Archive for Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Laal Perform at Islamabad

Posted in Communist Movement, Pakistan, Poetry, Literature, Art with tags , , on March 17, 2009 by Umer

Laal Play to Celebrate Restoration of Chief Justice

Laal’s Interview

Posted in Communist Movement, Pakistan, Poetry, Literature, Art with tags , , , on March 9, 2009 by Umer

Laal take off on an ideological musical odyssey
With their debut record, Umeed e Sahar, Laal is all set to revolutionize Pakistan’s musical landscape.
The band talks to Instep about where they see this revolutionary road taking them.

By Saba Imtiaz

Think Laal, and the first memory that pops up is the video for ‘Mainay Uss Se Yeh Kaha’, which received heavy airplay on Geo News, featuring a montage of notable political moments from last year. The band, comprising of Taimur Rahman, Mahvash Waqar, Haider Rahman and Shahram Azhar, have just released their debut album, Umeed e Sahar. But this is no ordinary band, nor an ordinary album. Set to the hard hitting and deeply insightful poetry of Habib Jalib and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, as well as the band’s own poetry, Umeed e Sahar may just well be one of the most important records to have ever been released in Pakistan. It is revolutionary and relevant to its core, and speaks of an honest desire to truly inspire change. Moreover, it has revived verses that have been enclosed in dusty books for far too long, and are a befitting soundtrack to our current socio-political landscape.

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Laal: Umeed-e-Sahar

Posted in Poetry, Literature, Art with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2009 by Umer

Laal’s album has finally been released.

Cassettes and CD’s are available in the market.

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

Posted in Communist Movement, Poetry, Literature, Art with tags , , , on June 23, 2008 by Umer

The following news item caught my attention lately due to the reference to Ethel and Julius Rosenberg:

The Cuban and the US flags fluttered together on June 19 by a monument dedicated to Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were unjustly executed 55 years ago by fascist forces in the United States.

The vice-president of the Cuban Friendship Institute, Basilio Gutiérrez, and Georgina Chavau, an official from the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, placed a wreath by the monolith located at Zapata and Paseo Streets, in Havana, as a tribute of the Cuban people to the first victims of US fascism.

The president of the Cuban Peace and Sovereignty Movement, José Ramón Rodríguez, condemned the act of genocide and repressive policy by the US administration, which acted with absolute impunity by condemning the married couple -Ethel and Julius Rosenberg – to the electric chair. He added that it is the same policy that maintains five young Cubans incarcerated in the US for fighting terrorism, while at the same time that country protects and supports perpetrators of crimes against humanity, like Luis Posada Carriles.

Surrounded by a network of lies, denunciations, and false evidence, the Rosenbergs were treated by McCarthyism as two dangerous pro-Soviet spies. Declared guilty of giving the former Soviet Union military secrets, related to the construction of the atomic bomb, Ethel and Julius were executed on June 19, 1953.

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg faced their death with an impressive courage and dignity while standing strong to their principles. In the last letter to their children, they wrote:

Your lives must teach you, too, that good cannot flourish in the midst of evil; that freedom and all the things that go to make up a truly satisfying and worthwhile life, must sometime be purchased very dearly. Be comforted then that we were serene and understood with the deepest kind of understanding, that civilization had not as yet progressed to the point where life did not have to be lost for the sake of life; and that we were comforted in the sure knowledge that others would carry on after us.

So powerful was their message that the couple found an permanent place in the poetry of sub-continent as Faiz Ahmed Faiz wrote one of his most famous poems after being inspired by the letters of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. The enligh translation of the poem, Hum jo tareeq rahoon mein mare gaye, is as follows:

We, Who Were Slain In Unlit Pathways

Wishing for the roses of your lips
we offered ourselves to a gallows’ twig
Longing for the radiance of your glowing hands
we let ourselves be slain in unlit pathways

On the gallows away from our face
darted the redness of your ruby lips,
waved the playfulness of your youthful locks,
shone the glow of the silver palms.

