Roshniyoun ka Shehr: A Tribute

Posted on May 18, 2007
Filed Under >Raza Rumi, Poetry, Society
Total Views: 28735

Raza Rumi

Aggrieved by the recent sinister, senseless violence and brutal murders in Karachi, this is my feeble attempt at poetic expression.

I have also trans-created this Urdu poem below titled Adrift.

Jal gaya – tha ik roshniyon ka shaher

Jal gaya – tha ik roshniyon ka shaher
Bujh gaye kitnay jaltay aur adh-jalay chiragh
Magar kotwaal-i-shaher ne mur kar na dekha

Jism kis ka, khoon kahan aur maut kaisee?
Yeh qatl na tha dosto
Yeh qatl hai ik ehad ka
Yeh nohaa hai insaniyat ka

Insaniyat ka khatma karnay walay jantay nahee
Insaan marta hai – bhujta nahee

Ahle-hawas aur ahle-dil
Huay sab ke sab, aseer-i-shab-i-siyah

aur ham
roshniyon ke muntazir
bhujtey jugnoo-on ko dhoondtay
thakay haray
gharon ka rasta bhool gaye

And here is a version trans-created in English


Once a city of lights, stands ruined
Lamps – lit and half-lit, all extinguished
And the guardians of the city, unmoved

Which body, what blood and whose death?
This was not a murder my friends
This was the murder of our times
A prolonged elegy of humanity

Those hell-bent on erasing humanity, are, unaware
Man dies but cannot be lost

The bleeding hearts and the hearts with no remorse
All trapped in the darkness of the night

And we the forlorn
Wait for the light
Attempting to seek dying fireflies
Tired, exhausted
Lost on our way home!

Raza Rumi blogs at Jahane Rumi where this was first published.

21 responses to “Roshniyoun ka Shehr: A Tribute”

  1. s.ahmad says:

    please see this video- i tried my best to contribute something while away from home

    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

  2. Karachite says:

    Because of terrible load shedding this roshniyoun ka shehr has a new ironic meaning for karachi now

  3. Zurkah says:

    Let’s suppose CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry opted to visit Karachi a day later than scheduled on
    13 May. Would it have spared Karachi from the tragic loss of life?

    Did the authorities take appropriate measures to diffuse the situation or to flare it up?

    Are there any signs that flexibility and accommodation was adequately exhausted as the foremost and prefereable option? Or was it puposeful, deliberate show of strength by a bunch of heavyhanded persons?

  4. observer says:

    MQM is now on Guardian Unlimited Talk.
    You should take part in it. .28@.775e9989/9

  5. Raza Rumi says:

    Thanks to all the readers who commented on the poem.
    I agree with SJH – despite the odds we must not give up the spirit of hoping for the best and doing all that we can to improve the conditions of our country.
    Sounds naive, I know but I remain an optimist!

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