“Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu” by Amrita Pritam

Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu.

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Poet of Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu - Amrita Pritam Photo - Picture of Amrita PreetamThis extremely famous Punjabi poem by Amrita Pritam, addressed to Punjabi poet Waris Shah, depicts the horrors of the partition of the Punjab in 1947.

Amrita Pritam’s poem ‘Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu’ has been written in the backdrop of Partition of India in 1947 and the bloodshed which followed. It narrates the gory happenings of the Partition, a heart throbbing account of pain of women, who suffered the most; whether Hindu, Sikh or Muslim. 

‘Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu’ (Poetry by Amrita Pritam)

Punjabi Poetry - Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu - Punjabi Poetry by Amrita Pritam

Roman Urdu:
Ajj akhaan Waris Shah nu, kitoun qabraan wichoun bole,
Tay ajj kitab-e-ishq da koi agla warqa phole.
Ik roii si dhii Punjab di, tun likh likh maray vaen,
Ajj lakhaan dhiiaan rondiyaan, tainu Waris Shah nu kehn.
Uthh dardmandaan daya dardiya, uthh takk apna Punjab,
Ajj belay lashaan bichhiaan, tay lahoo di bharrii Chenab.

English Translationof Lyrics of ‘Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu’ :
Today, I call Waris Shah, “Speak from your grave,”
And turn today, the book of love’s next affectionate page.
Once, one daughter of Punjab cried; you wrote a wailing saga,
Today, a million daughters, cry to you, Waris Shah.
Rise! O’ narrator of the grieving; rise! look at your Punjab,
Today, fields are lined with corpses, and blood fills the Chenab.

Note: This is the first part of Amrita Pritam’s poem ‘Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu’. The next part in Urdu will also be added soon. However, Roman Urdu and English translation of the next part can be read in the subsequent paragraphs.

Kisey Ne Panjaan Paaniyan Wich, Ditti Zahar Rala
Tey Unhan Paniyaan Dharat Nu, Ditta Paani Laa.

Someone has mixed poison in the five rivers’ flow,
Their deadly water is, now, irrigating our lands galore.

Iss Zarkhaiz Zameen Dey, Loon Loon Phuttiya Zahar.
Gitth Gitth Charhiyaan Laaliyan, Phut Phuut Charrhiya qaher.

This fertile land is sprouting venom from every pore,
The sky is turning red from endless cries of gore.

Wey Waleesi Wha Phair, Wan Wan Wagi Jaa,
Ohney Her Ikk Waans Di Wanjli, Ditti Naag Bana.

The toxic forest wind, screams from inside its wake.
Turning each flute’s bamboo-shoot, into a deadly snake.

Pehla Dang Madaariyan, Mantar Gaye Guwaach,
Doojey Dang Di Lag Gayi, Janey Khaney Nuu Lag

With the first snake-bite; charmers lost their spell,
The second bite turned all and sundry, into snakes, as well.

Laagaan Keeley Lok Moonh, Bus Phir Dang Hi Dang,
Palo Palee Punjab Dey, Neeley Pay Gaye Ang

Drinking from this deadly stream, filling the land with bane,
Slowly, Punjab’s limbs have turned black and blue, with pain.

Galeyon Tuttey Geet Phir, Takaleyon Tutti Tand,
Trinjanon Tuttiyaan Saheliyan, Charakhrrey Ghuukar Band

The street-songs have been silenced; cotton threads are snapped,
Girls have left their playgroups; the spinning wheels are cracked.

Saney Saij Dey Beriyan, Luddan Dittiyaan Rohrr,
Saney Daliyan Peengh Ajj, Piplaan Ditti Torr

Our wedding beds are boats, their logs have cast away,
Our hanging swing, the Pippal tree has broken in disarray.

Jithey Wajdi Si Phook Pyar Di, Wey Oh Wanjhli Gayi Guwaach
Raanjhey Dey Sab Weer Ajj, Bhul Gaye Ohdi Jaach

Lost is the flute, which once, blew sounds of the heart,
Ranjha’s brothers, today, no longer know this art.

