Long years those hands, unfriended and unfree,
Have clawed into night's dark unyielding breast
As straws might dash themselves against a sea,
Or butterflies assail a mountain-crest:
Till now that dark and flint-hard breast of night
Has felt so many gashes that all round,
Look where you will, is woven a web of light,
And from far off the morning's heartbeats sound.
The people's hands have been your coat of mail,
Your wealth: what else has lent you strength, but they?
You do not wish this darkness to prevail,
Yet wish those hands lopped off, and the new day,
Now throbbing in its eastern ambush, doomed
Under night's iron corpse to lie entombed.
Siyaasii Leader Ke Naam
Saal-haa-saal ye be-aasraa, jakRe hu'e haat
Raat ke sakht o siya siine meN paiwast rahe,
Jis tarah. tinkaa samundar se ho sargarm-e-satez,
Jis tarah. tiitrii kuhsaar pe yalghaar kare;
Aur ab raat ke sangiN o siyaa siine meN
Itne gha'o haiN, ke jis simt nazar jaati hai
Jaa-ba-jaa nuur-ne ek jaal-saa bun-rakhaa hai,
Duur se subh. ki dhaRkan kii sada aati hai.
Teraa sarmayaa, terii aas yehii hat to haiN,
Aur kuchh hai bhii tere paas? Yehii hat to haiN.
Tujhko manzuur nahiN ghalbaa-e-zulmat, lekin
Tujhko manzuur hai ye haath qalam ho-ja'eN,
Aur mashriq kii kamiiN-gah meN dhaRaktaa hu'a din
Raat kii aahanii maiyat ke tale dab-jaa`e!
To A Political Leader (Literal Translation)
Year by year these unprotected, bound hands
Have remained fixed in the hard, black bosom of night,
As a straw may be ardent in strife with the sea,
As a butterfly may make an attack on a mountain;
And now in the stony and black bosom of night
There are so many wounds, that whichever way the eye goes
Everywhere light has woven a sort of web,
From afar the sound of the throbbing of dawn cones.
Your wealth, your hope, are these same hands_
Have you anything else? it is these same hands.
You do not desire the victory of darkness, but
You desire that these hands be cut off,
And that day, throbbing in the ambuscade of the east,
Sink under the iron corpse of night!
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine