Josh Malihabadi

Beauty and Toil

Husn aur Mazdoori


Ek dosheeza sarak par, dhoop mein hai be-qarar,
Choorian bajti hain kankar kootne mein bar, bar.

Choorion ke saaz mein yeh soz hai kaisa bhara,
Aankh mein "aansu" bani jaati hai jiski har sada.

Gard hai rukhsar par, zulfen ati hain khak mein,
Naazuki bal kha rahi hai deeda-e-ghumnak mein.

Ho raha hai jazb mehar-e-khoon-chukan ke roobaroo,
Kankaron ki nabz mein uthti jawani ka lahu.

Dhoop mein lahra rahi hai kaakul-e-amber sarisht,
Ho raha hai kamsini ka loch juzw-e-sang-o-khisht.

Pi rahi hain surkh kirnen mehar-e-aatish bar ki,
Nargisi aankhon ka ras, mai champai rukhsar ki.

Ghum ke badal khatir-e-naazuk pe hain chhaae hue,
Aaraze-e-rangeen hain ya do phool murjhaae hue.

Cheethron mein deedni hai roo-e-ghumgeen-e-shabab,
Abar ke aawara tukron mein ho jaise mahtaab.


English Translation


There she sweats on the road, a beauteous, restless lass,
In scorching sun she breaks the stones, her bangles clink and clash.

what pain is it so strangely mingling with the music,
At each stroke drops of tears trickle down her eyes.

Dust-splattered are her cheeks, her locks embroiled in dust,
Her deep depressed eyes a tender grace reflect.

The blood-red sun sucks her blood without a touch of ruth,
Each heavey hammer stroke tells upon her budding youth.

In the sun her fragrant locks are flying about adrift,
Her limber self is getting wrecked amid the stones and bricks.

Ruddy rays of the sun are drinking undefied,
nectar of narcissus' eyes, the wine of frangipani cheeks.

Clouds of sorrow heavily hang o'er her tender heart,
Are these her cheeks, or roses two which are fading fast?

Through her tatters can be glimpsed her youthful shape, sorrow-gripped,
Like the moon that wanders through bits of drifting clouds.



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Josh Malihabadi