Dasht e Tanhai

SO its been a while since ive posted anything on this blog. Ill try to make a comeback to blogging by posting one of my favorite Urdu ghazals. The poem is titled ‘Dasht e Tanhai’, and it is by the most iconic Urdu poet of Pakistan, Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Faiz was a man whose love for his country and people cost him his freedom. The poem was written during one of his tenures under incarceration, and conveys his longing for the times gone by, times when public opinion and freedom of expression weren’t met with oppression and subjugation.

The poem is historic and has been reproduced in various forms over the years, forever maintaining its ominous message and relevance.

Dasht-e-tanhaai mein, ai jaan-e-jahaan larzaan hai
Teri awaaz ke saaye, tere honthon ke saraab
In the desert of my solitude, O love of my life, quiver
The shadows of your voice, the mirage of your lips

Dasht-e-tanhaai mein
doori ke khas-o-khaak talay
Khil rahe hain tere pehloo ke saman aur gulaab
In the desert of my solitude
Beneath the dust and ashes of distance
Bloom the jasmines and roses of your proximity


Uth rahi hai kahin qurbat se teri saans ke aanch
Apni kushboo mein sulagti hui, madhdham madhdham
From somewhere very close, rises the warmth of your breath
Smoldering in its own aroma, slowly, bit by bit

Door ufaq paar chamakti hui, qatraa qatraa
Gir rahi hai tere dildaar nazar ki shabnam
Glistens, far away, across the horizon, drop by drop
the falling dew of your beguiling glance

Kis qadar pyaar se ai jaan-e-jahaan rakhkha hai
Dil ke rukhsaar pe is waqt teri yaad ne haath
With such tenderness, O love of my life
On the cheek of my heart, has your memory placed its hand now

Yoon gumaan hotaa hai, garche hai abhi subhaa-e-firaaq
Dhal gayaa hijr kaa din, aa bhi gayi vasl ke raat
It looks as if, though its still the dawn of adieu
the sun of separation has set, and the night of union has arrived.

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