Drumbeat of Departure

(From Viewpoint Online)

One of these Kishwar Nahid’s poems “Yeh Tabl Kooch Ka Hai (It’s the Drumbeat of Departure) reveals the depth of her pain on the loss of an internationally acclaimed Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, for whom she has lots of respect and praise.

Kishwar Nahid, a veteran Urdu poet, feminist and a progressive writer of our time, known for her courageous and blatant poetic discourse, resolutely challenges patriarchal repression of women and inequalities in her society. Her poetic discourse and her autobiography “Buri Aurat Ki Katha” narrate a highly candid and honest view of life and its realities with uncompromising posture of an outspoken feminist.

The two prominent Urdu poets, Faiz Ahemed Faiz and Kishwar Nahid, who passionately wrote about the common men and women and inequalities in their society, represent similar ideological streams in their poetry and writing. When Faiz passed away on November 20, 1984, Kishhwar Nahid expressed her profound sense of grief in her poems published in several Urdu literary magazines including the monthly “Mah-e Nou” from Lahore that published three of her poetic eulogies of Faiz in the February 2002 issue devoted to his life and poetry.

One of these Kishwar Nahid’s poems “Yeh Tabl Kooch Ka Hai (It’s the Drumbeat of Departure) reveals the depth of her pain on the loss of an internationally acclaimed Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, for whom she has lots of respect praise.

Here is the new and unpublished English translation of the poem:

It’s the Drumbeat of Departure

By Kishwar Nahid

The wound left henna on my hands again

Wearing the violet anklets of despair

Embracing insanity in a state of madness

The grieving wind said

Aspiration of dream

Wearing the corpus of retreat

Snatches away the yellow face of life

The alley of no gain

Draws the circle of separation

The caravan looks at its own desolation

What a time, the flame of our  companionship  fades away

Who knows?

It’s the drumbeat of departure

A pronouncement to halt

Or a proclamation of the vanishing light of hope!

(Translated by Qaisar Abbas)

یہ طبل کوچ کا ہے

کشور  ناہید

زخم نے پھر مرے ہاتھوں میں حناباندھی تھی
درد کے کاسنی پازیب بجاتی ہوئی
وحشت میں جنوں پھانکتی
ژولیدہ ہواکہتی تھی
خواہشِ خواب
ہزیمت کا بدن پہنے ہے
سانس کے چمپئی چہرے کی ردا
کھینچے ہے
کوئے لا حاصلی
کھینچے ہے حصارِ فرقت
قافلہ دیکھے ہے سرمایہء جاں لٹتاہے
کیسی ساعت ہے رفاقت کا دیا بجھتاہے
یہ طبل کوچ کا ہے
یاکہ ٹھہرجانے کا