billi – an excerpt from Shafiq-ur-Rehman’s ‘lehreN’

Posted on February 9, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Humor, Poetry
Total Views: 107028

English translation is given at the end.

Owais Mughal

Following ‘azad’ poem is by one of my favourite writers, Shafiq-ur-Rehman and it comes from his book ‘lehreN’. The poem is actually a satire on modern day poets who write ‘azad’ Urdu poem by using all the ‘azadi’ they can get. The poem describes a situation of fighting cats in a garden. I hope it brings a smile to you just like it has been bringing smiles to me for the past 20 years.

Here is my attempt at an approximate translation for our English readers:

Cats are fighting
Oh Cats
May be cats are fighting in garden now
There is the haze of dusk
It is time to rest
to work
get rewarded
And cats are fighting
May be they are 4 in number
or may be 3
But this little doubt has made house in my heart
that the cats are 5 in number
and definitely they cannot be 6
and the night is glowing in moonlight
and the moon is shining bright
and the moonlight is ubiquitous
and this moonlight will only last for a little while
and then there is a pitch dark night ahead
What was i saying?
Aah, it just slipped out of my mind
What happened to my memory?
Only God can fix it
Oh Yes, I just remembered!
the cats are fighting
Cats are probably finghting in the garden now!

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30 responses to “billi – an excerpt from Shafiq-ur-Rehman’s ‘lehreN’

  1. This reminded me of these few lines.. I don’t remember who said these.. I think it was on fifty fifty or something? no idea, anyhow:

    Kiaa voh saRak hu’ie tamaam?
    haaN voh saRak hu’ia tamaam.

    kiaa voh Tarak guzar ga’ay?
    haaN voh Tarak guzar ga’ay.

    murGh-o Shutar kay darmi’yaaN
    gaa’aeN raheeN nah bakri’yaaN

    maeray tamaam chaarah gar
    ghar maeN jo thaa voh char ga’ay

    Anyone know the origins of the above piece?

  2. Samurai Zauq says:

    Lat night I was reading Shafeeq-ur-rehman’s Himaqatain, and I said to my better half, “Someone should really write a in-depth on essay on him, I know so little about one of the greatest urdu Humorist, who was he, other then that he was a general, doctor and a dil phaik

    I guess I was being clairvoyant:)


  3. Sajid says:

    @ Owais

    Shafiq ur Rehman nay kiya khoob kaha hay

    “Tasswurat ki neeli jheelain or doosray kinaray Umr bhar insan ka peecha nahi chortay”

  4. Owais Mughal says:

    ”neeli jheel” is indeed a chapter that always sends me in another world of fantasy and nostalgia. It has lessons on life philosophy also especially the ones told by a character ‘Rustum’ who was the servant in the household.

  5. Adnan Ahmad says:

    This brought back many wonderful memories going as far back as those long endless summers of 6th grade when I first read “neeli jheel” and “hamaaqatein.” I would be a different man if I didn’t read Shafiqurahman’s books. I am also a fan of his serious prose in “insaani tamasha” (a translation), kirnain etc. A few in an other post have mentioned tuzk-e-jahangiri; I suggest they should also read SR’s tuzk-e-naadri.

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