaints of age 14.restlessness of youth 15.stories of the depths of the ocean 16.history of bubbles 17.wave 18.world, life 19.songs 20.grandeur of the skies 21.message
In order to explain the complaints of age and the recklessness of youth, fingers write stories of deep trouble (depths of the ocean) and fleeting successes (bubble). They write, they write, they write night and day they write songs of the earth’s happiness and of heaven’s grandeur.

naGhma zan1 haiN kilk-e jumbaaN2 meN rumooz-e kaaenaat3
jibra’eel4 o ambia5 o kursi6 o zaat7 o sifaat8
uNgliaN chhalkaa9 chukeNgi jab ma’ani ke ayaaGh10
jal uThenge daa’eroN11 ke taaq12 meN laakhoN chiraaGh
1.singing 2.moving pen 3.secrets of the universe 4.Gabriel 5.prophets 6.seat/throne (of god) 7.person (of god) 8.qualities (of god) 9.spill, overflowing 10.cups 11.circles (centres of knowledge) 12.alcove
The moving pen sings songs of the secrets of the universe, of Gabriel, of the messengers and of god herself. When fingers fill cups of words making them overflow with meaning, millions of lights light up in the alcoves of spheres of knowledge.

surma’ii13 satroN14 ki galiyoN meN bahe gi turfa15 nahr16
jagmagaa uTTheNge saahil par Khirad-afroz17 shahr18
shahr ke GhurfoN19 se jhaaNkeNge butaan-e lala-faam20
ood21 ki lapToN22 se mahkeNge23 tamanna24 ki Khayaam25 
13.grey 14.lines 15.enchanting 16.stream 17.wisdom increasing 18.establishments 19.windows 20.idols (beauties) tulip bodied 21.incense 22.swirls 23.fragrant 24.desire 25.platforms
An enchanting river flows along grey written lines and on the banks, centers/cities of learning emerge. Beautiful idols peep from the windows of the cities of learning. Desire wafts redolent like waves of incense.

shamsa1 e qasr-e hunar2 par jhaljhalaaeNge3 huruuf
taaj-e daulat4 ki damak5 par muskuraaeNge huruuf
yuN sajil6 nuqtoN7 meN hogi taab8-e dur-haa-e adan9
shaa’eroN10 ki muflisi11 shaahoN13 pe hogi Khanda-zan14
1.sun, brilliance 2.palace of talent 3.sparkle 4.crown of the wealthy 5.shine 6.clear 7.points 8.brilliance 9.pearls of Aden (reputed to be the brightest and best)
Words will shine like suns over mansions of talent, their sparkle outshining the glint of the diamond studded crown. Powerful thoughts will acquire brilliance like pearls (of Aden) enabling poor poets to sneer at the wealth of kings.

aur jab namnaak15 satrauN16 ko sukha17 de ga sufuuf18
qasr-ha19 e saNg20 ban jaaeNge billoriiN-huruuf21
aaeeNge phir gardish-e dauraaN22 ki zad23 par vo qasuur24
un pe jhapTenge saneN25, un ko jhinjoRenge shuhuur26 
15.moist 16.lines 17.dry 18.powder (of time) 18.mansions 20 stone 21.crystalline (delicate) words 22.movement of times (changing) 23.within reach (for attack) 24.mansions 25.years 26.months
And when the wet lines of ink are dried with the powder of Time vulnerable words will change into fortified castles. They will become a target of the vicissitudes of Time. The passage of time will attack and shake them.

hauNkte1 arz-o-sam’a2, kaRkaaeNge3 un par kamaaN
unko raundeNge4 karoRoN doNgRoN5 ke kaarvaaN
un pe bole ga hatoRa vaqt-e pur-ajlaal6 ka
ghan7 bajega un pe aalam-kob8 maah-o-saal9 ka
1.huffing and puffing 2.earth and sky, history, time 3.twang (bow-arrow) 4.trample 5.heavy rains 6.full of anger 7.hammer 8.world destroying 9.month and year, time
Winds of Time will blow hard against them and twang their bow (to attack). They will be trampled upon by millions of storms. The angry hammer of Time will strike them. The club of world destroying Time will beat on them.

