Saturday, November 18, 2017 | ePaper

POEM

The Navigator (Panjeri)

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-Farrukh Ahmad  :

Navigator, O Navigator, how far away is the dawn?
Your sky is still overcast with clouds?
The crescent and the stars are not yet visible?
With you at the mast, I am rowing forgetfully;
The void is shrouded with dense fog.

Navigator, O Navigator, how far away is the dawn?
After the long night's weary voyage
Which sea's dark horizon have we launched into?
Is this the toll of a darkened life,
Producing storm-beaten dreams of lament of agonized hearts?
The triumphant sound of life becomes less and less audible until it sinks.
With you at the mast, I am rowing forgetfully;
I see only dense fog in front of me.

Navigator, O Navigator, how far away is the dawn?
Sitting at the port, the passengers count the days.
May be they hear the sound of our ship in the monsoon wind.
May be they see the illusion of the ship in the moon-light.
Ah, the poor travelers keep their vigil by the sea in a state of despair.
Where do we go roaming in this trackless sea?
To what limitless distance?
The passengers are waiting on the shore.
With you at the mast, I am rowing mechanically.
Alone I see the night's disaster.

Navigator, O Navigator, how far away is the dawn?
Only our callousness and whims have brought about this
costly error for us.
Travellers are waiting on the shore for our error
And observe their moon and the stars sink
Our callousness has brought on them this awful night.

We have caused distress among the merchants
We hear wailing from every door.
Is that the wind howling?
Is that the bewailing of the hungry?

Is that the roaring of the sea? Is that the agony of the poor?
Is that the dying note of the hungry belly?
Navigator, O Navigator!
Wake up, I see angry scowls at the port.
Wake up with the silent frowning of countless hungry mouths.
Look and see how far the dawn is away!
 
    Translated by Dr Sadruddin Ahmed

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