“Bukh” (Famine), a Short Poem

By Maj Gen Parvez Akmal (42nd Long Course)

Major General (Retired) Parvez AkmalEditor’s Note: Maj Gen Parvez Akmal is from Engineers. He lives in DHA Phase 1, Islamabad after retirement. He writes Urdu and Punjabi poetry with his pen-name “PA Lala”.  Here is a one verse poem from PA Lala. He wrote it after seeing a picture of a bare-breasted skinny mother holding her skeleton child, both crying, during a famine in Ethiopia or Somalia. That picture was lost and here another photo of two famine stricken mothers and their children has been shown.

Punjabi Poetry by Parvez Akmal: "Bukh" (Famine), a short poem - Poets of Rawalpindi

Related Pages:
More Punjabi Poetry from Rawalpindi
Photos of Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi Memorabilia
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi

Editor’s Note: If you have liked this poem, then please share it on Facebook,  Twitter or any other social media. Please also write your brief comment at the end of this page under the heading “Leave a Reply here”.



  1. Moaziz Syed, Avn (1st War Course), Canada says:

    Allah is the best of Providers ?????????

  2. Parvez Akmal (PA Lala) says:

    In all humility such lavish compliment for this novice’s verse is like a sweet dream; my sincere gratitude to you all for your kind encouragement. That it also triggered some moving couplets and comments, on the subject, by the readers is also Allah’s blessing. May Allah Almighty rid us mortals from the ‘famine of both body and soul’!! A ‘Ramadan Package’ would follow soon; please do bear with some longer poems too. My prayers and profound regards for you and your families.

  3. This is really touching and thoughtful. And I am amazed to find some more verses equally moving and awe inspiring in the comments by some above, specially by Tahir Dar.

  4. Ovais Mushtaq says:

    لرز جاندی اے بنده ویکھ کے اے بدحالی
    جِتهے رہے نہ بنده نہ پِپل نہ ٹالی

    Laraz Jandaei banda vaikh keh ai badd haali
    Jithay rai na banda na pippal na taali

  5. Qaiser Khalil says:

    A powerful verse that touches the reader’s heart and brings tears to eyes.

  6. Col (R) Absar Ahmad Minhas says:

    What? A General? PA Lala. No doubt he is Great. الله کرے زورِ بیاں اور زیاده!!

  7. Capt Rana M. Sadiq says:

    “Yaan te bhaij asmaan tu mola muflis keetsy roti….nan tan aighi nasal atta ker jeenda pait na howey”.
    It is a verse in seraiki language meaning, “Oh Allah muflis kay liye ya to aasmaan say roti bhaij day, werna aisi nasal atta ker jis ka pait hi na ho” yaani usay khaney ki zaroorat hi na ho. This verse is from Shakir Shuja Abadi the poet.

  8. Nisar Sarwar Khara says:

    Bohat khoob.

  9. Col Shahid Kureshi, Retd (46 PMA), Dubai says:

    This verse sends one in an emotional and sentimental spin. PA Lala, keep it up.

  10. Lt Col Khalid Hameed Shah says:

    Touching but a real TRUTH!

  11. You may find this kind of situation in remote areas of Pakistan. I witnessed young children eating the peace of bread from the trash and eating at many such places in the main cities. I witnessed at two places, once in Saffan Wala Chowk Lahore and Commercial Market Rawalpindi. I saw the same thing in Miami, Florida, USA, a young man taking out a piece of burger from the trash can and eating it.
    What am I doing? Just sharing with friends and forgetting. Can I do something?
    At least I can start with not wasting even a piece of bread or food. Keep it for other time instead throwing it in the trash drums. Half the population of the World sleeps hungry. Every 4th child sleeps hungry in USA. The total population of Americans living below poverty level is more than the population of Canada.
    The worst TIME is coming.
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    • Ovais Mushtaq says:

      I feel that sharing these thoughts is itself a safeguard against such horrors and spurs all to prevent them in their own respective ways. There is still a LOT of benevolence and philanthropy that our society should propagate and expand upon.

  12. Lt Gen (R) Kamal Akbar, Eye Spec says:

    Poets such as you make the day for many readers.

  13. Touched, cried and inspired, feelings yielded in Punjabi.

  14. Maj Tariq J Haider (46 PMA) says:

    Such poverty and injustice in this world potrayed by your verses, but do they have any affect, history full of such events and mostly the poor suffer. Anyway Sir, keep up your efforts, they are quite touching.

  15. Maj Hasan Jawaid, USA says:

    Impressive and moving. Allah is omnipotent and omnipresent but Rudyard Kipling has said something very interesting “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers”.

  16. Very touching and close to reality of situation in Ethiopia.

  17. Lt Col Khalid Hasan Butt (44 PMA) says:

    A touchy and realistic description sir. Please keep contributing to this website. Regards.

  18. Mehmud Ahmed (Brampton, Canada) says:

    This one verse has touched a raw nerve and several scenes haunt me. It reminded me of the famous pen-sketch of Zainul Abedin describing the famine in Kolkatta (then Calcutta) during WW II……

  19. Lt Col Waseem Rashid says:

    تو قادر مطلق ہے، مگر تیرے جہاں میں
    ہیں تلخ بہت بنده مزدور کے اوقات

  20. Brig Azkar Lodhi says:

    A very touching subject and a great prayer. I really appreciate your idea. May Allah guide us to help the poor.

  21. Col Jehan Zeb ( retd) says:

    A message to complete humanity. We all should look around us………
    May Allah bless the writer… I appreciate his efforts for reaching this rank with such thoughts.

  22. Mansoor Humayon (Rtd. from OGDCL) says:

    Heart touching poem. We at OGDCL, did not know this quality, General Sahib.
    Keep it up Sir.

  23. Dr. Arif Qureshi, USA says:

    A beautiful poem and very deep indeed. We must all encourage each other to feed the hungry.
    I lived in Rawalpindi from 1955-1962. Sab dee khair, sab da bhala.

  24. Lt Col Abdul Waheed Bhatti says:

    A very touching verse, may Allah help and look after humanity and these events do not take place. You said it Sir

  25. Really touching. Reflects the acute pain of poverty and deprivation. Well said, sir.

  26. Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema says:

    A short but forceful one verse poem. Keep contributing, sir.

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