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Dreams and Desires of a Silent Heart

Lahore ke us pehle jile ke do pargana mein pahunche ,

Resham gali ke duje kuche ke chauthe makaan mein pahunche,

Aur kehte hain jisko dooja mulk us Pakistan mein pahunche,

Likhta hoon khat main hindustan se pehloo-e-husna mein pahunche

I felt like I am in Lahore in the first district and the second subdivision

I felt like I am in that Resham street, in the second colony’s fourth house,

I felt like I am in Pakistan, that place which they call a different country now

I felt like I was by the side of you Husna, as I write this letter from Hindustan

(This could also mean “Hope this letter that I write from Hindustan reaches you Husna”)

Main to hoon baitha o Husna meri yaadon puraani mein khoya

Pal pal ko ginta, pal pal ko chunta beeti kahaani mein khoya

Patte jab jhadte Hindustaan mein yaadein tumhari ye bole

Hota ujala Hindustan mein baatein tumhari ye bola

O Husna meri ye to bata do hota hai aisa kya us gulistan mein,

Rehti ho nanhi kabootar si gum tum jahan

O Husna I sit here lost in the old memories, Counting every moment, picking up memories, lost in old conversations

When the leaves fall here in Hindustan they remind me of you, Whenever Hindustan lights up, it reminds me of you

O my Husna, tell me does this happen in that flower garden too (referring to Pakistan), where you live like a small pigeon who has lost its way

Patte kya jhadte hain Pakistan mein waise jaise jhadte yahan o Husna

Hota ujala kya waisa hi hai jaise hota Hindustan mein haan o Husna

Do the leaves fall from trees in Pakistan too, like they do here o Husna

Does that place light up the same way as Hindustan o Husna

Wo Heero ke Ranjhe ke nagmein mujhko ab tak aa aake satayein

Wo Bulleh Shah ke takriron ke jheene jheene saaye

Wo id ki eidi , lambi namaazein, sevaiyyon ke jhalar

Wo diwali ke diye sang mein baisakhi ke badal

Holi ki wo lakdi jinmein sang sang aanch lagayi

Lohdi ka wo dhuan jismein dhadkan hai sulgayi

Those melodies of Heer and Ranjha haunt me even now (literally come to me and trouble me)

Those fine speeches of Bulleh Shah

The gifts of eid, the long namaaz sessions, the tassel like vermicelli sweets

The lamps of Diwali and the clouds in Baisakhi

The fire from the burnt woods on Holi which we lit together

The smoke from the Lohdi fire which lit up our hearts (literally heart beats)

O Husna meri ye to bata do lohdi ka dhuan kya ab bhi nikalta hai jaisa nikalta tha us daur mein wahan

Dhuen mein gulistaan ye barbaad ho raha hai,ek rang syaah ke ijaad ho raha hai

Heeron ke Ranjho ke nagmein kya ab bhi sune jaate hain wahan o Husna

Aur rota hai raaton mein Pakistan kya waise jaise Hindustan o Husna

O my Husna tell me does the smoke of Lohdi still rise like it used to during that time ( referring to the period before partition)

The smoke (referring here to the fire from wars) is destroying this garden of flowers, its as if a new black color (darkness) is being created

Do they still listen to the melodies of Heer and Ranjha there (in Pakistan) o Husna?

And does Pakistan also cry just like Hindustan during the nights?

This song is a letter from a lover Javed who is in India to his beloved Husna who is in Pakistan. (as described here) The letter is written after partition where he writes about not only how much he misses her but also asks her how is it like to be in Pakistan after partition.

The piece actually comes up with things I had never thought of before. I do not know how it would have been to have to leave everything you own and your land behind just because a bunch of people in power decided that there should be two separate nations, and the basis of separation being religion. But the poem made me think, think about how similar things would have been before partition. How before Pakistan became a Muslim nation festivals like Lohdi, Holi would have also been celebrated with the same pomp and show like Eid. I never imagined but the region we now called Pakistan would have lit up during Diwali just like any other place in the region we now call India. And as an Indian I know we celebrate Eid, but I really do not know what Indian festivals are celebrated in Pakistan. I do not have a separated beloved in Pakistan, but I am as ignorant as Javed is about how different are India and Pakistan after all after the partition?

I know it is really easy to write about such things sitting in front of my computer screen, but I am sure it must be really tough for those who have lost their loved ones in the name of religion or in the name of partition or on the border in the name of patriotism. I might have been equally spiteful about the people on the other side of the border. I know their loss is irreparable, but their feeling of revenge is just a part of a never ending chain reaction, and that is what keeps the fire burning at the border, and that is what separates Javed from his Husna. It is a sensitive issue , and I do not consider myself experienced enough to talk about it but I hope some day we can talk about it openly and sort out matters and live in peace……and till then “rota hai raaton Pakistan waise jaise Hindustan”

(That last line made the poem complete by adding a sense of incompleteness to the poem…..)

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