Saturday, 19 January 2013

For those who could not raise a Taj Mahal for their beloved

Albert Godwin, 1896

Taj Mahal
A  poem  by  Sahir  Ludhianavi  ( esteemed  Indian  poet  and  lyricist)
The Taj, mayhap, to you may seem, a mark of love supreme
You may hold this beauteous vale in great esteem;
Yet, my love, meet me hence at some other place!
How odd for the poor folk to frequent royal resorts;
‘Tis strange that the amorous souls should tread the regal paths
Trodden once by mighty kings and their proud consorts.
Behind the facade of love my dear, you had better seen,
The marks of imperial might that herein lie screen
You who take delight in tombs of kings deceased,
Should have seen the hutments dark where you and I did wean.
Countless men in this world must have loved and gone,
Who would say their loves weren’t truthful or strong?
But in the name of their loves, no memorial is raised
For they too, like you and me, belonged to the common throng.
These structures and sepulchres, these ramparts and forts,
These relics of the mighty dead are, in fact, no more
Than the cancerous tumours on the face of earth,
Fattened on our ancestor’s very blood and bones.
They too must have loved, my love, whose hands had made,
This marble monument, nicely chiselled and shaped
But their dear ones lived and died, unhonoured, unknown,
None burnt even a taper on their lowly graves.
This bank of Jamuna, this edifice, these groves and lawns,
These carved walls and doors, arches and alcoves,
An emperor on the strength of wealth, Has played with us a cruel joke.
Meet me hence, my love, at some other place.
Translation by K.C. Kanda, appeared in Masterpieces of Urdu Nazm published by Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. – found here

4 Fertilize my soul:

Buttercup said...

What a wonderful poem and so true. We live in the hearts of those who loved us, not in monuments.

Crown of Beauty said...

Beautiful poem Amrita
Thank you for sharing it with us!

Amrita said...

Thank you for your comments Carol and Lidj

John M Cowart said...

This is an old poem from my Dad. More than 30 years ago. But I thought it pertinent.

The man cut down the wood of a tall green pine. And created to himself a god!

He worked the craggy face and features, and he shaped a mighty god of pine!

But as he worked, the chisel slipped! And split the mighty god in two!

The man looked on the work of his hands and said. "Pine don't make good god's".

I don't think that is a completely accurate rendition. (It's been years, and with my memory..) But it get's the idea across at least. :)