jaaheloN10 ki ToliyaaN11 un ko giraane aaeNgi
un par auchhe12 naaqidoN13 ki te’oriyaN14 manDlaaeNgi15
un ke kajlaane16 ko garjega faqeehoN17 ka Khizaab18
un pe kaRke ga chhichhore19 baadshaahoN ka itaab20 
10.unlettered 11.gangs 12.unsophisticate 13.critic 14.whims, moods 15.hover over 16.blacken 17.religious (Islamic) jurist 18.hair blackening dye 19.uncouth 20.anger
Hordes of the ignorant will come to tear them down. Uncouth critics will attack them on mere whims and fancies. Old preachers will shout thunderously to blacken them. The displeasure of shallow minded kings will descend on them.

un ko maanDa1 jaaega taaj-o-kamar2 ki dhuup3 meN
un ko phaTkeNge4 mubaaliGh5 daaRhiyoN6 ke suup7 meN
unko masleNgi8 bhayaanak9 aeRiyaaN10 kohsaar11 ki
barchhiyaaN jhapTeNgi un par saabit-o-sayyar12 ki
1.kneed 2.crown and sword (sword is carried on a belt around the kamar-waist) 3.intense heat 4.separate rice from husk (normally separating rice from husk is considered a “value added” activity. But the sense in which “phaTakna” is used here is different. It is best translated as nitpicking) 5.those who exaggerate 6.beards 7.sifter normally made out of woven dry palm fronds 8.rub, crumple 9.fearsome 10 heels 11.mountains 12.fixed and moving, stars and planets
They (words) will be squeezed (kneaded) by powerful kings and armies. Old preachers will subject them to nitpicking. Fearsome forces will trample them underfoot. Everything moving or otherwise will come at them daggers drawn.

un ko laakhoN Khiira-sar13 toofan Dhaane14 aaeNge
un se lata’daad15 andhe16 zalzale Takraaenge
un ko raundeNgi17 hazaaroN palTaneN aafaat18 ki
un ko khurcheNgi19 karoRoN chheniaaN20 lamhaat21 ki
13.conceited 14.destroy 15.innumerable 16.blind, unpredictable 17.trample 18.calamities 19.scratch, carve 20.chisels 21.moments, time
Thousands of indiscrimate storms will bear down to destroy them. Numerous earthquakes will hit them. Thousands of calamities will descend on them. The chisel of time will keep scratching away at their body.

un pe barsegi damaadam1 aag, bhobal2, dhool, barf
phir bhi lau3 deta rahega taa-abad4 ek ek harf5
uNgliauN ki rau6 meN tarshe7 haiN jo asnaam-e jamaal8
daae’man9 taabaaN10 raheNge misl11-e vajr12-e zuljalaal13 
1.time and again 2.ash 3.flame, light 4.until the end of the world 5.word 6.flow 7.carved 8.idols of beauty 9.forever 10.shining 11.like, similar to 12.brilliance 13.another name of god
Time and again fire, ash, dust and snow will rain down on them. Even then every word will keep shedding light to the end of time. The beautiful idols that have been carved by the flow of fingers will shine forever like the brilliance of gods.

vaaresaan14-e dahr15 se aaNkheN mila sakta hai kaun
ka’aba e fan-kaar16 ko duniya meN Dhaa17 sakta hai kaun
kaaNpta hai inkesaar18 e taba’-e shaa’er19 ke huzoor20
taaj-daaroN21 ka takabbur22, devtaaoN ka Ghuroor23 
14.those who take care of 15.world 16.artist, poet 17.destroy 18.humility 19.nature of the poet 20.in front of 21.kings, those who wear crown 22.pride 23.pride
Who can dare face off with the protectors of the world. Who can destroy that which the writer/poet has created. Before the humble nature of the poet trembles the conceit of kings and pride of gods

daavaraan1-e Khilvat2 o paiGhambaraan3-e anjuman4
allah allah azmat5-e paainda6-e arbaab-e fun7
maaNgne aati hai in se daulat-e hashm8 o zabaaN9
nutq10 se a’ari11 zamiN, aaNkhoN se andha aasmaaN
1.lords 2.privacy, their own domain 3.messengers, teachers 4.assembly, populace 5.greatness 6.permanent 7.lords of talent (poetry) 8.respectability 9.language, expression 10.voice 11.devoid of
They (writers/poets) are the lords of their domain, teachers of populace. Oh how lasting is the greatness of words. They come to beg for grants of status and of sound, the earth devoid of speech and the sky that is blind.

