LOOK AT THE TOWN FROM HERE

                       

(FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ)

 

 

If you

      look at the town from here:

 

In concentric circles

        like a jail

      there are walls all around.

Every path some prisoner's footmarks.

But

      no milestone, destination;

      or a well-wisher's stand.

 

If someone moves too quickly

then one wonders:

      Why has there not been

      a warning shout to stop?

And,

If someone raises his hand

then one ponders:

      Why no jingles been heard

      from his manacled arms?

 

Look at the town from here:

 

In all that crowd

      no person with dignity,

      no being with reason.

Every proud man

        enchained as a criminal.

Every pretty woman

        proclaimed a slave.

 

Those shadows far away,

dancing around the lamps!

It is hard to see from here

        an assembly of mourners,

     or a bunch of revellers?

Those colourful images,

scattered on the walls!

One can not tell from here

        are they blooming flowers

     or someone's blood smears?

 

 

(Translated from Urdu by Sain Sucha)