Abide, beloved, stay; hearken to what I must say
Hear how I’m stricken with love; how I’ve become its prey
Thine love doth portend my doom; thine love hath sapped my bloom
Thine love and its desire hath my youthful years consumed
But a mere glance from thee, hath so many sufferers freed
So why, upon my turn, thou turned away from me?
With just a brief view, my heart didst thou strike through
That arc on thy brow the keenest blade didst outdo
Thou art the one that makes me, thou the one that breaks me
Thou are the wound that bleeds; the balm that soothes is thee.
Mahjoor would tell the tale, of his poor heart’s travail
If not, each time he tried, cruel love his voice curtailed
Roz roz boz mein zaar madno
Daadiey chaaniey chas haa beymaar madno
Yaar daud krooth pyaum, shuir paan zaaiye gaum
Tche patte rowum laukchaar madno
Nazre chaaniey seeith, beymaar balaiey keeith
Myaane weeizi loguth be aar madno
Ishaar hawaan, dil katraawaan
Bhumbe chai tez talwaar madno
Tche myon ghamkhaar, tche myon sitamgaar
Tche chauk, tche haa bulgaar madno
Wanihaa mahjoor daastaane dil zaroor
Wanas ti chui naa tas waar madno
Peerzada Ghulam Ahmed, better known by his nom-de-plume ‘Mahjoor’, was a renowned Kashmiri poet. He helped usher in the modern era of Kashmiri poetry, giving it a social and a secular theme.
His poems are part of the cultural fabric of contemporary Kashmir. His progressive sensibilities and his efforts of bringing Kashmiri poetry in line with the larger literary scene of the subcontinent has made him a particular favourite with the modern audience; so much so that it earned him the semi-official title of shair-e-kashmir (‘poet of Kashmir’)
He also wrote fluently in Urdu and Persian, and was actively in dialogue with the great non-Kashmiri poets of the time.
This poem is one of his most famous. The nuances and subtleties that are interwoven in the original are nigh impossible to carry into English, so I have used what meager talent I possess and chosen meanings that are in the same general family of significance.
His grave is not far from where I grew up in Srinagar, hence my personal affection for his work.