roz jhukti hai pa’e12 daryooza13-e ilm14 o yaqeeN15
in ke baab-e kufr16 par adyaan17-e a’alam18 ki jabeeN19
is tamanna20 meN ke seekheN21 baat karne ke usoool22
in ke darvaazoN ko aakar khaTkhaTaate haiN rasool23 
12.for the sake of 13.begging 14.knowledge 15.certainty, clarity 16.door of non-belief, resistance 17.plural of “deen”, faiths 18.world 19.forehead, head 20.desire 21.learn 22.rules, ways 23.messengers (of god)
Every day they come to bow and beg for knowledge and confidence. All faiths of the world come begging to their door of inquiry/questioning. With the desire to learn how to deliver their message, prophets come knocking at their door.

aur uTh jaate haiN jab duniya se ye shaahan-e raaz1
devta aate haiN paRhne ko janaaze-ki-namaaz2
nau-e insaani3 kabhi in ko bhula sakti nahiN
maut ki aandhi chiraaGh inka bujha sakti nahiN
1.kings of secrets (words) 2.ritual burial prayer 3.human species, humanity
And when these masters of words are gone from this world, gods come to offer homage at their funeral. Humanity can never forget them. Even the storm of death cannot blow off the light of their words.

hum nasheeN4! taareeKh5 shahed6 hai ke aqtaab-e suKhan7
sar pe sehra baandhte haiN jab pahente haiN kafan8
naaqidaan9 e Khaama10 parvar11, muftiyaan12 e zi hasham13
in ke aivaanoN14 meN nazar aate haiN marfoo’-ul-qalam15 
4.friend 5.history 6.bear witness 7.axis of speech (poets) 8.burial shroud 9.critics 10.pen 11.nurturing 12.jurist 13.respectable 14.halls 15.elevated in name only, fools
My friends, history bears witness that these axes of wisdom are celebrated even in their death. Noted critics and respected jurists look like fools before them.

kaun aae zahn1 ke taaj o alam2 ke saamne
kaaNpti3 hai teGh-e chaNgezi4 qalam ke saamne
naGhma5 e paainda6 e geeta o qura’aN ki qasam
jal uThe ek baar to bujhti nahiN shama7 e qalam
1.intellect, wisdom 2.banner 3.trembles 4.sword of tyranny 5.song 6.eternal 7.lamp, light
Who can stand tall before the standard and crown of wisdom. Even the sword of tyrants trembles before the pen. By the eternal song of the Geeta and the Qura’an, once lit up, the light of the pen can never be put out.

taa abad8 rahti hai qasr-e shaa’eri9 ki aab-o-taab10
chuGhad11 naubat-mi-zanad12 bar gunbad13 e afraasiyaab14
turrah15 e tarf-e kulaah16 par muskuraata hai adab
larzish-e mizhgaaN17 se taaroN ko bujhaata hai adab
8.until eternity 9.palace of poetry 10.brilliance and grandeur 11.owl 12.sing songs, hoot 13.dome, tomb 14.legendary Persian king 15.crest 16.side of the cap 17.blinking of eyelids
The grandeur of the mansion of verse is eternal. The tomb of Afraasiyaab echoes hollow with the hoots of owls but poetry remains the crown of the cap of achievement. With the mere blinking of the eye it can command the very constellations.

avval avval1 aandhiyoN meN sunsanaata2 hai qalam
phir unheN apne chiraaGhoN par nachaata hai qalam
kishwar3 e vaqt-e jahaaN4 ko fatah5 karte haiN huroof6
qabr7 meN shaa’er utarta hai ubharte8 haiN huruuf
1.first 2.tremble 3.domain 4.epoch/times of the world 5.conquer 6.words 7.grave 8.emerge
At first the pen trembles when faced with storms, but then it forces storms to dance on the tips of its flames. In Urdu poetry storm and lamp/flame are traditional metaphors for the powerful and the weak. Here Josh makes the pen and its flame more powerful than the storm by making it dance. Words conquer the domains of all epochs of this world. The poet may be dead but his words rise and live forever.

