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Poetry

The Mysteries of the Universe by Akbar Barakzai

Balochi Poetry by Akabar Barakzai, translated by Fazal Baloch

Mysteries of the Universe

I wonder if mountains smile
If the wind gets hungry
If clouds too have a mind
I wonder if ants wash themselves
If flowers have any sight
If colours breathe

I wonder if the sun also feels thirsty
If the moon stretches out for a yawn
If fire ever becomes pregnant 
If water dreams any dream

I wonder if stones, pebbles and gravels
Pass through childhood, youth and old age?
I wonder if beads and pearls are passionate for one another
If fish and birds compose songs
I wonder if there exist such walls
Which have no ears at all
If dead can also see us from their grave
If they laugh at us
If days and nights have tongues
If they mourn for others
I wonder if clouds too burst forth in the heavens
If flowers and trees also tie the knot
If river, lake and sea feel grief and pain
If stars and Pleiades have heart, eyes and ears
I wonder if Mars and Venus know of friendship and poetry
I wonder if the earth has ever fallen in love
If it has endured any pain and anguish
I wonder if anyone can unravel the enigmas
Embedded in Akbar's verse
The mysteries of the universe

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 Sun and 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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