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

Posted on February 9, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Humor, Poetry
Total Views: 88524

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. Razi says:

    At the mention of that Mazahiya Mushaira…..I also recall a parody of Raees Amrohi with the following sher:

    “Ab Kaam mil gaya hae hamen Abdoz pe
    Gehre samandar-on ki ser kar rahe haen hum”

  2. sanjeeda komal says:

    Dear Pakistan and my Pakistanies fellow,for the sake of Allah please take care of each other and don’t fight. try to save pakistan .Its my humble request to all of you who has power to do so .I hope Allah will help you and me.

    Pakistan Zinda baad .( Inshallah)

  3. @mozang bijli: I think I am old enough to have heard it myself, but perhaps too old to remember when and how ;-) I seem to have a vague notion that it was a comedy program (quite possibly 50/50)?

    @ Adnan Ahmad: Thanks for pointing that out, I will now have to look up the Jaun Elia book, or at least the full poem on teh internets… I discovered Jaun Elia late, but I can understand fully how one can feel about his works… The effect is powerful!

  4. Adnan Ahmad says:


    Just reading your comment I think this seems to be a direct shot at Jaun Elia’s famous lines ..” kia wo giroh guzar guyai, haan wo giroh guzar gayai– kia wo bisaat ulat guyee, haan wo..”

    It is heartening to see people comment about a writer whose work will always remain a dear part of me.

  5. mozang bijli says:

    @ taman khamosh
    i do’nt know that exact origin of this poem but reportedly it was presented in some of PTV’s comedy program in which bushra ansari played the part of a an azad shaira. I m too young to clearly remember this program but this is what i have heard from my elder’s because this line “kiya woh sarak hoi tamam, haan woh sarak hoi tamam” is very popular in our family.
    And Owais sb thanks a lot for thie great post on Shafiq -ur rehman. Neeli jhel is nostalgic. I am a great fan of shafiq sab and my favorite among his character is “Shaitan” who kept falling for any thing wearing a duppata and insisted on genuineness of his sentiments saying “mujhay mohabat se sakht mohabat aur nafrat se sakht nafrat hoti ja rahi”. Another interesting character was “ainak appa”. Shaitan once got offended with ainak appa and said “shaitn ainak ki is baat per bohat khafa howe aur unhon ne socha key ainak appa ko iss ki baqaida saza di jaye , yani un se mohabat ki jaye”

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