naaz9 kar ae dil ke aah10 o arGhunuN11 ke darmiyaaN12
likh rahi haiN, likh rahi haiN, likh rahi haiN uNgliaaN
9.be proud 10.sighs 11.organ music, celebration 12.between
O heart, be proud that all through sorrow and joy, they write, they write, the poet’s fingers keep writing.

la faani huroof – josh malihabadi

likh rahi haiN, likh rahi haiN, likh rahi haiN ungliaN
maut ki Khuuni hikaayet1, zindagi ki daastaaN2
jot3 heere ki jagaaye, ko’ele ke aNg4 meN
daaman-e tarz-e bayaaN5 ko Doob deti raNg meN

1.bloody story 2.story 3.jyothi-brilliance 4.body/heart 5.hem of  stylish (refined) speech

They write, they write, my fingers keep writing, the blood soaked story of death, the glory of life.  Sparkling like a diamond in a heap of coal.  This could be that the meaning sparkles like a diamond while the black writing is like a heap of coal.  Alternatively, the writing of other poets is like a heap of coal, and Josh’s stands out like a diamond in that heap.  Painting the apron of speech in rich colours.

raushnaaii6 se hazaaroN Khaal7-o-Khad8 ko jhaalti9
sho’la-e ruKhsaar10 meN nok-e qalam11 ko Dhaalti12
surma’ii13 satroN14 pe dauRati15 shu’aa-e dil-nashiN16
saNg-e muusa17 ko ata18 karti jamaal-e marmariiN19

6.red ink 7.mole, beauty spot 8.stature, tall, slender (beauty) 9.polish, clean 10.flame (redness) of cheeks 11.point of the pen 12.mould, cast 13.grey 14.lines (of writing) 15.to make something run 16.heart pleasing rays of light 17.black stone 18.grant 19.beauty of (white) marble

Polishing thousands of beauty spots with colour.  The point of the pen dipped in the beauty (ink) of the beloved.  Giving pleasant radiance to drab grey lines, bestowing the beauty of marble on rough hewn rock.  There is an interesting double meaning possible. “saNg e muusa” is black marble while “saNg e marmar” is white marble. A straightforward interpretation is words grant black marble the lustre of white marble. If “sang e musa” is interpreted as the stone tablets that Moses brought down from the mountain – is there an implication that god is not a very fine stone mason. The stone tablets that Moses received were “rough hewn” and needed polish. Iqbal also says, “man aanam ke az sang aaiina sazam” … It is I who polished a mirror out of rough stone … doing one up on god!

josh-e masti1 meN sariir-e kilk2 par gaati hui
lafz3 ko anvaasti4, ma’ani5 ko ujlaati6 hui
ruu7 e een-o-aaN8 ko taab-e kahkashaN9 deti hui
be-sadaa10 aafaaq11 ke muNh meN zabaaN deti hui

1.enthusiasm of joy 2.music (scraping on paper) of pen 3.words 4.give a place to live 5.meaning 6.making clean/clear 7.face 8.this and that, ordinary 9.brilliance of constellations 10.voiceless 11.horizons, skies

Dancing with joy to the music of pen and paper.  Ghalib calls the scraping of pen on paper equivalent to the flapping of the wings of an angel (who brings divine inspiration for Ghalib to compose).  Giving a home to words, making meaning clear.  Bestowing brilliance/beauty to everyday/ordinary thoughts.  Giving voice to the voiceless world.

zindagi ke yaKh-kade12 meN aag bhaRkaati13 hui
dil ki parteN14 kholti harfoN15 ko chiTkaati16 hui
jaama’17-e fikr-o-nazar18 ki aastiiN19 chunti20 hui
kilk-e jumbaaN21 se tahayyal22 ki rida23 bunti24 hui

12.ice box 13.setting fire 14.layers 15.words 16.making blossom 17.robe 18.reason and vision 19.sleeve 20.make wrinkles, stylish refinement 21.moving pen 22.drawing attention to 23.shawl 24.weave

Rousing passion (setting fire to) in cold/icy souls.  Removing layers (mysteries) of hidden desire, causing words to blossom.  Refining the robe of reason and vision.  Weaving a robe for Attention (personified) with the moving pen.  The act of weaving is akin to the act of writing.

valvaloN1 ko ma’ariz-e tahrir2 meN laati hui
laili-e ehsaas3 ki har puur4 chiTKhaati5 hui
kaaNpti miizan6 par arz-o-samaa7 ko tolti8
uqda9-e asraar-e jaulaaN10 naaKhunoN se kholti

