Urdu, Faiz Sahab And The Desert Of My Solitude.

Posted on July 4, 2012


Urdu – my mother tongue. Strongly influenced by the beautiful Persian and Turkish languages, Urdu  is both elegant and immensely poetic.

As a teenager, I was a voracious reader of urdu poetry, a gently sensual mingling of words with love. Sometimes rebellious, other times inspiring. Faiz Ahmed Faiz or as known in the literary circles as Faiz Saahab, is dubbed as one of Pakistan’s greatest poets and one of my all-time favourites.

Today, I would like to share with you a beautiful poem written by Faiz Saahab, Dasht-e-Tanhaai (and its translation), a set of painstakingly threaded words which never cease to give me goosebumps in the raw emotions they capture.This poem was also later sung by popular Pakistani vocalist, Tina Sani. If you are a fan of Faiz Saahab and urdu literature, the song warrants a hearing. You will find the link at the end of this post.


~ Faiz Ahmed Faiz

dasht-e-tanhaai mein, ai jaan-e-jahaan, larzaan hain 
In the desert of my solitude, oh love of my life, quiver 
teri avaaz ke saaye, 
the shadows of your voice, 
tere honthon ke saraab 
the mirage of your lips

dasht-e-tanhaai mein, 
In the desert of my solitude, 
duri ke khas-o-khaak tale 
beneath the dust and ashes of distance
khil rahe hain tere pehlu ke saman aur gulaab
bloom the jasmines and roses of your proximity

uht rahi hai kahin qurbat se 
From somewhere very close,
teri saans ki aanch 
rises the warmth of your breath
apani khushbuu mein sulagti hui 
smouldering in its own aroma,
maddham maddham 
slowly, bit by bit.

dur ufaq par chamakati hui 
far away, across the horizon, glistens
qatra qatra
drop by drop
gir rahi hai teri dil daar nazar ki shabnam 
the falling dew of your beguiling glance

is qadar pyaar se hai jaan-e jahaan rakkhaa hai 
With such tenderness, O love of my life, 
dil ke rukhsaar pe 
on the cheek of my heart, 
is vaqt teri yaad ne haath
has your memory placed its hand right now

yun guman hota hai 
that it looks as if 
garche hai abhi subah-e-firaaq 
(though it’s still the dawn of adieu) 
dhal gaya hijr ka din 
the sun of separation has set 
aa bhi gaye vasl ki raat 
and the night of union has arrived.

Bravo Faiz Saahab, bravo !

And here is the hauntingly soulful rendition by Tina Sani

Allow this song to seep into you, I promise you, it will.

Until next time…


Translation source : http://www.egothemag.com/urdupoetry/archives/2005/10/dashtetanhai.html

Posted in: Musings