• O Noble Men

    Sahir Ludhianvi

    December 2, 2016

    Translated by Kanupriya Dhingra

    sahir
    Image courtesy www.radioandmusic.com

    Whether I die or someone else dies,
    Humanity dies after all
    Whether there is a war in the East or in the West
    Peace dies after all
     
    How can it resolve any problem, you say?
    War is a problem in itself.
    It yields fire and blood today,
    Gives hunger and penury tomorrow 
     
    Why shed blood, at all
    Only to confirm greatness?
    Why burn houses, at all
    Only to shun darkness?
     
    Whether there's bombardment on houses, or at the frontier
    Wounds are revealed on the spirit of construction, eventually.
    Whether one’s own fields are burnt or another's
    Life is wrecked by starvation, eventually.
     
    The earth’s womb goes barren 
    Whether tanks retreat or are in progress.
    In celebrating victory, in lamentations of loss
    Life weeps on bodies, they're lifeless. 
     
    O noble men, therefore,
    Let us shun war, it is for the better 
    In courtyards, both yours and mine.
    Let us light candles, it is for the better

     

    Read the Urdu original here.

    Sahir Ludhianvi was an Indian poet and film lyricist who wrote in Hindi and Urdu.

    Kanupriya Dhingra is a research scholar at the Department of English, University of Delhi. She writes and translates in Hindi and English.

    <em>These poems are part of ICF's unfolding Citizens against War series of literature and art, initiated in the spirit of listening: to our poets, artists, fellow citizens, against war and warmongering.</em>

    Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.