A very old poem, that I unearthed today from a pile of articles that I had maintained somewhere. Out of the clutter came out this beauty. It’s a translation of Ali Sardar Jaffri’s ‘Kaun Dushman Hai’, which I remember was published just after the Kargil war between India and Pakistan. Beautiful verses. And the only thing I can think of when I read through this is – I want to visit Pakistan!
You were slaves till yesterday, so were we.
And then came the season of freedom bathed in showers of blood…
Between you and us rage rivers of fire.
Tall frowning barriers of hate
With a mere glace, forgive the cruel past
And again embrace you, yes we can.
But first you will have to break your swords.
And cleanse these bloodied garments
After that we shall become no more strangers.
You bring us flowers from the gardens of Lahore.
We bring you light from the dawns of Benares
Freshness of Himalayan breeze;
And thereafter we ask each other,
Who is the enemy?