‘Dil Se Jo Baat Nikalti Hai’, Allama Iqbal

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Potent is the sigh that leaves the wounded heart
Tho it has not wings, yet it soars wide and far
Being holy and true, to heaven’s realm it does dart
It rises from dust, yet reaches the highest star.
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dil se jo baat nikalti hai asar rakhti hai
(heart what words exit effect keeps)
par nahi takate parwaaz magar rakhti hai
(wings not, power of  flight keeps)
quds-i-ul-asl hai rifat pe nazar rakhti hai
(holy-true is, highest rank keeps its eye on)
khaak se uthti hai gardun pe guzar rakhti hai
(dust from rises it, stars on vigil keeps)
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These are the opening lines to Iqbal’s Jawab Shikwa (The Answer to the Lament).
The rhythmic quality of these verses have stuck in my head since I first heard them years ago; like a drumbeat that one attunes to without any conscious effort. Again, Iqbal’s poetry is so lofty and epic that it’s quite a challenge to translate him without seeming stuffy and overblown. I hope I didn’t fall into that error with these lines.

On a personal note – these verses are very significant to me at the moment, and I remembered them a lot today because of what I’m going through.
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‘Aaj yun mauj dar mauj’ by FAIZ

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The waves of sorrow now have begun to wane
And the grief-stricken thus find ease from their pain
As if the tresses of spring bring a soothing scent
As if news is learnt of the loved one’s advent

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Aaj yun mauj dar mauj gham tham gaya,
(today thus wave after wave sadness halted is)
Is tarah gam_zadon ko qaraar aa gaya
(this way grief stricken ones relief is come)
Jaise khushboo-e-zulf-e bahaar aa gayee,
(like scented hair of spring is come)
Jaise paigham-e-deedar-e-yaar aa gaya
(like message-of-audience-with-beloved is come)

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It seems to me that there is a recurring motif of ‘relief after hardship’ in Faiz’s oeuvre. I wonder if there is any truth to this, and whether it has anything to do with his political ideas..

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‘AUR BHI GHAM HAI ZAMANE MEIN’ BY FAIZ AHMED FAIZ

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There are sweeter sorrows than what love holds
And better joys than its fulfilment unfolds

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Aur bhi dukh hain zamane mein mohabbat ke siwa,
Rahatein aur bhi hain wasl ki raahat ke siwa

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This is from a longer poem by Faiz critiquing the predominance of romance over social and humanistic values in the arts. One can also read it as a reprimand against dwelling too long after heartbreak by looking at the bigger picture.

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‘Nadiya Kinaare Dhuwaan Uthe Re’ – Nasir Kazmi(?)

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Smoke rises by the river’s shore
It bodes not well, I fear
What if for whom I all things forswore
Lies on his pyre there?
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nadiya kinaare dhuwaan uthe re
(river bank smoke rises)
mien jaanun kuch howe re
(I know something happens)
jis kaaran main jogan bani
(that reason I ascetic became)
kaheen woh hi na jalta howe
(what if he is burning)
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I like these words because they express beautifully the desperation and anxiety that intense love can incite
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‘Khuskh Taar O Khuskh Chob O Khuskh Post’ – Maulana Rumi

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Parched hide, dried wood, frayed string
From where does the beloved’s voice ring?
Not the drum, nor the wood, or the string
From itself does the beloved’s voice spring
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khushk taar o khushk chob o khushk post
(dry string and dry wood and dry hide)
az koja mi ayad in awaaz e dost
(from where comes the beloveds voice)
nai ze taar o nai ze chob o nai ze post
(not from string and not wood and not hide)
khud bakhud mi ayad in awaaz e dost
(from itself comes the beloved’s voice)
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I had some trouble understanding the original verses before I settled on the final meaning of them. From what I understood, the string, wood and hide constitute a drum (which represents the body of the poet)- Rumi questions the ability of the physical phenomena that is his body to produce such divinely beautiful ideas and thoughts that is his poetry. He suggests that the source of these is somewhere other than the physical realm.
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‘Jab Mein Tha Tab Hari Nahin’ – Kabir (1440 – 1518)

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Where I lives, there Hari cannot be
Where Hari is, there is no me
And so fled the obscuring night
When I at last perceived this light
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Jab Mein Tha Tab Hari Nahin, Jab Hari Hai Mein Nahin
(when I was then hari [is] not, when hari is I [am] not)
Sab Andhiyara Mit Gaya, Jab Deepak Dekhya Mahin
(all darkness erased was, when [this] light saw I)
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Hari (one of the names of Vishnu) is synonymous for the divine; god; truth. According to Kabir, the ego (I, me) is the main obstacle in the pursuit of spiritual truth.
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A popular Kashmiri saying

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Winter will flee, snow will melt
Again will spring make its presence felt
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Wande tzale. Sheen gali. Beyi yi bahaar.
(winter [will] flee, Snow [will] melt, Again [will] come spring)
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Kashmiri people use this to express optimism in hardships and adversity – The metaphor of winter has a melancholic and intimate resonance for Kashmiris because this harsh season, at its peak, is relentless and can seem unending, while spring feels like a nostalgic memory.
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