Tagi Saski – Thirsty Drops (A book of my translated Poetry)

In these unprecented times of general distress brough by the pandemic of Covid-19, finding happiness in and around is a challenge of sorts. Hence I was pleasantly surprised when I was told that a book of poetry – that I had translated from Pushto into English more than a decade back – has been published. ‘Pleasnt surprise’ is a mild adjective to describe what I actually felt when I heared the news from the poet who had originally penned the book in Pushto since it has been my first publication of sorts in the form of a book. I had only trans-created the collection of poems but the satisfaction it brought was heartfelt.

Tagi Saski- Thirsty Drops

Seeing my name against something in print after a longish hiatus is refreshing for my writing morale and I have started thinking on the lines of getting a book of my own poetry published.

Want to have a copy of this collection? Write to me on my email: syedaadilshah1@gmail.com or leave a comment on this post.

میں اگر زیست کی

اس کہانی کو

تصنیف خود کررہا ہوں

تو کردار میرے بنائے ہوئے

کیوں نہیں ہیں،


یہ کہانی ورق در ورق

باب در باب

میرے تصور کے برعکس

تبدیل ہوتی رہی ہے،


میرا احساس خود مجھ کو

جبری مشقت کا قیدی

بنائے ہوئے ہے،


مگرآسمان محبت میں

ہلکی سی جنبش ہوئی ہے

اور مجھ کو یقیں ہے

میرے حصے کی روشن کرن

میرے زنداں کی جانب

روانہ ہوئی ہے۔

High, Hermit, Hook, Heal

I’ve written it mouthfulls and am yearning for brevity but am liking the start of the process. Hope things will improve with practice and time. The post is again courtesy the kind one I’ve mentioned in the last blog 🙂

The sky falls flat in my feet

as I pluck star after a blazing star;

I blow them cold, so they cannot char

your finger-tips.

Then I take you high,

leaving my ego with the townsfolk.


I lose you somewhere in the ether;

your eyes, kohled with star-dust

turn blind on me.


I’m a hermit,

living another time and space

beyond the din of the earth’s ridicule,

even the reach of your apathy.


Yet, on certain moonless nights

a Polaris keeps me hooked to the fire;

a yearning comes to crush it kohl,

to heal a wound,

to grace a pair of eyes.




An evening to remember

It has been quite some time since I last attended a function of sorts at the Pakistan Academy Of Letters, so when I received this sms of invitation from Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui, the PAL editor of English I had to go there for one doesn’t always come across a person of the stature of Zulfikar Ghose, the US based poet, novelist and essayist, whom the gathering was arranged for.

I was fortunate to arrive earlier at the Editor’s office, meet the honorable Ghose sahib and exchange some pleasantries with him. Thats where I got my hands literally on a copy of the biannual anthology of the Pakistani writers, ‘The Pakistani Literature’ where translations from a variety of Pakistani languages as well as original English works of the prominent Pakistani literati are published. I flipped through pages and was pleasantly surprised to see the publication of four of my translated poems from Pushto. I conveyd my gratitude to Mr. Khiraam who enhanced my delight by showing me a heavier anthology which included pieces of translations as well as a selection of the original Pakistani English literature from 1947 to 2010, that again included a translation of mine. I requested for the contributor’s copies which the Editor generously handed me with compliments.

The function itself was a wonderful experience. Ghose sahib recited poems from his latest collection called ’50 Poems’ published by the Oxford University Press. In between the recitals of his inspiring poetry Ghose sahib delighted us with interesting anecdotes pertaining mostly to his experiences in life. There was a question-answer session in the end which again was full of information as we came to know how writers born in the third world are assigned labels in the West and how it limits the scope of a writer.

The modertator Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui (left) with Zulfikar Ghose (right)

It was an evening to remember and one would like to be a part of such enlightening gatherings more often.

Writing Haiku

Below here are a few random attempts at writing haiku, courtesy the inspiration from a few nice fellows at DWL.

Alone in Isloo;
I enjoy the company
of mom in mardan

Nineteen, forty five;
a generation lost
on a spur of rage

Worshiping haiku,
we count on our fingertips
seventeen syllables

Gigantic egos,
collide in futile battles,
relations suffer.

The death of word, verse and dream

The malaise sat into my senses and trickled exactly into the lacunae left by the departed dreams. Now I feel I’d shortly bid adieu to whatever remaining links I have with the world. I feel like I have been living whatever Mr. Moeen Nizami said in the words below;

Hamaray lafz

aaghaz e marasim may tau kuch ma’soom say logo’n ko

bayhad achay lagtay thay

na janay in may kya kya tha, buhut mashoor kun thay woh

magar woh lafz jhootay thay, unhay tauqeer kya milti.

Hamaray shaer aaghaz e marasim may tau kuch ma’soom say logo’n ko

bayhad achay lagtay thay

woh dil darya kay mauti thay, adab may ghair mamooli izafa thay

magar woh shaer khotay thay, inhay ta’seer kya milti.

Hamaray khawb, aaghaz e marasim may tau kuch ma’soom say logon ko

bayhad achay lagtay thay

magary woh khawb andhay thay

inhay ta’beer kya milti.

Yeh anjam e marasim kay marahil hai’n

shikast e lafz o shaer o khawb kay yeh dil garifta aayeenay dil kay muqabil hai’n

An Exercise III

Here the theme is Parallax with I having all the liberty in the world to use whatever words I can. But all I am able to conjure are these ordinary lines below. I’ve promised to myself to try out the theme with some other interpretation, but for now I have all it is.

what was the point, then
to lionize

my pale,frail,filthy frame

to that of a man
for all the seasons
of love

when you gazed upon me
from a point of no return
through the scarlet
shades of what
ran in your veins,

only to distance to
a place where all
that were sought were
golden returns,
by investing sentiments.

Distances sure make
one require lenses to see;
gilded in your case.