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Partition

Today I Ask Waris Shah:
Ajj Aakhan Waris Shah Noon

A Poem by AMRITA PRITAM, Translated from Punjabi by NIKKY-GUNINDER KAUR SINGH

 

 

 





Today I ask Waris Shah to speak from his grave
And turn to the next page of his book of love!

You saw one Punjabi daughter weep, you wrote page after page,
Today countless daughters weep, they cry out to you Waris Shah:
Rise! O sympathizer of the afflicted! Rise! Look at your Punjab!

The land is sheeted with corpses, the Chenab is full of blood.
Somebody has poured poison into its five rivers
And their waters are irrigating our farms and fields.

Each pore of this lush land is bursting with venom:
Redness flares up inch by inch, wrath flies high.
The poisonous breeze wafts across forests
Turning each bamboo flute into a snake.
The snakes cast a spell, and bit again and again,
The limbs of the Punjab suddenly became blue.

Songs are broken into silence, weaving strings have snapped;
Friends are torn asunder, their spinning-wheels lie hushed.
Aloft with nuptial beds the rafts are floating away
Branches along with swings are breaking apart.

Lost is the flute that once played on the breath of love,
All of Ranjah's brothers have forgotten its art.
The blood spilt on the ground is seeping into the graves,
The princesses of love are weeping in their sacred spots.

Today everyone has become a villain, a thief of beauty and love,
From where can we bring today another Waris Shah?

Today I ask Waris Shah to speak from his grave
And turn to the next page of his book of love!


September 11, 2015
 

Conversation about this article

1: Inni Kaur (Fairfield, Connecticut, USA), September 11, 2015, 7:05 AM.

Chenab speaks: My Heers and Ranjhas have left for distant lands. Punjab no longer loves me. I am old and of no use to them. My solace: I live in the hearts of my distant Heers and Ranjhas. May their love rejuvenate me.

2: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ), September 11, 2015, 6:04 PM.

An excellent translation by Nikky Guninder ji. May I now add an equally excellent recitation by Gulzar. Please check the following site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvgSY81gVMM

3: Nawab Singh Heer (United States), September 11, 2015, 8:35 PM.

Chenab speaks: Alas the Ranjhas left in Pakistani Punjab are targets of the Taliban. The Ranjhas of Indian Punjab are targets of police and drugs. Even some North American Punjabi Ranjhas are coming in the grip of these ills. We need Waris Shah to re-write the destiny of a new Punjab.

4: Roop Dhillon (London, United Kingdom), September 15, 2015, 8:41 AM.

Classic poem of the 20th Century. Shameful that people are still doing the things it rails about.

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Ajj Aakhan Waris Shah Noon"









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