1.passions 2.field of writing 3.Laila of emotions 4.knuckles 5.cracking (cracking knuckles–amazement) 6.trembling at the balance point of the fulcrum, delicate balancing 7.earth and sky 8.weigh, take the measure of 9.knot 10.fettered (tied) mysteries

Bringing passion to the field/arena of words that make the Laila of emotions dumbfounded and amazed.  Taking the measure of the earth and sky on a fine balance.  Undoing the knots of tangled secrets.

naachti, gaati, thirakti, shooKhiyaN11 karti hui
seena-e kaaGhaz meN dil ki dhaRkaneN bharti hui
dil ke Khuun-e taaza ki boondauN ko Tapkaati hui
farsh12-e qirtaas-o-qalam13 par phool barsaati hui

11.playfulness 12.floor, platform 13.paper and pen

Dancing, singing, swaying, playing tricks.  Giving lifeless paper the throbbing/feelings/emotions of a beating heart.  Dripping blood of fresh wounds of the heart (expressing pain).  Strewing petals in the path of pen and paper (expressing joy).

aah-e sozaaN1 ko navaa-e arGhunuuN2 deti hui
narm pooroN3 se adab4 ki kishtiyaN kheti5 hui
marmar-o-aahan6 ko shiishoN7 ki khanak8 deti hui
aaNsuoN ko fasl-e baaraaN9 ki dhanak10 deti hui

1.sorrowful sigh 2.sound (music) of the organ 3.soft (sensitive) knuckles (fingers) 4.literature 5.row (boat) 6.marble and steel (hard) 7.crystal 8.tinkle 9.rainy season 10.rainbow

Giving the sweetness of music to sorrowful sighs.  Navigating the ocean of writing with a subtle/soft touch of fingers.  Granting the soft tinkle of crystal to hard iron and cold marble.  A rainbow of colours for the rain of tears.

daa’eroN11 meN band karti ba hazaaraN12 pech-o-Kham13
siskiyoN14 ki thartharahaT15 zamzamoN16 ka zer-o-bam17
abr-e Gham18 ki chhaaoN meN paazeb19 jhankaati hui
aaNsuoN ko motiyoN ke haar pahnaati hui

11.circles 12.thousands 13.tangles and twists 14.sobs 15.trembling 16.spring, river 17.ripples 18.cloud of sorrow 19.ankle bells

Bringing twists/turns/entangled puzzles by the thousands into circles (fields of knowledge).  To encircle twists and turns is to bring subtleties and complexities within the domain of understanding. That is what words/fingers (of the poet) are doing.  (Writing about) the sounds of trembling/broken sobs and rippling brooks, tinkling ankets under clouds of sorrow.  Making necklaces of pearls out of drops of tears.

uNgliyoN se gir raha hai Khuun-e dil1 ka aabshaar2
baj raha hai aaNsuoN ki narm laRiyoN ka sitar
uNgliyoN meN par-fashaaN3 haiN jalva-ha’4-e dil nashiiN5
kaakul6 o ruKhsaar7 o Khaal8 o nargis9 o la’al10 o jabiiN11

1.blood of the heart, sorrow 2.waterfall, torrent 3.flying from 4.faces (beauties) 5.heart pleasing 6.curly forelocks 7.cheeks 8.mole, beauty spot 9.eye 10.ruby (red lips) 11.forehead

The story of the sorrowful heart flows from the fingers (of the poet) like a waterfall. They play sitar/music on strings of tears, and yet heart warming scenes fly from the same fingers, curly tresses, beautiful faces, bright eyes, ruby lips, shining brows.

bahr-e tafsiir12 e shikwa-e sheb13 o hejan-e shabaab14
likh rahi haiN daastaaN-e qa’ar15 o tariiKh-e hubaab16
likh rahi haiN, likh rahin haiN, likh rahi haiN subah o shaam
mauj17-e geti18 ke taraane19 auj-e garduuN20 ke payaam21

12.for the sake of explaining  13.complaints of age 14.restlessness of youth 15.stories of the depths of the ocean 16.history of bubbles 17.wave 18.world, life 19.songs 20.grandeur of the skies 21.message

