Habib Jalib

(24 March 1928 - 12 March 1993 / Hoshiarpur, Punjab / British India)

The Mother


The children were shot dead
The mother, in fury, said
These pieces of my heart
Should cry and I stand apart
Looking on from afar
This I cannot do

I should look on from afar
As the tyrants, night and day
With the blood of my children Holi play
Besmirched in red
As the children were shot dead
The mother, in fury, said
These pieces of my heart
Should cry and I stand apart
Looking on from afar
This, I cannot do

She walked came down to the ground
Like lightening flashing around
The tyrant's hand trembled
Full of fear the gun frowned
Everywhere her echo did resound
I am hereby bound, I am coming for this round
I am hereby bound, I am coming for this round

Then oppression became evil
Panic-stricken were those who kill
When she thundered
As our children were murdered
She said, you vampires
Gold is the be all of your desires
This land belongs to us all
This land, you Dunces Esquires
Lackeys, still, to your British Sires

The sahib's beneficence
Has not made you landlords: squires
Desist from this tyranny
Back to your barracks, flee
You, who rove ahead
With a gang of plunderers you have bred
As our children were shot dead

Holi: Spring festival played with coloured water.

[Translation of Urdu Poem 'Maan']

Submitted: Friday, March 16, 2012
Edited: Friday, March 16, 2012

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