Translation: From Urdu and Kashmiri by Master Showkat Ali


Original poem in Urdu by Shah Zoor Kashmiri
Translated by Master Showkat Ali
The council of eye, ear and the impatient heart,
In the language of colorful Nature- this is education.

Under its decree is the hexa-dimensional cosmos,
Under its eternal power are the seven continents.

And its constructs are the mind, thought and conscience
By its fire kindles the lamp of sound intellect.

With this key the door of Nature’s mysteries,
Opens for all the firm determination.

The intellect’s supremacy is its clear grace,
And its want is the wont of submission in you.

For your knowledge is mere information,
When the primordial condition is effort and vision.

Your garden is no different than a desert,
It has neither green, nor dew, nor bud nor morning breeze.

One knowledge bends double the back of slaves,
And another makes serve the crowns and counsels.

On the shore you are engaged in futile fathoming.
For, the priceless pearl falls in hands of the diver.

By God, bereft of the light of wisdom, is-
This monastery, this school and this academy of sage.

Shahzor Kashmiri
Ghulam Mohammed Malik (1915-1990) hailing from Distt. Shopian of Kashmir and known by his pen name Shahzor Kashmiri is one of the good poets in Urdu. His two collections are available in the market by the tiltles of Joshe Jenoon and Jazbeye Daroon. He has written best poetry in Urdu language based on varied themes mainly showing his social commitment and scientific temper. Farid Parbati a well known scholar of Kashmir has written a critical book Shahzor Kashmiri: Shaks aur Shair analyzing the aesthetics and art of the poet.

A Ghazal

Original poem in Kashmiri by Mahjoor
Translated by Master Showkat Ali
I wandered everywhere like a bee
And sought nectar only for thee

Be my guest and let me wait on
Love! I yearn to sacrifice just for thee

I woke all the night in your love
And wilted away, picking saffron for thee

Watch in the moonlight my artistry
Love! I yearn to sacrifice just for thee

For how long will Mehjoor tarry?
Waiting since aeons had been he

Alas! Heartless friend has turned cold
Love! I yearn to sacrifice just for thee


Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad (1887-1952) better known by the pen name Mahjoor, is the National Poet of Jamuu of Kashmir. He is specially known for introducing a new style into Kashmiri poetry and for expanding its thematic realms. He is also noted for his poetic compositions in Persian and Urdu. Mahjoor worked as a patwari (regional administrator) in Kashmir. He started with writing in Persian and Urdu, but determined to write in his native language, used the simple diction of traditional folk storytellers in writing. He revolutionized the traditional forms of nazm and ghazal in Kashmiri language. Two of his poetic collections are  Poems of Mahjoor. New Delhi: Sahitya Academi, 1988 and  The Best of Mahjoor: Selections from Mahjoor's Kashmiri Poems (translated by Triloki Nath Raina). Srinagar, India: J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, 1989.


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