In order to explain the complaints of age and the recklessness of youth, fingers write stories of deep trouble (depths of the ocean) and fleeting successes (bubble).  They write, they write, they write night and day they write songs of the earth’s happiness and of heaven’s grandeur.

naGhma zan1 haiN kilk-e jumbaaN2 meN rumooz-e kaaenaat3
jibra’eel4 o ambia5 o kursi6 o zaat7 o sifaat8
uNgliaN chhalkaa9 chukeNgi jab ma’ani ke ayaaGh10
jal uThenge daa’eroN11 ke taaq12 meN laakhoN chiraaGh

1.singing 2.moving pen 3.secrets of the universe 4.Gabriel 5.prophets 6.seat/throne (of god) 7.person (of god) 8.qualities (of god) 9.spill, overflowing 10.cups 11.circles (centres of knowledge) 12.alcove

The moving pen sings songs of the secrets of the universe, of Gabriel, of the messengers and of god herself.  When fingers fill cups of words making them overflow with meaning, millions of lights light up in the alcoves of spheres of knowledge.

surma’ii13 satroN14 ki galiyoN meN bahe gi turfa15 nahr16
jagmagaa uTTheNge saahil par Khirad-afroz17 shahr18
shahr ke GhurfoN19 se jhaaNkeNge butaan-e lala-faam20
ood21 ki lapToN22 se mahkeNge23 tamanna24 ki Khayaam25

13.grey 14.lines 15.enchanting 16.stream 17.wisdom increasing 18.establishments 19.windows 20.idols (beauties) tulip bodied 21.incense 22.swirls 23.fragrant 24.desire 25.platforms

An enchanting river flows along grey written lines and on the banks, centers/cities of learning emerge.  Beautiful idols peep from the windows of the cities of learning.  Desire wafts redolent like waves of incense.

shamsa1 e qasr-e hunar2 par jhaljhalaaeNge3 huruuf
taaj-e daulat4 ki damak5 par muskuraaeNge huruuf
yuN sajil6 nuqtoN7 meN hogi taab8-e dur-haa-e adan9
shaa’eroN10 ki muflisi11 shaahoN13 pe hogi Khanda-zan14

1.sun, brilliance 2.palace of talent 3.sparkle 4.crown of the wealthy
5.shine 6.clear 7.points 8.brilliance 9.pearls of Aden (reputed to be the brightest and best)

Words will shine like suns over mansions of talent, their sparkle outshining the glint of the diamond studded crown.  Powerful thoughts will acquire brilliance like pearls (of Aden) enabling poor poets to sneer at the wealth of kings.

aur jab namnaak15 satrauN16 ko sukha17 de ga sufuuf18
qasr-ha19 e saNg20 ban jaaeNge billoriiN-huruuf21
aaeeNge phir gardish-e dauraaN22 ki zad23 par vo qasuur24
un pe jhapTenge saneN25, un ko jhinjoRenge shuhuur26

15.moist 16.lines 17.dry 18.powder (of time) 18.mansions 20 stone 21.crystalline (delicate) words 22.movement of times (changing) 23.within reach (for attack) 24.mansions 25.years 26.months

And when the wet lines of ink are dried with the powder of Time vulnerable words will change into fortified castles.  They will become a target of the vicissitudes of Time.  The passage of time will attack and shake them.

hauNkte1 arz-o-sam’a2, kaRkaaeNge3 un par kamaaN
unko raundeNge4 karoRoN doNgRoN5 ke kaarvaaN
un pe bole ga hatoRa vaqt-e pur-ajlaal6 ka
ghan7 bajega un pe aalam-kob8 maah-o-saal9 ka

1.huffing and puffing 2.earth and sky, history, time 3.twang (bow-arrow) 4.trample 5.heavy rains 6.full of anger 7.hammer 8.world destroying 9.month and year, time

Winds of Time will blow hard against them and twang their bow (to attack).  They will be trampled upon by millions of storms.  The angry hammer of Time will strike them.  The club of world destroying Time will beat on them.

jaaheloN10 ki ToliyaaN11 un ko giraane aaeNgi
un par auchhe12 naaqidoN13 ki te’oriyaN14 manDlaaeNgi15
un ke kajlaane16 ko garjega faqeehoN17 ka Khizaab18
un pe kaRke ga chhichhore19 baadshaahoN ka itaab20