Dharti Tey Lahoo Wassiya, Qabraan Paiyan Chon,
Preet Diyan Shahzadiyaan, Ajj Wich Mazaaraan Ron

Blood rained on our shrines; drenching them to the core,
Damsels of amour, today, sit crying at their door.

Ajj Sabhey ‘Qaido’ Ban Gaye, Husn Ishq Dey Chor
Ajj Kithon Liyaiye Labh Ke, Waris Shah Ikk Hor

Today everyone is ‘Qaido’ thieves of beauty and ardor,
Where can we find, today, another Warish Shah, once more.

Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu, Kitoun Qabraan Wichoun Bole,
Tay Ajj Kitab-e-Ishq Da, Koi Agla Warqa Phole

Today, I call Waris Shah,“Speak from inside your grave”,
And turn today, the book of love’s next affectionate page.

‘Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu’ in the Voice of Amrita Pritam

Amrita Pritam in a Creative Mood

Ajj Akhaan Waris Shah Nu - Amrita Pritam in a creative mood

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Comments

  1. Javed Iqbal Choudary says:

    Very well said by WARIS SHAH He Draw the true picture of today many years before.

  2. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

    The poetry is good and gives matter for thinking on what is going on in present days. What Muslims are doing all over world should be stopped and policy of live and let others live should be adopted. By violence we are not serving Islam rather defaming Islam and its teachings.
    Regards

  3. Ajay Malhotra says:

    This is only one of the loveable poetry of late Amrita Pritam. I had not seen the Partition but I feel pain whenever I hear any
    note regarding Partition.
    My father took part in freedom struggle against British. I wish I could come to Pakistan and see and meet lost family friends in Bhera.
    I hope my wish may be fulfilled some day, God is great.

  4. Azam Gill, France says:

    The Partition deaths are India and Pakistan’s joint shame.
    Tears will not wash it and words will only make it worse.
    Spilling blood for over six decades has only depreciated the situation, although both countries share the same Indo-European code of sharam, ghairat and aman.
    It is time to give peace a chance.

  5. Yes! people paid a very price for the Partition of India. It was hasty and not very well thought decision and I hold both the leadership of Indian Congress and Pakistan Muslim League responsible for this divide and resultant chaos. Have things changed in the last sixty-seven years? We remained as vicious, self-centered, and ethnically divided as we have been all through our history. Look what is happening in Karachi, Pakhtunkhwa, and the tribal belt. How the new forces of hate aka ‘religious right’ is playing havoc for last couple of decades. Sectarianism, regionalism, and self-defined religiosity has become the norm to govern our lives. If this was our destiny, then what was wrong with united India? Don’t we declare everyone a kafir, or a lesser Pakistani than ourselves?
    Just look at the happenings in last one month: brutal assassination of a physician in Rabwah, not allowing Ahmedis to bury their dead in the cemeteries of the pious thugs, killing of a young lady outside Lahore High Court.
    Let us live like human beings, respect each other’s rights, and celebrate diversity than making the divide more wide.

    • Amjid Quamber says:

      There is a proposal to setup a new Province called Begum Province. Only women will love and work there and males will not be allowed. Thus the question of women being makroo and haram will be solved.
      Also future generations will not have women to bother with and in just 20 years the issue of militants and Pakistan will be solved forever.

      • Col (R) Sohail Qureshi, USA says:

        Partition of India happened for a reason. The Muslims did not feel protected and wanted their rights protected based on population. The idea of Pakistan came later when this was denied by none other than Jawaharlal Nehru. Some credit him for the creation of Pakistan.

        Thank God for Pakistan had it not been so some of us would not have had the opportunities we had and it would be fair to say some of us would be selling “Paan” in undivided India.

        What happened during Partition and is happening now is shameful. That has little to do with creating Pakistan. Human beings not acting as human beings is not a phenomena just in Pakistan or India, it is all over. Yes, shameful just shameful.

        This poem by Amrita Pritam and narration by poet Gulzar is top class and very powerful indeed. Sampooran Singh Kalra, known popularly by his pen name Gulzar, is an Indian poet, lyricist and film director. Born in Jhelum district in British India, his family moved to India after Partition. I would request all to download and listen to it, it will move you to tears. It is that powerful.

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