Ham dekheṇge

Iqbaal Bano


हम देख़ेंगे

लाज़िम है कि हम भी देख़ेंगे

वो दिन के जिस का वादा है

जो लोह-ए-अज़ल में लिखा है


ham dekneṇge

laazim hai ke ham bhi dekneṇge

wo din ke jis ka wadaa hai

jo lauH-e-azal meṇ likhaa hai


laazim: certain   lauH: slate   azal: eternity

➤ lauH-e-azal: slate of eternity

lauH-e-azal refers to the destiny or fate


We shall witness

It is certain that we shall also witness

The day that has been promised

Which is written on the slate of eternity



जब ज़ुल्म-ओ-सितम के कोह-ए-गरां

रुयी की तरह उङ जायेंगे

हम महकूमों के पाऒं तले

ये धरती धङ-धङ धङकेगी

ऒर अह्ल-ए-हकम के सर उपर

जब बिजली कङ-कङ कङकेगी


jab zulm-o-sitam ke koh-e-garaaṇ

rui ki tarah ur jaeṇge

ham mehkoomoṇ ke paaoṇ tale

ye darti dhar-dhar dharkegi

aur ahl-e-Hakam ke sar oopar

jab bijli kar-kar karkegi


zulm: oppression/tyranny    sitam: oppression/tyranny

➤ zulm-o-sitam: oppression and tyranny

koh: mountain    garaaṇ: fierce

➤ koh-e-garaaṇ: fierce mountains

koh-e-garaaṇ refers to the might represented by the insurmountable mountains

mehkoomoṇ: commoners/the governed

ahl: people/inhabitants    Hakam: authority

➤ ahl-e-Hakam: authority over people

ahl-e-Hakam refers to the rulers, the autocrats/dictators


When the fierce mountains of oppression and tyranny

Will fly away like (pieces of) cotton

Under the feet of us commoners

This earth will quake

And over the heads of the rulers

When the lightening will thunder



जब अर्ज़-ए-ख़ुदा के काबे से

सब बुत उळवाये जायेंगे

हम अह्ले-ए-सफा मर्दू-ए-हरम

मसनद पे बिळाये जायेंगे

सब ताज उछाले जायेंगे

सब तख़्त गिराये जायेंगे


jab arz-e-kHuda ke kaabe se

sab but uthwae jaeṇge

hum ahl-e-safaa mardood-e-haram

masnad pe bithae jaeṇge

sab taaj uchaale jaeṇge

sab takht girae jaeṇge


arz: request    safaa: clean/pure/of faith

➤ ahl-e-safaa: faithful people

ahl-e-safaa refers to ‘the faithful’  as opposed to those who worship false gods (idols)

mardood: barred    haram: holy site

➤ mardood-e-haram: barred from holy sites

mardood-e-haram refers to the faithful not being allowed to visit mosques or Makka

masnad: couch/throne    takht: throne/seat


When at the request of God, from Mecca

All idols (false gods) shall be removed

We the faithful, (who had been) barred from holy sites

Will be seated on the throne

All crowns will be thrown up (in the air)

All thrones will be demolished



बस नाम रहेगा अल्ला: का

जो गायब भी है हाज़िर भी

जो मंज़र भी है नाज़िर भी

उळ्ळेगा अन-अल-हक का नारा

जो मै भी हूँ अौर तुम भी हो

अौर राज करेगी ख़ल्क-ए-ख़ुदा

जो मै भी हूँ अौर तुम भी हो


bas naam rahegaa Allah ka

jo gaib bhi hai hazir bhi

jo manzar bhi hai nazir bhi

utthaega an-al-haqq ka nara

jo mai bhi hooṇ aur tum bhi ho

aur raaj karegee kHalq-e-kHuDa

jo mai bhi hooṇ aur tum bhi ho


gaib: absent/cannot be seen    hazir: present

manzar: spectacle/view    nazir: beholder/spectator

an: I am    al: the    haqq: truth

➤ an-al-haqq: I am the Truth

‘al-haqq’, ‘The Truth’, is also one of the 99 names of Allah (God)

kHalq: creation/mankind    kHuDa: God

➤ kHalq-e-kHuDa: God’s creations (mankind)

kHalq-e-kHuDa refers to ‘mankind’, or ‘the populace’


(Then) only God’s name will remain

Who is (both) Unseen (and) Present

Who is the Spectacle (and/as-well-as) the Spectator

“I am the Truth” – the cry shall rise

Which is you as well as I

And the God’s creation will rule

Which is you, as well as I



It is important to know about the poet Faiz, his country Pakistan, and the times he lived in to appreciate and understand the context of this poem. ‘Ham dekheṇge’ has been his most famous and popular composition.

Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) was an eminent Urdu poet. He was also an avowed Marxist and spent much of the 1950s and 1960s promoting the cause of communism in Pakistan. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union in 1962.

