Advice — A Translation

The poem below is breath-taking in its original content in Pushto. My love for the verses made me try and ruin it through a translation but that could be forgiven, for everything is fair in love and .. err .. I don’t wanna talk of war as it reminds me our war ravaged Pushtun belt — a sad sad story being played in our backyards.

Lets look at the rich Pushto literary tradition and we’ll find people like Rehman Baba, Khushal Khan, Ghani Khan, Amir Hamza Shinwari and many many more who stirred the hearts and souls through the magic of their words. This guy Rahim Khan Majrooh is exceptionally talented in writing Pushto free verse and Hykos. His verse flows like the Kabul river and the incorporation of modern images makes his poems all the more interesting.

Ya me azad kda pa zangal ke da bulbul pa shante

Ya me khundi kda pa orbal ke da yao gul pa shante

Still, my love, things are like they were!
Still, you can give a second thought
To your decisions.
The train of time hasn’t left, yet.
The waters haven’t risen
Above their levels–
The dikes are un-inundated.
The ways to escape are still open.
People don’t yet know, as
The story is still
A secret between you and me.
The night is still ripe
And the dawn hasn’t burst, yet.
My laughter hasn’t yet been snatched
By the turbulent flashes of your beauty.
My sleep is still peaceful
From the distraction of your hypnotic eyes.
The fresh, tiny wound [of love]
Hasn’t yet turned cancerous.
The embryonic seed hasn’t yet rooted
from the flower-pot to soil.
Our nameless relation
Is yet to find an identity.
The matters of our lives
Are treading steady in their direction.
I, Majrooh, am still blissful
In my current state of life.
The buttons on my shirt
Are still nicely fastened;
[un-plucked by over-indulgence]
Things, whatever you wish — remorse,
Or loving me to death, are still a possibility
Because we do not, still, have
A means of connection,
But the currents of air.
The ill-match of a rug-mat
With that of a velvet cloth
Hasn’t yet patched with deep stitches.
I’ve yet to savor the luscious
Taste of our union.
My gaze is still fixed, in wait,
On the paths of assurance,
As I stand on the rooftop of uncertainty.
Your silhouette hasn’t yet shaped
Into a complete picture.
Still we are poles apart
In our status in life.
Like someone with a perfect vision
You can spot me around.
I can sense, you’re here
Somewhere with me —
Blind, I can look at you,
But I cannot see you.
I can’t figure you out
In a flock of swans.
I look at your mercy
Like a prisoner does.

Either set me free in a jungle
Like a nightingale
Or, fix me like
A flower, in your locks.


34 thoughts on “Advice — A Translation

  1. Asma Ahsan

    Its a beautiful translation! Well done! You are improving day by day. I wish you would do this professionally too! Get published please. πŸ™‚

    1. So very thanks! I’ll sure give it a thought to compile stuff from a few contemporary Pushto poets especially those who I get to meet here in a literary society, and try and translate some of their work for publication but not before I’m fully confident over the quality of my translation, which I’ll have to improve in order to pursue my ambition.

      Thanks, AJ for your favorable comments! πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, the original is very beautiful! I wish you understood Pushto then I’d have shared with you the original πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the comment! πŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: Advice β€” A Translation | Tea Break

  3. Pingback: Advice β€” A Translation | Tea Break

  4. I’ll get back to it when I have some time. I do not want to just ‘go through’ such a beautiful piece — well, I’m sure it’s beautiful. Your work always is.
    Will return soon. πŸ˜‰

  5. My gaze is still fixed, in wait,
    On the paths of assurance,
    As I stand on the rooftop of uncertainty.
    Your silhouette hasn’t yet shaped
    Into a complete picture.
    I look at your mercy
    Like a prisoner does.
    Even in your translation I can feel the flow of river Kabul πŸ™‚ … I would love to read this poem in Pushtu. Where can I get its pushtu version??

    1. Thanks for liking the translation πŸ™‚

      I can email you the original but who’ll read it for you since you don’t understand Pushto?

