lab-e darya – labhuram josh malsiani

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

لبِ دریا ۔ لبھو رام جوش ملسیانی

۱

لو آ گئے عبّاسِ دِلاور لبِ دریا

لو تیغِ عدوُ رہ گئی کٹ کر لبِ دریا

۲

کہتے تھے ہر اِک موج کے تیور لبِ دریا

طوفان اُٹھائیں نہ ستم گر لبِ دریا

۳

پانی بھی کسی کو نہ دیا اہلِ ستم نے

پیاسے تھے بہتّر کے بہتّر لبِ دریا

۴

گِرداب بھی اعدا سے یہ کہتا تھا بہ آواز

چلتا ہے یہ تقدیر کا چکّر لبِ دریا

۵

کیا تِشنگیِ شوقِ شہادت تھی کہ عبّاس

پیاسے ہی پلٹ آئے پہنچ کر لبِ دریا

۶

دُشمن کی صفیں درہم و برہم تھیں کچھ ایسی

شبّیر پہنچ جاتے تھے اکثر لبِ دریا

۷

اِس غم سے کہ بچوں کو بھی ملتا نہیں پانی

رہ جاتی تھی ہر موج تڑپ کر لبِ دریا

۸

اِک سمت فقط چند نفوس اور وہ پیاسے

اِک سمت ہزاروں کا یہ لشکر لبِ دریا

۹

وہ سرد مزاجوں کے مظالم سرِ میداں

وہ گرمیِ ہنگامۂ محشر لبِ دریا

۱۰

مشکیزۂ بے آب علمدار کی روداد

کچھ بر لبِ سوفار ہے کچھ بر لبِ دریا

۱۱

کِس دِل سے سُنے اُن کی  مصیبت کوئی ائے جوشؔ

پیاسے ہی جو مر جائیں تڑپ کر لبِ دریا

लब-ए दर्या – लभूराम जोश मलसियानी

लो आ गए अब्बास-ए दिलावर लब-ए दर्या

लो तेग़-ए अदू रह गई कट कर लब-ए दर्या

कहते थे हर एक मौज के तैवर लब-ए दर्या

तूफ़ान उठायें न सितमगर लब-ए दर्या

पानी भी किसी को न दिया अहल-ए सितम ने

प्यासे थे बहत्तर के बहत्तर लब-ए दर्या

गिर्दाब भी आदा से ये कहता था ब-आवाज़

चलता है ये तक़्दीर का चक्कर लब-ए दर्या

क्या तिश्नगी-ए शौक़-ए शहादत थी के अब्बास

प्यासे ही पलट आए पहुँच कर लब-ए दर्या

दुश्मन कि सफ़ें दरहम ओ बरहम थीं कुछ ऐसी

शब्बीर पहुँच जाते थे अक्सर लब-ए दर्या

इस ग़म से के बच्चौं को भी मिलता नहीं पानी

रह जाती थी हर मौज तड़प कर लब-ए दर्या

एक सम्त फ़क़त चन्द नुफ़ूस और वो प्यासे

एक सम्त हज़ारों का ये लश्कर लब-ए दर्या

वो सर्द मिज़ाजों के मज़ालिम सर-ए मैदां

वो गरमी-ए हंगामा-ए महशर लब-ए दर्या

१०

मश्कीज़ा-ए बे-आब अलमदार कि रूदाद

कुछ बर-लब-ए सूफ़ार है कुछ बर-लब-ए दर्या

११

किस दिल से सुने उन कि मुसीबत कोई अए जोश

प्यासे ही जो मर जाएँ तड़प कर लब-ए दर्या

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. panDit labhuram josh malsiani (1884-1976) from malsian in the now pakistani side of punjab migrated to India a little before partition/independence. He has written with great feeling about communal harmony and about the loss of his homeland – pakistan. This poem, of a clearly islamic theme, is written in the genre of ‘salaam’ and is a tribute to the commander of husain’s small band of followers in the battle of karbala. It is steeped in shia belief and terminology that could have been learnt only through intimate contact and exposure.
1
lo aa gaye abbas-e-dilaavar1 lab-e-darya2
lo teGh3-e adu4 rah gaii kaT kar lab-e darya   
1.abbas the brave 2.bank of the river 3.sword 4.enemy
‘dilaavar’ is a commonly used adjective for husain’s half brother, abbas who was also the commander of the small band of fighters. He has fought his way and arrived at the bank of the river. Also in karbala tradition, the fight/sacrifice is depicted as a spiritual victory even if they were killed. Thus, the sword of the enemy was cut up.

2
kahte the har ek mauj1 ke taivar2 lab-e darya
toofaan3 uThaayeN na sitamgar4 lab-e darya 
1.waves 2.style, posture 3.storm (of cruelty) 4.oppressors
Even the river is depicted as expressing sympathy for husain and his followers. The posture of the waves of the river (for example beating their head against the sand in sorrow) shows that they (the waves) are praying/hoping that the oppressors will not raise a storm of cruelty against husain.

3
paani bhi kisi ko na diya ahl-e-sitam1 ne
pyaase the bahattar2 ke bahattar lab-e darya   
1.people of cruelty, oppressors 2.seventy two
It is commonly believed that husain had only 72 followers left with him on the day of the battle. The oppressors denied even water and 72 were thirsty, even though they were at the bank of a river.

4
girdaab1 bhi aa’da2 se ye kahta tha ba-aavaaz3
chalta hai ye taqdir4 ka chakkar5 lab-e darya   
1.whirlpool 2.enemy 3.loudly 4.fate 5.wheel, troublesome mess
Just like the waves, whirlpools/eddies of the river are also depicted as sympathetic to husain and his followers. Their rotation shows clearly and loudly that this is the cycle of fate … it is written that virtue will triumph (spiritually) over evil.

5
kya tishnagi1-e shauq2-e shahaadat3 thi ke abbas
pyaase hi palaT aaye pahuNch kar lab-e darya   
1.thirst 2.desire 3.martyrdom
Their willingness to die for the cause is presented as a thirst/desire for martyrdom. This desire was so strong that even though abbas reached the river, he turned back without drinking water. The more common belief is that he turned back without drinking water because he was thinking of thirsty children and could not possibly drink himself without first providing them with water.

6
dushman ki safeN1 darham2 o barham3 thiiN kuchh aisi
shabbir4 pahuNch jaate the aksar5 lab-e darya   
1.lines, files (of soldiers) 2.confused 3.disorderly 4.another name of husain 5.often, frequently
Interpreting this she’r requires considerable liberties. There is no story even in folklore of husain getting to the river bank often, even though there is plenty about the confusion and disorderliness of the enemy lines (because of the virtuous standing of husain and the bravery of his followers). So, I interpret the second misra to mean that he “could have” reached the bank of the river but did not. Thus, enemy lines were so confused and disorderly that husain could have reached the river bank, but chose not to.

7
is Gham1 se ke bachchauN ko bhi milta nahiN pani
rah jaati thi har mauj2 taRap3 kar lab-e darya
1.sorrow 2.waves 3.writhing (in pain)
Once again, waves are depicted as showing sympathy for husain and his family and followers. They are sorrowful that even children are unable to get water and this makes them writhe in pain at the bank of the river.

8
ek samt1 faqat2 chand3 nufoos4 aur vo pyaase
ek samt hazaarauN ke ye lashkar5 lab-e darya    
1.direction, side 2.only 3.a few 4.souls 5.army
On one side only a few souls and even they were thirsty. On the other side an army of thousands.

9
vo sard-mizaajauN1 ke mazaalim2 sar-e maidaaN3
vo garmi4-e haNgaama-e-mahshar5 lab-e darya  
1.cold hearted, cruel 2.cruelties 3.(battle) field 4.activity, confusion 5.time of doomsday
Such were the cruelties of the oppressors on the battlefield that the confusion looked like doomsday.

10
mashkeeza1-e be-aab2 alamdaar4 ki roodaad5
kuchchh bar-lab6-e soofaar7 hai, kuchchh bar-lab-e darya   
1.leather water bag 2.water-less 3.flag bearer, commander, a name used for abbas 5.story 6.on the lips of 7.the root of the arrow that engages with the string of the bow
The story of karbala is that abbas fought his way to the river, filled the water bag and turned back, protecting the bag with his shield, opening himself up to attack. Eventually, arrow pierced the water bag and water drained out. The hapless story of the water-less bag of abbas can be heard partly from the arrow and partly from the river bank.

11
kis dil se sune un ki museebat koii aye josh1
pyaase hi jo mar jaayeN taRap kar lab-e darya   
1.pen name of the poet labhuram (1884-1976). Note that josh malihabadi (1898-1982) also had the same taKhallus
O, josh, how can I brave my heart to hear the travails of those who died thirsty at the bank of the river.

panDit labhuram josh malsiani (1884-1976) from malsian in the now pakistani side of punjab migrated to India a little before partition/independence.  He has written with great feeling about communal harmony and about the loss of his homeland – pakistan.  This poem, of a clearly islamic theme, is written in the genre of ‘salaam’ and is a tribute to the commander of husain’s small band of followers in the battle of karbala.  It is steeped in shia belief and terminology that could have been learnt only through intimate contact and exposure.
1
lo aa gaye abbas-e-dilaavar1 lab-e-darya2
lo teGh3-e adu4 rah gaii kaT kar lab-e darya