When the evening of suffering settled in your alleys
we came, as far as our steps could bring
Words of poetry on our lips, a lamp of anguish in our hearts
Our suffering was a testimony to your beauty
See, we were faithful to our pledge
We, who were slain in unlit pathways.

If failure was our destined end
your love was indeed our own doing.
Who is to blame if all the roads of passion
led to the killing grounds of separation.

Picking up our flags from these grounds
will march forth more caravans of your lovers
For whose journeys’ sake, our footsteps have
shortened the lengths of the agonizing quest
For whose sake we have made universal
by losing our lives, the pledge to your faithfulness
We, who were slain in unlit pathways.

Faiz Ahmed Faiz: Two Loves

Posted in Pakistan, Poetry, Literature, Art with tags on February 16, 2008 by Umer

At the birthday of Faiz Ahmed Faiz (February 13th), I am presenting the translation of one of his most famous and my favorite poem. I am not sure who has translated it; it was found here on the internet. Due to the political turmoil through which our country is going through, Faiz Ahmed Faiz has gained new relevance. It is very important to remember Faiz – again.

Two Loves


Oh rose-like Saqi, fresh yet in my memory
are those days whose bright mirror still vibrates with her;
those moments we met, like an opening flower,
the moments, like fluttering heartbeats, I waited for her—

Lo!—hope, roused by the sad heart’s good luck;
lo!—that love’s night of heartache had come to end;
lo!—that those sleepless stars of sorrow were sinking,
that promised joy so long dormant had awakened.

From this rooftop the sun of your beauty will rise,
from that corner its rays red as henna will dawn,
from this doorway your steps like quicksilver will flow,
by that pathway your twilit dress will blossom!

Fevered days too have I known, separation’s pangs,
when lament was forgotten in the soul’s sorrow,
each night’s dark load so heavy, the heart was crushed,
each morning’s flame piercing it like an arrow.

In solitude, how could I keep from thinking of you?
What refuges did my sad heart not seek?
Sometimes I felt the hand of the morning-breeze on my brow,
sometimes I put my arms around the moon’s neck.


In this same way I have loved my darling country;
in this same way my heart has pounded with devotion to her;
in this same way my passion has sought the respite of a resting-place,
in the curve of her cheek, in the curls of her hair.

In this same way, to that sweetheart world, my heart and eyes
have called out with laughter, cried out with tears.
All the demands of her summons I have fulfilled;
I made light every pain and calmed every fear.

No bidding toward ecstasy ever went unheeded,
never did the bell’s echo return to the tower alone.
The heart’s ease, creature comforts, a station in life,
all the connivers shrewd advice, forgotten.

What befalls all travelers on that road befell me,
a solitary prison cell, my name ridiculed in the market;
self-anointed holy men from their pulpits thundered,
dictators roared from their seats of power.

No treacherous arrows were spared me by strangers,
no scorn was omitted by those most esteemed,
but my heart feels shame neither for this love nor that love;
there is every scar on this heart but the scar of shame.


Posted in Pakistan, Poetry, Literature, Art with tags , , on November 10, 2007 by Umer

A very beautiful poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz relevant to the recent arrest-spree carried out by the Pakistani State. I dedicate it to all those who have been sent behind bars:

Shackles on your feet

Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Translated by Poorvi Vora
Wet eyes and a crazed will are not enough;
Nor are accusations of a furtive love;
Stride in the bazaar today, shackles on your feet.
Stride with arms spread open and in wild abandon;
Stride with dust-covered hair and blood-stained shirt;
Stride, all the beloved city watches the road.
The official and the commoner;
Sad mornings and barren days;
Arrows of slander and stones of insult.
Who but we can be their companion?
Who in the beloved town remains free of guilt?
Who remains worthy of the killer’s hand?
Broken-hearted ones, prepare to leave;
Let us stride to meet our death today.