  6. nick

    My laughter hasn’t yet been snatched
    By the turbulent flashes of your beauty.
    My sleep is still peaceful
    From the distraction of your hypnotic eyes.
    The fresh, tiny wound [of love]
    Hasn’t yet turned cancerous.
    The ways to escape are still open.
    wonderful yaar.

    may be to translate something is easy n many people can do that but to maintain the feel of the words in translated version is not that have a great ability bro.
    an english editer is saying you should do this professionaly then she must have seen that ability in you so i think you must should give it a try.
    our prayers are with you πŸ™‚

    can i copy this??? ahh no no i dont wanna advise anyone :p just for my collection.:)

    1. You’re so generous in encouragement! πŸ™‚
      Thanks, mate!

      I won’t want you to become an adviser either, for we’ve so many in our society, doling out advises for free πŸ˜‰

      Yes, my pleasure! πŸ™‚

  7. I have read it almost five times now and i fail to find a fault, i mean seriously I was looking for one but……..okay, this was really really good. I guess it would be injustice to the whole effort if i tell you which were my fav lines.
    You are very good at translating ! πŸ™‚ I have a feeling you are.

    1. It was sort of embarrassing especially with the prologue that I mentioned with the poem. Also when there are so many other things occupying my thoughts I deemed it better to leave the poem for some other time to try and post it later with some edits.

      Thanks for noticing it! πŸ™‚

  8. nick

    aadil bhai your last poem was boohat zabardast seriously i read that yesterday but i was in hurry so i thought i’ll comment later but now i saw that you’ve deleted i did’nt even copy that yet. i really want to.

    tell me the reason why you deleted “dont tell me the reason” πŸ˜›

    1. Dear nick, I’ll surely give you a copy of the poem when I’ll repost it here, sometime in the future, inshaAllah. I’m grateful for the interest you take in the stuff I present here! πŸ™‚

  9. Ayesha

    That’s amazing stuff! I liked your selection of words.

    I am sure as you mentioned the original would be great but despite being a Pushto speaking person I find it difficult to understand Pushto poetry fully so your translations really helps.

    Hope to see more of fantastic poems being translated by you!

    1. Thanks a lot! I’d like you to try and read stuff from the contemporary PUshto poetry and I’m sure you’ll love it, for there is amazing talent out there. You can so easily obtain stuff from the Pushto Acadamy headed by Dr. Salma Shaheen.
      I too am enjoying my introduction to the world of Pushto literature which needs to be promoted for the diversity and richness of its quality.

  10. just one word…awesomeeeeeeeeeeeee…

    Adil i admire the command over the language…bless youuuu now u should take the passion of ur writing quite seriously.

    Alaah bless you.

    1. Thank you so much!

      Your comment gave me some much needed energy πŸ™‚
      Well, I’m pretty much serious about this writing thing but it doesn’t like me I guess, always slithering of my hold, never letting me in control πŸ˜‰
      I wish it tames to my liking once and for all!

  11. Pingback: Advice β€” A Translation « Kurtgodel’s Blog

  12. Ayesha

    I just came across your blog today as two people whos blog I recerntly started readng had yoru comments on them. I am a pukhtu fanatic, hence I was surprised and intrigued with the puhtu wored that’s shared here.

    I must say that if I were law, i would forbid translations, pukhtu is such a wonderful language, aaaaaaaah. I wish i could get the original poem. Could you put it up next to the translation ( i can read pukhtu rpetty well i think)

    Good job you’re doing with your blog.

    Da Allah pa Aman

    1. As per your law I’m the culprit then? So be it, for I’ve committed the crime for all the positive reasons. The foremost being the promotion of some sorts of positivity from a region associated with all the negative things. Plus I want the world to know about the rich sensibility and the talent of our young Pushto literati. As for the Pushto version of the poem, I couldn’t post it here for most of my readers wouldn’t understand the original version plus it would have made this post very lengthy. What I can do is send you the original roman version that I sent to someone else as well. Only if you’d like to.

      Welcome to my blog and thanks for the comment! πŸ™‚

      1. Alhamdolillah

        yes, you would be the culprit, but nevertheless I do understand the importance of translation, like the Quran, it’s translations have woken so much people up form the slumber of disbelief. And so many people ahve benefitted from the wonderful pushto poetry, but even then, I think that pushto is very very beautiful and if people could try and learn it, that would be so nice! It would be very kind of you to send me the original. I can understand and read the pukhtu alphbet, Alhamdolillah.

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