10.unlettered 11.gangs 12.unsophisticate 13.critic 14.whims, moods 15.hover over 16.blacken 17.religious (Islamic) jurist 18.hair blackening dye 19.uncouth 20.anger

Hordes of the ignorant will come to tear them down.  Uncouth critics will attack them on mere whims and fancies.  Old preachers will shout thunderously to blacken them.  The displeasure of shallow minded kings will descend on them.

un ko maanDa1 jaaega taaj-o-kamar2 ki dhuup3 meN
un ko phaTkeNge4 mubaaliGh5 daaRhiyoN6 ke suup7 meN
unko masleNgi8 bhayaanak9 aeRiyaaN10 kohsaar11 ki
barchhiyaaN jhapTeNgi un par saabit-o-sayyar12 ki

1.kneed 2.crown and sword (sword is carried on a belt around the kamar-waist) 3.intense heat 4.separate rice from husk (normally separating rice from husk is considered a “value added” activity. But the sense in which “phaTakna” is used here is different. It is best translated as nitpicking) 5.those who exaggerate 6.beards 7.sifter normally made out of woven dry palm fronds 8.rub, crumple 9.fearsome 10 heels 11.mountains 12.fixed and moving, stars and planets

They (words) will be squeezed (kneaded) by powerful kings and armies.  Old preachers will subject them to nitpicking.  Fearsome forces will trample them underfoot.  Everything moving or otherwise will come at them daggers drawn.

un ko laakhoN Khiira-sar13 toofan Dhaane14 aaeNge
un se lata’daad15 andhe16 zalzale Takraaenge
un ko raundeNgi17 hazaaroN palTaneN aafaat18 ki
un ko khurcheNgi19 karoRoN chheniaaN20 lamhaat21 ki

13.conceited 14.destroy 15.innumerable 16.blind, unpredictable 17.trample 18.calamities 19.scratch, carve 20.chisels 21.moments, time

Thousands of indiscrimate storms will bear down to destroy them.  Numerous earthquakes will hit them.  Thousands of calamities will descend on them.  The chisel of time will keep scratching away at their body.

un pe barsegi damaadam1 aag, bhobal2, dhool, barf
phir bhi lau3 deta rahega taa-abad4 ek ek harf5
uNgliauN ki rau6 meN tarshe7 haiN jo asnaam-e jamaal8
daae’man9 taabaaN10 raheNge misl11-e vajr12-e zuljalaal13

1.time and again 2.ash 3.flame, light 4.until the end of the world 5.word 6.flow 7.carved 8.idols of beauty 9.forever 10.shining 11.like, similar to 12.brilliance 13.another name of god

Time and again fire, ash, dust and snow will rain down on them.  Even then every word will keep shedding light to the end of time.  The beautiful idols that have been carved by the flow of fingers will shine forever like the brilliance of gods.

vaaresaan14-e dahr15 se aaNkheN mila sakta hai kaun
ka’aba e fan-kaar16 ko duniya meN Dhaa17 sakta hai kaun
kaaNpta hai inkesaar18 e taba’-e shaa’er19 ke huzoor20
taaj-daaroN21 ka takabbur22, devtaaoN ka Ghuroor23

14.those who take care of 15.world 16.artist, poet 17.destroy 18.humility 19.nature of the poet 20.in front of 21.kings, those who wear crown 22.pride 23.pride

Who can dare face off with the protectors of the world.  Who can destroy that which the writer/poet has created.  Before the humble nature of the poet trembles the conceit of kings and pride of gods

daavaraan1-e Khilvat2 o paiGhambaraan3-e anjuman4
allah allah azmat5-e paainda6-e arbaab-e fun7
maaNgne aati hai in se daulat-e hashm8 o zabaaN9
nutq10 se a’ari11 zamiN, aaNkhoN se andha aasmaaN

1.lords 2.privacy, their own domain 3.messengers, teachers 4.assembly, populace 5.greatness 6.permanent 7.lords of talent (poetry) 8.respectability 9.language, expression 10.voice 11.devoid of

They (writers/poets) are the lords of their domain, teachers of populace.  Oh how lasting is the greatness of words.  They come to beg for grants of status and of sound, the earth devoid of speech and the sky that is blind.

