Anti War Poem Parchaiyaan by Sahir Ludhianvi

Since long has the polemic of politics decreed
That the child that flowers into youth is ripe for slaughter
Since long have the rulers decreed
That poisonous weeds be sown in far- off lands

***

bahut dinon se hai ye mashgala
siyasat ka
ke jab jawaan ho to bachche katl ho jayain
bahut dinon se hai ye khabt hukamranon ka
ke door door ke mulkon main kehat bo aain

***

Here are the last few stanzas of Sahir Ludhianvi’s taveel nazm Parchaiyaan that is reminiscent of Faiz’s Mujh se pehli si mohabbat meri mehboob na maang – Faiz juxtaposed romantic love with revolution, Sahir does the same by juxtaposing romantic love with a call to oppose war.

The Shadows

Since long has the polemic of politics decreed
That the child that flowers into youth is ripe for slaughter
Since long have the rulers decreed
That poisonous weeds be sown in far- off lands

Since long are the dreams of youth vacuous
Since long love seeks refuge
Since long, on the trampled roads
Life, like a maiden’s honor, seeks a sheltering roof

Let us call upon all suffering souls
To give voice to their wounds
Our secrets are not only ours
They belong to the entire world
Let this entire world, henceforth, be our confidant

Let us tell these political gamblers
That we hate their ways of war and destruction
Life that is draped in hues of only the colour of blood
Is repugnant to us

Let us declare that if a murderer comes this way
Each road shall turn narrower
Each waft of breeze shall turn around viciously
Each delicate branch of every tree
Shall harden into veins of stone

Arise and tell the war mongers
What we need are tools to work
It is not other’s lands that we crave
We need ploughs to farm our own land

Declare that no usurper
Shall turn his eyes towards us
No maiden’s honour shall be sold again
The vast lands have arisen
The crops are shoulder high
No strip of land now shall be sold

This is the land of Gautam and Nanak
No spoilers shall stride on these sacred lands
Our blood belongs to the generations to come
Swords shall not sprout from our blood

Declare that if even today we remain silent
This throbbing world shall cease to be
A world engulfed in atomic furies
Shall not last,
Nor shall the skies be

During the previous wars
only the homes and hearths were razed
But this time it will not be surprising if even our solitudes remain no more
During the previous wars
It was only bodies that were lost
But this time, it will not be surprising
If even the shadows are forever gone

The mind begins to conjure shadows of imaginations

***

Picture acknowlegements here, and here

I had translated these stanzas in the wake of the nuclear blasts by India and Pakistan in May 1998 but find them as relevant now as they were then, or when they were written.

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Published by

bhupinder singh

reader, mainly and an occasional blogger

11 thoughts on “Anti War Poem Parchaiyaan by Sahir Ludhianvi”

  1. Important reminder in this bleeding era. Thanks for posting this. Great translation.

    Sahir is one of my favourite poets. If you have the original of this poem, would you share it?

  2. >Sahir is one of my favourite poets. If you have the original of this poem, would you share it?

    Added to my “to do” list 🙂

  3. oh fine on 9th august nagasaki day we distributed sahir poems against war these r powerful poems against war isrial attack on labnon is grat danger to peace …

    raghbir

  4. Thanks for the comment, Raghbir.

    For me, as for so many of us, Sahir’s poetry is reminiscent of the times of peace marches and struggle and the hope that it provided.

    I do remember those long marches in the heat of Delhi, those long nights in the days of terrorism in Ludhiana and the succor that Sahir, Faiz, even Kaifi and Sardar Jafri provided.

    Seems these are causes that will live with us all our lives, and this poetry we will continue to breathe in this poetry with our breath.

  5. There is anotehr (I think) Sahir poem that has this haunting verse:

    khet apnay jalaiN kay aurouN kay
    kokh dharti ki baanjh houti hai

    Tank aagay baRhaiN kay peechay haTaiN
    zindagi maeetouN pay routi hai

    I have probably got the order and some words wrong but this line about ‘khet apnay jalaiN kay aurouN kay’ has always struck me as a very powerful idea

  6. Adil: I guess you are referring to Sahir’s nazm “Ai shareef insaanon”:

    Taink aage badain ke peeche hatain
    kokh dharti ki baanjh hoti hai
    fateh ka jashn ho ki haar ka sog
    zindagi mayyaton pe roti hai

    jang ko khud masla hai aik
    jang kya maslon ka hal degi

  7. Thank you…. that’s what I was looking for

    jang tou khud aik masaala hai
    jang kiya masalouN ka hall dey gi

    Ever since I wrote that ccomment i have been searching for my copy of Sahir’s Qulliat (collection)…. I will now search for it again with mroe vigor 😉

  8. Bhupinder, great work with the translation. It definitely is one of the most impressive nazm that Sahir has written. Then again, I’m impressed by everything 🙂

    Bhaswati, please click on my name to read the full version of this long nazm on sahirludhianvi.com

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