Guest Post by Naveed E.
Perveen Shakir died young. Her legend lives on.
She is arguably the most popular poetess of the literary history of Pakistan. She expressed the sensibilities of young lovelorn girl with the innocence of a girl next door and innovation of an adept poet. Her romantic poems and ghazals stirred the sentiments of youthful readers.
She enlivened the tales and traditions of love in a manner that her first book ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œKhushbooÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? met an instant and incredible success. Within a span of seventeen years she wrote three more books of poetry, titled, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œSud BergÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œKhud KalamieÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œInkarÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œBarish Ki NazmeinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? are very sentimental poems from ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œSud BergÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?.
On a rainy night, while posted in a far flung area of Pakistan, I was deeply touched with the enchantment of these poems.
My translations, below, are a tribute to the magic of Perveen.
A Poem of Rain
Barish mein kia tanha bhegna larki!
usay bula jis ki chahat mein
ttera tun mun bhega hai
pyar ki barish say barh kr kia barish ho gi
aur jub is barish kay baad
hijr ki pehli dhoop khilay gi
tujh per rang kay ism khulein gay
Why to soak alone in the rain, O! Girl
Beckon him in whose love
Your mind and body are drenched
There is no rain more than the rain of love
And when after this rain
The first sunshine of separation would glow
The mysteries of hues youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d know
Another poem of Rain
Peron ki mehndi mein nay
Kis mushkil say chhuraie thi
aur phir bairon khushboo ki
kaisi kaisi binti ki thi
pyari dheray bol
bhra ghar jag uthay ga
lekin jub us kay aanay ki ghari hoi
subah say aisi jhari lagi
umer mein pehli bar
barish achhi nahin lagi!
The henna on my feet
I scrubbed away so hard
And to insolent fragrance
Intensely I had begged
Dear speak lowly
Lest the full house might wake up
But when the time of his arrival came
Since morning the rain so set in
First time in my life
Rain didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t amuse me!
Yet another poem of rain
Barish ab say pehlay bhi kai bar hoi thi
kia is bar meray rangrez nay chunri kachchi rangi thi
ya tan ka hi kehna such keh
rung to us kay honton mein tha!
It had rained often before
Did my dyer badly colored the scarf this time?
Or my torso had told the truth that
The colour was in his lips.
Naveed E. is a former civil servant, with a passion for poetry and writing.