roz jhukti hai pa’e12 daryooza13-e ilm14 o yaqeeN15
in ke baab-e kufr16 par adyaan17-e a’alam18 ki jabeeN19
is tamanna20 meN ke seekheN21 baat karne ke usoool22
in ke darvaazoN ko aakar khaTkhaTaate haiN rasool23

12.for the sake of 13.begging 14.knowledge 15.certainty, clarity 16.door of non-belief, resistance 17.plural of “deen”, faiths 18.world 19.forehead, head 20.desire 21.learn 22.rules, ways 3.messengers (of god)

Every day they come to bow and beg for knowledge and confidence.  All faiths of the world come begging to their door of inquiry/questioning.  With the desire to learn how to deliver their message, prophets come knocking at their door.

aur uTh jaate haiN jab duniya se ye shaahan-e raaz1
devta aate haiN paRhne ko janaaze-ki-namaaz2
nau-e insaani3 kabhi in ko bhula sakti nahiN
maut ki aandhi chiraaGh inka bujha sakti nahiN

1.kings of secrets (words) 2.ritual burial prayer 3.human species, humanity

And when these masters of words are gone from this world, gods come to offer homage at their funeral.  Humanity can never forget them.  Even the storm of death cannot blow off the light of their words.

hum nasheeN4! taareeKh5 shahed6 hai ke aqtaab-e suKhan7
sar pe sehra baandhte haiN jab pahente haiN kafan8
naaqidaan9 e Khaama10 parvar11, muftiyaan12 e zi hasham13
in ke aivaanoN14 meN nazar aate haiN marfoo’-ul-qalam15

4.friend 5.history 6.bear witness 7.axis of speech (poets) 8.burial shroud 9.critics 10.pen 11.nurturing 12.jurist 13.respectable 14.halls 15.elevated in name only, fools

My friends, history bears witness that these axes of wisdom are celebrated even in their death.  Noted critics and respected jurists look like fools before them.

kaun aae zahn1 ke taaj o alam2 ke saamne
kaaNpti3 hai teGh-e chaNgezi4 qalam ke saamne
naGhma5 e paainda6 e geeta o qura’aN ki qasam
jal uThe ek baar to bujhti nahiN shama7 e qalam

1.intellect, wisdom 2.banner 3.trembles 4.sword of tyranny 5.song
6.eternal 7.lamp, light

Who can stand tall before the standard and crown of wisdom.  Even the sword of tyrants trembles before the pen.  By the eternal song of the Geeta and the Qura’an, once lit up, the light of the pen can never be put out.

taa abad8 rahti hai qasr-e shaa’eri9 ki aab-o-taab10
chuGhad11 naubat-mi-zanad12 bar gunbad13 e afraasiyaab14
turrah15 e tarf-e kulaah16 par muskuraata hai adab
larzish-e mizhgaaN17 se taaroN ko bujhaata hai adab

8.until eternity 9.palace of poetry 10.brilliance and grandeur 11.owl 12.sing songs, hoot 13.dome, tomb 14.legendary Persian king 15.crest 16.side of the cap 17.blinking of eyelids

The grandeur of the mansion of verse is eternal.  The tomb of Afraasiyaab echoes hollow with the hoots of owls but poetry remains the crown of the cap of achievement.  With the mere blinking of the eye it can command the very constellations.

avval avval1 aandhiyoN meN sunsanaata2 hai qalam
phir unheN apne chiraaGhoN par nachaata hai qalam
kishwar3 e vaqt-e jahaaN4 ko fatah5 karte haiN huroof6
qabr7 meN shaa’er utarta hai ubharte8 haiN huruuf

1.first 2.tremble 3.domain 4.epoch/times of the world 5.conquer 6.words 7.grave 8.emerge

At first the pen trembles when faced with storms, but then it forces storms to dance on the tips of its flames.  In Urdu poetry storm and lamp/flame are traditional metaphors for the powerful and the weak. Here Josh makes the pen and its flame more powerful than the storm by making it dance.  Words conquer the domains of all epochs of this world.  The poet may be dead but his words rise and live forever.

naaz9 kar ae dil ke aah10 o arGhunuN11 ke darmiyaaN12
likh rahi haiN, likh rahi haiN, likh rahi haiN uNgliaaN

9.be proud 10.sighs 11.organ music, celebration 12.between

O heart, be proud that all through sorrow and joy, they write, they write, the poet’s fingers keep writing.

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