1.abbas the brave 2.bank of the river 3.sword 4.enemy

‘dilaavar’ is a commonly used adjective for husain’s half brother, abbas who was also the commander of the small band of fighters.  He has fought his way and arrived at the bank of the river.  Also in karbala tradition, the fight/sacrifice is depicted as a spiritual victory even if they were killed.  Thus, the sword of the enemy was cut up.
2
kahte the har ek mauj1 ke taivar2 lab-e darya
toofaan3 uThaayeN na sitamgar4 lab-e darya

1.waves 2.style, posture 3.storm (of cruelty) 4.oppressors

Even the river is depicted as expressing sympathy for husain and his followers.  The posture of the waves of the river (for example beating their head against the sand in sorrow) shows that they (the waves) are praying/hoping that the oppressors will not raise a storm of cruelty against husain.
3
paani bhi kisi ko na diya ahl-e-sitam1 ne
pyaase the bahattar2 ke bahattar lab-e darya

1.people of cruelty, oppressors 2.seventy two

It is commonly believed that husain had only 72 followers left with him on the day of the battle.  The oppressors denied even water and 72 were thirsty, even though they were at the bank of a river.
4
girdaab1 bhi aa’da2 se ye kahta tha ba-aavaaz3
chalta hai ye taqdir4 ka chakkar5 lab-e darya

1.whirlpool 2.enemy 3.loudly 4.fate 5.wheel, troublesome mess

Just like the waves, whirlpools/eddies of the river are also depicted as sympathetic to husain and his followers.  Their rotation shows clearly and loudly that this is the cycle of fate … it is written that virtue will triumph (spiritually) over evil.
5
kya tishnagi1-e shauq2-e shahaadat3 thi ke abbas
pyaase hi palaT aaye pahuNch kar lab-e darya

1.thirst 2.desire 3.martyrdom

Their willingness to die for the cause is presented as a thirst/desire for martyrdom.  This desire was so strong that even though abbas reached the river, he turned back without drinking water.  The more common belief is that he turned back without drinking water because he was thinking of thirsty children and could not possibly drink himself without first providing them with water.
6
dushman ki safeN1 darham2 o barham3 thiiN kuchh aisi
shabbir4 pahuNch jaate the aksar5 lab-e darya

1.lines, files (of soldiers) 2.confused 3.disorderly 4.another name of husain 5.often, frequently

Interpreting this she’r requires considerable liberties.  There is no story even in folklore of husain getting to the river bank often, even though there is plenty about the confusion and disorderliness of the enemy lines (because of the virtuous standing of husain and the bravery of his followers).  So, I interpret the second misra to mean that he “could have” reached the bank of the river but did not.  Thus, enemy lines were so confused and disorderly that husain could have reached the river bank, but chose not to.
7
is Gham1 se ke bachchauN ko bhi milta nahiN pani
rah jaati thi har mauj2 taRap3 kar lab-e darya

1.sorrow 2.waves 3.writhing (in pain)

Once again, waves are depicted as showing sympathy for husain and his family and followers.  They are sorrowful that even children are unable to get water and this makes them writhe in pain at the bank of the river.
8
ek samt1 faqat2 chand3 nufoos4 aur vo pyaase
ek samt hazaarauN ke ye lashkar5 lab-e darya

1.direction, side 2.only 3.a few 4.souls 5.army

On one side only a few souls and even they were thirsty.  On the other side an army of thousands.
9
vo sard-mizaajauN1 ke mazaalim2 sar-e maidaaN3
vo garmi4-e haNgaama-e-mahshar5 lab-e darya

1.cold hearted, cruel 2.cruelties 3.(battle) field 4.activity, confusion 5.time of doomsday

Such were the cruelties of the oppressors on the battlefield that the confusion looked like doomsday.
10
mashkeeza1-e be-aab2 alamdaar4 ki roodaad5
kuchchh bar-lab6-e soofaar7 hai, kuchchh bar-lab-e darya

1.leather water bag 2.water-less 3.flag bearer, commander, a name used for abbas 5.story 6.on the lips of 7.the root of the arrow that engages with the string of the bow

The story of karbala is that abbas fought his way to the river, filled the water bag and turned back, protecting the bag with his shield, opening himself up to attack.  Eventually, arrow pierced the water bag and water drained out.  The hapless story of the water-less bag of abbas can be heard partly from the arrow and partly from the river bank.
11
kis dil se sune un ki museebat koii aye josh1
pyaase hi jo mar jaayeN taRap kar lab-e darya

1.pen name of the poet labhuram (1884-1976).  Note that josh malihabadi (1898-1982) also had the same taKhallus

O, josh, how can I brave my heart to hear the travails of those who died thirsty at the bank of the river.

Key Search Words:  cross-religious, cross religious, kaaba kaashi, k’aaba-kaashi, k’aaba kaashi, karbal katha

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