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3 Heartfelt Poems Expressing Grief Over The Fall Of Dhaka

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The fall of Dhaka is a tragic part of our history and one that will forever be etched in the nation’s collective memory. Many poets tried to encapsulate the feeling of loss that arose after breakup of Pakistan. Here are three iconic poems written on/about the fall of Dhaka.

Legendary Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz visited Bangladesh after it had become an independent country following a year of civil war and brutal atrocities in the region which was previously known as East Pakistan. He wrote the following poem upon his return from Bangladesh.

Hum ke thehray ajnabi

Hum ke thehray ajnabi itni madaaraton ke baad
Phir banein ge aashnaa kitni mulaaqaaton ke baad

Kab nazar mein aaye gi be-daagh sabzay ki bahaar
Khoon ke dhabbay dhuleinge kitni barsaaton ke baad

Thay bouhat be-dard lamhay khatm-e-dard-e-ishq ke
Thi bouhat be-mehar subhein meharbaan raaton ke baad

Dil to chaahaa, par shikast-e-dil ne moh’lat hee na di
Kuch gilay shikway bhi kar letay munaajaton ke baad

Unse jo kehnay gaye thay Faiz jaan sadqaa kiye
An-kahee hee reh gayi woh baat sab baaton ke baad

 

Translation:

After so much cordiality we are once again strangers

After how many meetings will we again be friends?

When will we see the unsullied green of spring?

After how many monsoons will the stains of blood
be washed?

The time of the end of our love was so cruel

After nights of intimacy the mornings so unkind

My quickly defeated heart did not even allow me

After my entreaties, the chance to fret and fuss

What you had gone to say, Faiz, to swear upon your life

After everything was said, that still remained unsaid

 

Woh humsafar tha

‘Woh hum-safar tha’ is a ghazal written in 1971 by Naseer Turabi, expressing the grief over separation of Pakistan’s East wing.

Tarq-e-taaluqaat pe…
Roya na tu, na main
Lekin yeh kya ke chain se soya na tu, na main

Woh humsafar thaa magar us sey humnawai na thi…
Ke dhoop chaaon ka aalam raha, judaai na thi..

Adaavatein theen, taghaaful thaa, ranjishein theen magar..
Bicharne walay main sab kuch thaa, be-wafaai na thi

Bicharte waqt unn ankhon mein thi hamaari ghazal
Ghazal bhi wo jo kisi ko kabhi sunai na thi

Translation:

When we parted ways,
Neither you cried nor I,
But, what is this that a peaceful sleep since,
Has not touched our eyes?
He was my companion,
But not in harmony were we,
Like the clouds and sunlight,
Together but as apart as can be.
There were feelings of animosity,
Indifference,
And anguish between us,
My departed lover, had been everything,
But unfaithful.
Last time I looked into his eyes,
My poetry reflected back at me,
Verses, that which I had never,
Recited to anyone.

 

Jaag meray Punjab
Another poem about the tragedy of separation of East Pakistan was sung by revolutionary poet Habib Jalib. ‘Jaag meray Punjab’ calls on the people of Punjab to wake up and work towards ending the circumstances that led to the fall of Dhaka.

Jaag meray Punjab ke Pakistan chala..
Toot chalay sab khuwab ke pakistan chala..

Sindh, Balochistan tu kab se rotay hain..
Aur ahal-e-Punjab abhi tak sotay hian..

Aankhain hain pur-aab ke pakistan chala..
Jaag meray Punjab ke Pakistan chala..

Jin ko Zaat ka gham hai wo kab manay hain..
Be-bas loogon par bandooq taanay hain..

Qatil hain asbaab ke Pakistan chala..
Jaag meray Punjab ke Pakistan chala..

Aag ki barish hai, gulshan dhuwan dhuwan..
Rawish rawsih aab kaliyoon ki mahkaar kahan..

Sapnay huy Gulaab ke Pakistan chala..
Jaag meray punjab ke Pakistan chala..

Zu’am hai ye balwanoon ko ke hum jeetay gain..
Aur kahon main ye ke dukh ke din beetain gay..

Jam hue zahar aab ke Pakistan chala..
Jaag meray Punjab ke Pakistan chala..

Afsurda ghazlain, farsuda afsanay hain..
Had nazar tak phailay hue wiranay hain..

Darya hue sairab ke Pakistan chala..
Jaag meray punjab ke Pakistan chala..

Inhi chalan se hum se juda Bengal hua..
Pooch na is dukh se jo dil ka haal hua..

Roko ye sailab ke Pakistan chala..
Jaag meray Punjab ke Pakistan chala..

Translation:

Awake my Punjab,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Our dreams have faded now,
Pakistan is ebbing away,

Sindh Baluchistan have been
weeping for ages.

The people of Punjab
are still lost asleep.

And eyes are filling with tears,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Awake my Punjab,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

When will these self obsessed people
stand up and protest.

at rifles being turned
on helpless people.

People killed for their beliefs,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Awake my Punjab,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Your rains falls,
leaving our garden full of smoke.

What has happened to the fragrance
of flowers on the branches?

Roses are now no more than a dream,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Awake my Punjab,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

There is tyranny,
but we shall overcome these bullies.

And I say these distressing days
will not lost.

Our cup has been poisoned
Pakistan is ebbing away

Awake my Punjab,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Love’s songs are sorrowful
and stories full of laments.

The deserts stretch out
as far as the eye an see

Rivers have become illusions
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Awake my Punjab,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Our cup has been poisoned
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Awake my Punjab,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Because of this behaviour
Bengal has split away.

Do not ask what sorrow
that event has caused.

We have got to stem this tide
Pakistan is ebbing away.

Awake my Punjab,
Pakistan is ebbing away.

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