Saturday, 29 March 2014

Pashto Poetry: Zaanzani Shaamaar (The Dragon of Self)

By Dr. Syed Bahauddin Majrooh

This poem is Translated from Pashto by Faraz Jamil Kakar

It is said,
Far away, somewhere was a big city
Famous for its beauty
In that city lived a famous man
The wisest of the wisest in the city
To think and imagine was his work
To explore the mysteries of life and universe
In libraries, pages and books
One day, he said:

''Till the end of this earth and sky ... Hell for humans will be humans''

I doubt this to be true
I have seen many countries
Traveled long distances across deserts
Explored some few realities
And have brought some true news

One is:
What is this life?
But an endless sea
And the way to the end of this sea
Passes through hell

Second is:
''Hell is not somewhere far, hidden in another universe
Hell for humans is hidden within themselves''

This journey of return to self
Come and hear the story of this journey...

Dr. Syed Bahauddin Majrooh was a Pashto Poet. ''His father, Shamsuddin Majrooh, had served as minister of justice under Zahir Shah and had been a member of the committee that drafted the 1964 constitution, which introduced democracy to Afghanistan. Majrooh himself had served as governor of Kapisa Province under Zahir Shah before returning to Kabul University, where he was a dean and professor of philosophy and literature.''  (A quote from the book ''Before Taliban'' ). In addition to his tenure at Kabul University in the 1960s and 70s, he also served as diplomat during King Zahir Shah's government. Post Soviet invasion, Majrooh moved to Peshawar where he was associated with the Afghan Information Centre. He was assassinated in 1988 in Peshawar. At the time he was killed in Peshawar, he was said to be organizing or at least sympathizing with the monarchists. Even some Parchamites were favorable to him at the time. A fairly accurate obituary of Dr. Majrooh was published in LA Times. (Details on Dr. Majrooh provided by Dr. M. Taqi & Faraz Jamil Kakar).

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 Majrooh and Bari Jahani.