He was also a journalist and editor of the Pakistan Times, the Urdu newspaper Nasha Sharab Da and the weekly Lail-o-Nihar. In addition, he was an avowed supporter of Sufism. Being a supporter of Communism and Sufism, Faiz practiced ‘Socialist Humanism’.

He was imprisoned from 1951 to 1955, partly because his sympathies with the CP, giving editorial support through the Pakistan Times. It was alleged that he and others were planning a coup d’état.

Unlike its neighbor, India, Pakistan is not a stable secular socialist democracy. Since its inception in 1947, Pakistan has jumped from one political crisis to another, in a vicious cycle. Over the last six plus decades, it has been alternating military rule with civilian governments as its economy, institutions and infrastructure worsen.

It is an Islamic republic, and even peaceful sects like Sufism (which is ‘mystical Islam) do not find support with the majority of Pakistanis who are Sunnis, or their government; its practice has been denounced to be ‘un-Islamic’.

While the difference between the haves and have-nots is always vast in poorer, developing countries, it is quite unique in Pakistan. All the major political parties, which are the ones that have been in power from 1947 to this day (when there is no military rule, obviously), are composed of rich, land-owning aristocrats. Consequently, the person on the street, the average Pakistani, has no part or stake in governance. The poor grow poorer while the rich accumulate money and power. Like other things, this is not getting any better either.

During the 1950-1970s, the Cold War was at its height. Pakistan had become allied with the ‘capitalistic’ US. There was a growing resentment in Pakistan that the vox populi was unheeded.

In this milieu, Faiz composed this poem, Ham dekheṇge. It was to give hope to the downtrodden that their day will come, for it is destined. It was, in a way, also a call to arms to the proletariat.

In the last two verses of the poem, Faiz invokes Allah (God). It is interesting because he was telling the commoners that they will attain with His help. This is quite uncharacteristic of a communist to say thus, since communists are atheists. It is a powerful demonstration the power of Islam over its followers; to sent a message to the ‘believers’, even an avowed Marxist has to take Allah’s help.


