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Poetry

Be And It All Came Into Being

Balochi poetry by Akbar Barakzai, translated by Fazal Baloch

Folio from an `Aja’ib al-Makhluqat (Wonders of Creation) of Qazwini (late 16th century).Courtesy: Creative Commons
Be and it All came into Being
(A Poem for Atta Shad*)

The heavens and the earth 
The moon and the sun 
Stars, galaxies and clouds
Space and spacelessness
Indeed the entire creation
God created all in just seven days 
All praise be to God!
 
On the seventh day 
Tired of hard labour 
He thought of heavenly delights
Of fair damsels and houries
Thus hurried to the garden of the paradise 
All praise be to God!

’Tis not all His fault 
If unaware He is of worldly woes and worries 
Of the agony of love and longing
Of the harsh nights of hunger and famine
'Tis not his fault if He is unaware
Of the monsters of tyranny and suppression     
Ours is a world too far from Him
Let us not disturb Him in His heavenly abode
He must have other more important things on His mind
May the curse of Allah befall these blasphemous thoughts!
Indeed how would Akbar, a mere minion of God
Know His never ending mysteries!
A mere poet and wordsmith 
He seeks His forgiveness
All praise be to God!

*Atta Shad (1939-1997) is one of the most cherished modern Balochi poets.

Akbar Barakzai was born in Shikarpur, Sindh in 1938. He is ranked amongst the proponents of modern Balochi literature. His poetry reflects the objective realities of life. Love for motherland, peace and prosperity and dignity of a man are the recurrent themes of his poetry. His love for human dignity transcends all geographical and cultural frontiers. Barakzai is not a prolific poet. In a literary career which spans over half a century, Barakzai has brought out just two anthologies of poetry, Who can Kill the Sunand The Lamps of Heads, but his poetry has depth and reaches out to human hearts with its profundity. Last year, Barakzai rejected the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) award, quoting  the oppressive policies meted out to his region by the government as the reason.

Fazal Baloch is a Balochi writer and translator. He has translated many Balochi poems and short stories into English. His translations have been featured in Pakistani Literature published by Pakistan Academy of Letters and in the form of books and anthologies. Fazal Baloch has the translation rights to Barakzai’s works and is in the process of bringing them out as a book.

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