Monday, January 22, 2018 | ePaper

Muharram

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Kazi Nazrul Islam :
The sky o'erhead is blue and dark.
The world, is red with blood.
"Done is thy darling, mother, by the murderous hand."
Waileth a womanly voice on the Euphrates-Karbala end.
The wailing causeth tear, even to Shimar's spear
In the Damascus sky, ringeth the terrible cry :
"Who hath made Zainal dear, this murderous dress to wear?"
Like the tempest, swelleth the moan, again and again
"Ya Husain! Ya Husain! Ya Husain !"
The sword in Yazid's grip, trembleth in terror deep!
Mad with grief, duldul scours Madina's street.
To see if Husain, the prince of Ali.
Might have been there in the confused melee!
With the tresses at sixes and sevens.
Fatima, the mother weeps in Heavens,  
Holding the corpses cold of the martyred sons,
And the garments white of the daughters undone!
Qasim bridegroom of the merest day.
Forget fast for the fighting fray,
With the coating of mehdi wiped away
All too soon, in the saddest way !
"Alas, Alas" wail the eastern wind.
And the southernly breeze :
"Take off thy bridal wear, O Sakina dear
These bangles and painchees !"
Who is the luck-lorn lass, weeping in distress.
Holding the cut-out head
Of Qasirn in her tender lap!
Tears from the broken breast
Trickle like bits of blood compressed!
Even death the terrible.
Could not but stop and weep
For the girlie dear-
The emblem of universal sorrow, as it were!
Fatima, the babe, rolleth on ground.
Piteously crying :
"Water for drink, mother darling
My heart is flying."
With the thirst of Sahara desert.
And the wail of the world athwart.
Whose child, alas ! is the tiny kid.
Crying aloud in the Karbala field?
Abbas, the lion of men.
Tho bereft of the two arms then.
Managed to bring water for drink
To the "bravo," even of the enemy!
The trumpet rang:"drim, drim, drim."
At the wonted pause, loud and grim !
Declared the hero: "Sir deyga, nehi deyga Amama."
"The head I give, but not the turban, by any means!"
The desert-sun. burning bright.
Was frying the soul, like kabab fried,
Karbala desert, grim and grave.
Without water, without date !
Mothers' breasts, bereft of milk.
Making the babies writhe in grief
Can the licking of tongue, parched and dried.
Keep the tender life in the body alive?
Under the burning blaze of the Karbala sun,
Banoo was crying, in utter disconsolation:
"Water, water, water please.
For my darling Asghar is dying."
No water could be had. The child drank instead
Blood newly-shed, fresh and red.
The mother wept bitter tears and said,
"Come back, babe, come thou back to me :
Water for drink I shall give to thee."
The moans of mothers bereft of the darlings dear,
And the wails of widows losing their lives' compeers
Make the heart sad and sick and sunk,
With the ties unstrung!
Lying abed, alone, inside the tent, wept Zainal:
"Dada! Teri ghar kiya barbad paimal."
"Thy house, O grand-pa dear!
Is wreaked by tyrants, I fear."
With, Haidari shout, he is on duldul's back,
Brandishing the sword to terrify the enemy's rank.
The enemy's sword dropping from the hand,
And file Day of Judgment flashing before the ken!
The enemy ranks are unstrung.
But who is this hero, weary of strife.
Entering the Euphrates, wiping the eyes?
Where is Asghar dear? The breast is rent
By grief, like the sieve torn and bent!
The sight of water made Husain's breast
Burst and burnt! (And he said;)
"The children breathed their last
Writhing and crying for a drop to drink.
But none was given, alas! to the dying babes
By the cruel, cowardly, low-born breed!
The water on the enclenched fist
Dropped down, in unceasing stream !
Dropped down Husain, endowed with strongest arms
Badly bruised by the daggers' darts! .
Who is the heartless wretch,
Sitting on the breast and striking against the neck?
The sun was eclipsed, as it were.  
By the darkness dense of a dreary night!
The sky at noon was filled, as it were
With the fleeting clouds of the even-tide !
On the kafirs' heads, in unceasing stream,
Fell drops of blood, red and blue and deep,
Holding in hand the blood-stained dress,
Of the children, (cruelly killed), alas!
And clasping the pillar of Arsh-Throne of Power Divine
Fatima, the mother, prayed with tears:
"For the sake of my children's blood, O God!
Forgive the sinful, wrongful, ill-fated lot !"
Gone are Muharrams; gone are years !
But can't forget the crimson blood
Of the martyred heroes, as yet!
O Muslims! Ye are Zainul Abedins of the age!
Will time fly, merely by the mournful cry
"Ya Husain! Ya Husain! Ya Husain !"
Back is Muharrarn, the sacred month of thine!
Wanted sacrifices, not rnarthia mournful cry
 Up with the turbaned head
Crowned with the Holy Quran !
Wanted sword in hand-sword of the Arabian !
The head of a Muslim, whenever born,
Must not lie, low and lorn.
Listen, then, to the Trumper's ring left or right:
"Take the sword in hand, and bind the turban tight'
The bugles are blowing, Naqeeb's siren singing;
Beware, Islam! Thy sun is sinking!
Wake up Muslims! With Haidari cry of war!
On this Martyrs' Day, be it all red with blood!
Wear the Bridegroom's dress, glittering clean,
But let the fringes be, in crimson, tinged!
'This day is the special day of dying
On the field of fight freely fighting!
Let us drink the cup of poison, as Hasan drank
Let us take, like Husain, the knives of wrong on the breast!
Let us sacrifice sons, as Asghar was done!
Let us avenge the tyrant. (as in Karbala maidan)
Laying our lives in the grave, on this sacred day!
To our mothers and daughters all, I say-
Let us give to the Sakina's garments white but gay
Let us resist wrongs, with lives, in Qasim's way!
Muharram! Karbala! Ya Husain! Ya Husain!
Weep it out, if ye please, again and again!
But let not the martyrs' blood
By the desert's sun be dried outright!
Translated by Mizanur Rahman (Late)

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