2010/08/22 at 16:30 Leave a comment

hazaaroṇ khwaahisheṇ aisee

 jagjeet siṇgh


munni begum


lata mangeshkar


hazaaroṇ khwaahisheṇ aisee ki har khwaahish pe dam nikle

bahut nikle mere armaan lekin phir bhee kam nikle

हज़ारों ख़्वाईशें ऐसी कि हर ख़्वाईश पे दम निकले

बहुत निकले मेरे अरमान लेकिन फिर भी कम निकले

hazaaroṇ: thousands     kwaahish/eṇ: desire/s, request/s, demand/s

dam: vitality/breath    nikle: come out/depart    armaan: desire/yearning/wish

dam nikle: impatience/death

(I) have thousands such desires that (I) could die on each (and every) desire

A yearned for a lot, yet they (the wishes) were not enough


dare kyoṇ meraa qaatil, kyaa rahe gaa us kee gardan par

vuh khooṇ jo chasm-e tar se ‘umr bhar yooṇ dam ba dam nikle

डरे क्यूँ मेरा क़ातिल क्या रहेगा उस की गर्दन पर

वो ख़ूँ जो चश्म-ए तर से उम्र भर यूँ दम ब दम निकले

qaatil: murderer/assassin    gardan: neck    khooṇ: blood

chashm: eye    tar: wet    ➤ chash-e tar: from wet eyes

dam ba dam: incessantly/steadily/continuously

Why should my assassin have the fear that on her neck will remain

The blood that pours incessantly from her wet eyes throughout life


nikalnaa khuld se aadam kaa sunte aae haiṇ lekin

bahut be aabroo ho kar tere khooche se ham nikle

निकलना ख़ुल्द से आदम का सुनते आये हैं लेकिन

बहुत बेआबरू होकर तेरे कूचे से हम निकले

khuld: Paradise    aadam: Adam    khooche: quarter of city/street/ward

be: without    aabroo: honor/pride    ➤ be aabroo: dishonor/disgrace

I have been hearing about the departure of Adam from Paradise, but

With great disgrace did I leave your street


bharam khul jaai ẓaalim, tere kaamat kee daraazee kaa

agar is turrah pur pech-o-kham kaa pech-o-kham nikle

भरम खुल जाये ज़ालिम, तेरे क़ामत के दराज़ी का

अगर इस तुर्रा-ए पुर पेच-ओ-ख़म का पेच-ओ-ख़म निकले

bharam: myth        ẓaalim: tyrant/oppressor/cruel        qaamat: stature

daraazee: height       turrah: dangling tress/forelock

The myth of the the height of your stature will be shattered, O! tyrant

If the curls of the dangling tress unfurl


magar likhwaee koee us ko khat to ham se likhwaa’e

hu’ee subh aur ghar se kaan par rakh kar qalam nikle

मगर लिखवाए कोई उसको ख़त तो हम से लिखवाए

हुई सुबह और घर से कान पर रखकर क़लम निकले

If anyone wants to write a letter to her, he should ask me to write it

Every morning I come out of my house with a pen tucked behind my ear


hu’ee is daur meṇ mansoob mujh se baadaḥ aashaamee

phir aayaa wuh zamaanaḥ jo jahaaṇ meṇ jaam-e jam nikle

हुई इस दौर में मंसूब मुझसे बादा आशामी

फिर आया वो ज़माना जो जहाँ में जाम-ए जम निकले

daur: period    mansoob: associated

baadaḥ aashaamee: drinking wine jaam-e jam: goblet of King Jamshed

At this time, wine drinking is associated with me

Once again the goblet of King Jamshed has appeared in the world


hu’ee jin se tawaaqqu’ khastagee kee daad paane kee

wuh ham se bhee ziyaadaḥ khastah’ tegh-e sitam nikle

हुई जिनसे तुवक़्क़ो ख़स्तगी की दाद पाने की

वो हम से भी ज़ियादा खस्ता-ए तेग़-ए सितम निकले

tawaaqqu: expectation     khastagee: being wounded/hurt/broken

daad: appreciation, praise     khastah:  wounded/hurt/broken

tegh: sword    sitam: tyranny/cruelty/injustice

➤ tegh-e sitam: sword of tyranny/cruelty/injustice

From whom I had expected an appreciation of my being hurt

They have turned out to be hurt worse from the sword of tyranny


muhabbat meṇ nahiṇ hai farq jeene aur marne kaa

usee ko dekh kar jeete haiṇ jis kaafir pe dam nikle

मुहब्बत में नहीं है फर्क जीने और मरने का

उसी को देखकर जीते हैं जिस काफिर पे दम निकले

kaafir: impious person/an ingrate     dam: breath/vitality

In love, there is no difference between living and dying

I live only by seeing the same ingrate who takes my breath away


khuda ke waaste pardaa naqaabe se uṭha zaalim

kahiṇ aisaa na ho yuṇ bhi wahi kafir sanam nikle

ख़ुदा के वासते पर्दा नकाबे से उठा ज़ालिम

कहीं एसा ना हो यूँ ही वही क़ाफिर सनम निकले

khuda: God     pardaah: veil/screen      naqaabe: face

sanam: sweetheart/mistress

For God’s sake, remove that veil from your face

It may turn out that (you are) the same ungrateful sweetheart


kahaaṇ maikhaane kaa darwaaza Ghalib, aur khahaaṇ waiz

par itnaa jaante haiṇ, kal woḥ jaata tha ki ham nikle

कहाँ मयख़ाने का दरवाज़ा ग़ालिब और कहाँ वाइज़

पर इतना जानते हैं कल वो जाता था कि हम निकले

maikhaana: bar/tavern       waiz: preacher

The door of a tavern and a preacher are worlds apart

But I know that yesterday he was entering when we were coming out



  • Adam was expelled from Paradise after eating the forbidden fruit; the poet thinks his egress from his lover’s district was even a worse disgrace.
  • Jamshed was the Emperor of Persia who is said to have, acording to legend, ‘invented’ wine and the wine cup. ‘jam’ is used to denote him as well as a cup of wine.
  • The lover/sweetheart is depicted here as cruel and dispassionate; indeed, this is a recurring theme in shairi, where the poor lover is an eternal sufferer.
  • Ghalib does take a swipe at the hypocrisy of priests/preachers in his last couplet.

2009/08/31 at 12:45 3 comments

hazaaroṇ saal nargis

hazaaroṇ saal nargis apnee benooree pe rotee hai

baDee mushkil se hota hai chaman meiṇ deedaawar paida

nargis: narciccus (daffodil)      benoori: bad luck, darkness

chaman: garden      deedaawar: admirer, one who can see (appreciate)


हजारों साल नर्गिस अपनी बेनूरी पे रोती है

बड़ी मुश्किल से होता है चमन मे दीदावर पैदा

For a thousand years, Narcissus weeps on her bad luck

With great difficulty appears an admirer in the garden

2009/08/31 at 12:20 Leave a comment

haiṇ aaur bhee duniyaa meṇ

हैं अौर भी दुनिया में सुखनवर बहुत अच्छे

कहते हैं कि ग़ालिब का है अन्दाज़-ए-बयां अौर

haiṇ aaur bhee duniyaa meṇ suḳhanvar bahut achhe

kahte haiṇ kih Ġhaalib kaa hai andaaz-e bayaaṇ aaur

suḳhanvar = poets    andaaz = style    bayaaṇ = elocution, speech

There are, of course, other great poets in the world

But (they) say that Ghalib’s style of elocution is something else

2009/08/31 at 11:40 Leave a comment

The meanings given here are in context to the verse. To learn more, click on the word and you will land on my other blog, 'urdu to english dictionary'.

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