Friday, 7 March 2014

Pashto Poetry: Sartoor Malang (The Insane Sufi)

By Dr. Syed Bahauddin Majroh

This poem is Translated by Faraz Jamil Kakar. Original Pashto poem is from Syed Bahauddin Majroh's book "Na-Ashna Sandari" (Stranger's Songs).

Dr. Bahauddin Majroh's Na-Ashna Sandari

Youth does not know
That there exists an old Hakeem of wisdom – the insane Sufi
Poem: Sartoor Malang  (page 1 of 4)
He exists and that is why – battle with ignorance continues
He is that mighty Hakeem…
Who destroyed tyrants like Changez
Who survived the bloodthirsty fist of Hitler
And confronted dark terror of Stalin
Entered prisons and dark dungeons
Freed himself from this dark terror
Yet this lover
Followed his love – Freedom
Did not surrender
To tyranny, injustice and power
Followed his love to burning hell

Be there kings or mighty Emperors
Hitlers or Stalins
All have one rival
This one mighty Hakeem of wisdom

His wisdom brings him troubles always
Restless dreams, worries and distress

Youth never tries
To find and listen to old stories
Poem: Sartoor Malang  (page 2,3)
Wise Hakeem says:
When there is youth and youthful spirit
When human face has humanity behind it
When there is compassion, tolerance and kindness
When there is freedom and sympathy
When there is sanity and rationality
Then blind obedience does not exist
No need for acting or pretending
No class or status

Once a great power rose
That made its presence felt everywhere
Erected big palaces
Brought down old idols
This great power was – critique and wisdom
It started a new era
Awakened the deep asleep
Cured the sickness of superstition

And when the old blind obedience…
Was left dumb and speechless
It went on to make new idols
While elsewhere people
Questioned and researched
The foundations of old knowledge
Poem: Sartoor Malang  (page 4 of 4)
But here…
Blind faith, bias, racism…
Souls deep asleep
It would say:
Forget old Sufis and their shrines
There are new leaders
With magical powers
And new books
So close your eyes, bow in prostration
Accept, obey and do not question

From Zoroaster, Buddha to Brahman
In past and present
These custodians of blind faith
Leaders and chieftains
With their logic, speeches and songs
Only preach blind obedience, closed eyed prostrations
But do not allow questions…

And I walk towards the ocean
With these old forgotten stories, tales and songs To sink them all

Dr. Syed Bahauddin Majroh is a Pashto Poet.

Faraz Jamil Kakar is from Pishin, Balochistan. He presently works as a Detention Doctor with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He translates Pashto poetry into English in his free time and has translated some work of famous Pashto poets such as Ghani Khan, Bahauddin Majroh and Bari Jahani.
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