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dasht-e-tanhaai mein, ai jaan-e-jahaan, larzaan hain
teri awaaz ke saaye, tere honthon ke saraab
dasht-e-tanhaai mein, duri ke khas-o-khaak tale
khil rahe hain tere pehlu ke saman aur gulaab
uth rahi hai kahin qurbat se teri saans ki aanch
apni khushbuu mein sulagti hui maddham maddham
dur ufaq par chamakati hui qatra qatra
gir rahi hai teri dil daar nazar ki shabnam
dil ke rukhsaar pe is vaqt teri yaad ne haath
yun guman hota hai garche hai abhi subah-e-firaaq
dhal gaya hijr ka din aa bhi gaye vasl ki raat
– Faiz Ahmed Faiz

In the desert of my solitude, oh love of my life, shiver
the shadows of your voice, the mirage of your lips
In the desert of my solitude, beneath the dust and ashes of distance
bloom the jasmines and roses of your closeness
From somewhere very close, the warmth of your breath rises
and kindles in its own aroma, slowly, bit by bit.
far on the horizon, glistens drop by drop
the falling dew of your enticing glance
With such love and tenderness, O love of my life,
Your memory placed its hand right now on the cheek of my heart
it seems as if, even though it’s still the morning of separation
the day of loneliness has passed and the night of reunion has arrived.

This captivating nazm, penned by the renowned Urdu poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz has been beautifully sung by Iqbal Bano, in this stunning live performance:


iqbal bano with faizIqbal bano was a highly acclaimed female Ghazal singer from Pakistan. She was considered a specialist in singing the ghazals of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. In 1985, Bano became a cult icon when she roused a strong crowd of 50,000 people in Lahore by singing Faiz’s passionate Urdu anthem, Hum Dekhenge (We Will See), despite the poet’s works being banned by General Zia ul-Haq’s military regime on the grounds of his close ties with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. In due course, she generated more and more public appeal and became a specialist in singing the kalam of Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Her inciting ghazals were an act of defiance and resistance at a time when the government manipulated its people like robots. (source: wikipedia)

Here is a very different rendition of the same ghazal sung by Meesha Shafi at Coke Studio Pakistan:

The Hindi script of the poem is below, titled Yaad (memory), from the book “The Way It was Once: Faiz Ahmed Faiz: His Life His Poems” by Ali Madeeh Hashmi and Shoaib Hashmi: