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Monday, August 31, 2015
Amrita Pritam’s `Ode to Waris Shah’.. #Poetry
Amrita Pritam's `Ode to Waris Shah'.. #Poetry
Today (31st August) is Amrita Pritam's 96th birth anniversary. Amrita Pritam (1919 – 2005) was one of the most prominent female writers and poets of our time. She published over seventy books – novels, short stories and poems.
Amrita Pritam was born into a Sikh family of "Gujranwala">. She was the only child of a school teacher and a poet. Her mother died when she was eleven. Amrita married at the age of 16, and divorced in 1960, at the age of 41.
At the time of Partition, in 1947, Amrita migrated to Delhi. After migration, she started writing primarily in Hindi, instead of her native Punjabi. She has authored two autobiographies, titled, Rasidi Ticket' and,Aksharon ke Saaye'. Her novel, `Pinjar' (Skeleton) about the agonies of Partition riots, was also turned into a movie. Amrita's impromptu capturing of the condition of
My own understanding of pure Punjabi being severely limited, this translation would have been impossible without the inputs from Samina Rizwan, who researched the `Luddan' reference and came up with a plausible explanation. Also, her brother Umar Rafi who started it all by circulating his own translation, which I have used as a reference point.
Amrita Pritam passed away on 31st Oct 1995 at Delhi.
AN ODE TO WARIS SHAH – by Amrita Pritam Aaj aakhaN Waris Shah nuuN, kitoN kabraaN vichchoN bol, te aaj kitab-e ishq daa koii aglaa varkaa phol
Waris Shah, I beseech thee, speak up from your grave To love's eternal treatise, please add another leaf
ik roii sii dhii punjaab dii, tuuN likh likh maare vaen, aaj lakhaaN dhiiaaN rondiaa, tainuN waris shah nuN kahen
A single daughter wept once, you screamed out in protest Today a million daughters weep and implore you, Waris Shah:
uTh dardmandaaN diaa dardiaa, uth takk apnaa Punjaab aaj bele lashaaN bichhiaaN te lahu dii bharii chenab
Oh, voice of the anguished Arise, see the plight of your Punjab The fields are lined with corpses, the Chenab flows red with blood
kise ne panjaN paniaN vichch dittii zahar ralaa te unhaaN paniiaaN dharat nuuN dittaa paanii laa
Who has stirred this poison into our rivers' waters? It is this very water that now irrigates our land
is zarkhez zamiin de luun luun phuttia zaher gitth gitth charhiaaN laaliaN fuuT fuuT charhiaa kaher
This fertile land sprouts venom, from each and every pore The sky has now turned crimson, from all these cries of gore
veh valliissii vha pher, van van vaggii jaa, ohne har ik vans di vanjhalii ditti naag banaa
It's a terribly ill wind that rages through the woods Transforming every bamboo-shoot into a deadly snake
pehlaa dang madaariaN, mantar gaye guaach, dooje dang di lagg gayii, jane khane nuN laag
The very first snake-bite, and the charmer lost his spell Yet every bite after that addicted them all the more..
laagaaN kiile lok muNh, bus phir dang hi dang, palo palii punjaab de, neele pae gaye ang
Addicted to these waters, to be bitten again and again See how the limbs of Punjab have turned blue with pain
gale'oN tutt'e geet phir, takaleon tuttii tand, trinjanoN tuttiaaN saheliaaN, chaRakhRre ghuukar band
The songs have all been silenced, the cotton threads are snapped The girls have fled the courtyards, the spinning wheels are mute
sane sej de beriaaN, luddaN dittiaaN rohr, sane daliaan peengh aj, piplaaN dittii toR
The wedding beds and the boats have all been cast away And the Pipal branch, the swing lies broken in disarray
jitthe vajdii sii phuuk pyaar dii, ve oh vanjhalii gayii guaach raanjhe de sab veer aaj, bhul gaye uhadii jaach
The flute that just knew love, has been forever lost Even Ranjha's brethren no longer know this art