Poems of Sumaira Seravat
Translated by Muhammad Shanazar
I have thought,
If my half-travelled journey
I shall unburden my exhaustion.
I shall look for the lake of contentment,
I shall soak the rose-petals,
And place them upon the eyes.
In case I find some coins,
While walking on the way,
I shall consume thinking them a blessing.
My hands are perforated,
I shall spend all seasons by stopping over,
Listening to the sounds coming across,
And then my caravan:
I, my heart and my shadow
Will dance and dance in the shower of rain.
(In the memory of a daughter buried alive in Pre-Islamic times.)
O! Father where are we going to? Bazaar!
What will you buy for me?
Doll, toys and a string of pearls!
I shall put on a string of white pearls
On my blue costume,
And shall return before the evening befalls.
Father! The shadows make me appalled,
Mother said, “Come back before the darkness prevails.”
Father! Would you take me back along?
”Yes! Will go back,” the father answered.
The girl was little,
But cumbersome were her apprehensions
Of darkness and shadows.
A thought to go back to mother,
Affection of the younger brother, everything she was recalling.
“Father never showed affection before this day,
How he took along me to buy a doll and a string of pearls,
All assurances of father are false and intention mala-fide,
There dwell serpents of hatred of in his heart, “she said to herself.
But the world whispered to him, “The daughter is a spot
Of disgrace and one becomes downcast.”
How meagre were the demands of the girl of six!
How many sons her two brothers had!
Yes; the same sons, heirs of the heredity,
Who enhance grandeur;
They enable a father to walk with high head.
Though he had nine sons,
Yet one daughter made his nights sleepless.
All times she had been saying, “My good father!
Swing me on the arms; bring me a string of pearls.”
She always complained to her father,
“Why am I not an apple of your eyes?
Why don’t you have affection for me?”
I am all alone why mother remains annoyed
And brothers irritated too.
Though we live in the same house yet no one cares for me.”
(When shadows began to merge the father and the daughter stopped over a spot and she became afraid.)
“This is not a bazaar,
Everywhere surrounds inhibited wilderness,
With no human being.
O! Father what you are doing.
Have you concealed some treasure in sand of the desert?
Yes; I have to find my diamonds,
My pearls, my gold and prestige to live life with splendour.
O! Father I am thirsty, we have travelled a long way,
Let’s go back home without loss of more time.”
Father said, “Now you will have to remain here forever!”
“This is a wasteland; I will not live here,
I will go back to my mother,
I will play in the company of my brother,
He might be missing me,” the daughter said weeping.
The father dug a ditch with his own hands and said,
“I shall bring you here all things you yearn for,
Now you just lie in the ditch.”
The father began to bury his daughter,
The daughter wept, shrieked, shouted in agony,
“Father you promised to bring me a doll from the bazaar,
A string of pearls, dress, father what you have done!
Inside is dismal dark, let me come out,
I shall demand from you nothing.
I promise to you, I am being stifled inside here.
Father! Mom said to return before the night falls,
Let me go home you will never find me out,
My good father! I shall never tease you,
My promise, for the sake of God let me come out,
Inside I shall die, at last I am your daughter,
Just see my face once. Will you never remember me?”
Alas! Her weeping and wailing subdued in the grave,
But father’s heart did not soften,
In the depth of ditch, and loneliness of the desert
He buried his daughter with his own hands
And he returned with a high head and splendid walk
But silences bemoaned and bewailed behind,
And now bewailing voices are buried
Beneath the layers of fifteen centuries.
I dreamt a dream yester-night,
With an account of dejection,
With a shade of disappointment,
And some references of tears,
When it broke there was nothing.
Then again I dreamt a dream,
With the colours of pleasures,
With fragrances of spring,
And some references of light,
When it broke there was nothing.
I found the final fact,
Life is nothing but sinking voices,
And sometimes confidant of delights.
Another year has come who knows where from,
And what stock has it brought,
A few pleasures but a heap of sorrows,
A network of troubles, fluctuations of hope.
Right! Ask Time what tidings It has brought,
Whether we may get a little pure water,
Clean air and a dream-house
In a beloved village of emotions.
We may get these all but how should I find the route,
And whom should I ask for to show the path,
Some say a few steps afar is the destination,
Some misinform. If my heart beats gruffly
And then halts where I should repose.
Why shouldn’t I standing on the roof, early in the morn
Write with finger on the blue heart of the sky,
“O! Great God, Graceful God,
You are the Great Spirit ruling the Cosmos
And both of the worlds, here and hereafter,
You are The First and the Last,
Everything is to perish, but You are to remain behind,
With your Grace and superfluous Kindness,
Now support them all who are about to tumble.”
Get me crossed the river,
My heart dawdles on the bank,
While making foot-prints
On the stretched shawl of sand,
It dreads of the noise made by water;
My Anchal likea flying-horse,
Flies on shoulders of the wind.
Get me crossed on the farther bank,
Pong of smoke from all side around,
Underneath are cold of the river
And black layers of darkness,
But transparent is outer sky.
Take me along to the boat,
In front and at rear of my heart,
And behind in my back are the increasing fears.
My confidant resides across the bank,
In the farther home, and all alone
I have to journey through the torrents,
Take me along to the destination,
My companion, you are my destination,
Get me crossed the tempestuous river.
He had been with me for many years,
Laughed, enjoyed himself a lot
And then got disappointed.
He said, “It is hard to be happy every day.
Let’s celebrate sorrows”
I said, “Whom?” He replied, “Of all.”
Then he became tired of sorrows too
And began to remain silent;
I thought that he might have passed away,
But he was alive, his heart became cumbrous,
He then said to me,
“Where have gone those all kinfolks and aliens?”
Let’s go to see someone
Those who lived in a house of lush green street,
Those who had all sons.
Let’s go to see the woman who always cooked
Dainty dishes to entertain the guests.
Yes, she was my friend that lived at Gujar Singh Fort,
Who had no relatives but a daughter.
All those fate-flattened like colours of rain-bow
In tears were mere portraits hanging on the wall,
Or tales written in my note book;
But I had been well acquainted to all.
What a time that was!
What excitements I had!
How many desires were yet to be fulfilled!
It seemed as if coming years would be
The oasis of AlafLaila, the emerging colours
Would be flying with thrilling beauties;
But look what has happened?
Where have gone those all?
Is there anyone to give a clue to trace them all?
I had nothing to do then what should I say
Parting-pain, decline, and grief in extreme,
I had only one clue that I gave him,
Written on the wall since beginning,
Death, demise and extinction,
The route to nothingness. He gazed and gazed
In the vacancy, silent like a statute,
As if devoid of sentiments with hollow heart.
The wind is a bankless tale,
Brought up by liberties,
Acquainted with peacefulness of heart,
And indifference of chests. Why should
We say to knock at the door of Truth,
We should bid farewell to night
Wrapping our ears with lies,
For some other route is the route of wind.
In each arena of execution,
The wind leaves behind tormenting tints
On leaching wounds of the bodies,
For the wind is brought up by liberties.
Boundless incarnated patience,
His eyes reflected the radiant Truth of God,
He brought the dead into life, and came
Into the world bearing commands of God,
Whatever he spoke, he spoke nothing but the Truth,
And was known as Ibn-e-Marium (the son of Marry).
He had a lofty character; He could cure leprous instantly,
Bestowed He eyesight the innate blind,
He came to recompense sinners of the world,
And He got the gift of Cross in response.
After reading and listening to all, the heart repeats,
O! Christ you will shine till the world lasts,
Come again to perform miracles.
O! Christ, O! Christ.
Translated by Muhammad Shanazar