Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 7, 1990 p. 109.


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Mukhtar Chaudhary

N.M. RASHED'S "NEW DANCE"

1, Nearly Literal Translation

For Many centuries have I been standing

Under some dried up ear of wheat

[The morning of which began with Adam's head].

0 God, with the flood of your black eyes

Wash me up again, so that I go forward again.

Before the dust of myth settles on the shine of your hair

Before your own pain eats you up

0 God, pour again in this empty goblet of mine

The wine of sins,

So that in the invisible garden of faith

The same upheaval of the clove tendrils should grow,

The same sweet basil smells should explode

That first rose from Adam's bed.

For many centuries have I been standing, 0 God!

And from the depths of my hands

Again the cry of Time has been heard

The same cry was heard

When, with the power of these very hands,

I had set up an association of words, of friends,

That kept increasing and increasing,

Will keep on increasing.

What an association had I created!

0 God, you as well for a change, take off

Your shoes girt with soil and negation,

And come unto this association.

So that words—these friends—

Which, like mice, can't be captured,

Again, with each tap of your feet,

Embracing their forsaken meanings,

Begin a new dance,

Begin a new Dance!

Annual of Urdu Studies, #7 ^09


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