Thursday, April 19, 2007

Poem on destruction of Iraq, 'Halaku, if you visit Baghdad, again': Marjeena no longer lives in Alif Laila land...

Even  Halaku would be shocked at such destruction!
What would the medieval Halaku Khan feel if he ever came to the shores of Iraq, a country he had plundered centuries ago.

Iraq has been ravaged, destroyed. Post 2/11, the War on Terror, led to the American forces targeting Saddam Hussein.

'Halaku's Second Coming To Baghdad' is an Urdu verse written in this context, and is being published and circulated across Urdu speaking world.

Shattered at the mindless violence in Iraq and the end of a country, a civilization, in this modern era, famed poet Hasan Abidi's wrote this famous Nazm, which you can READ HERE IN URDU, ENGLISH & HINDI.

Now, coming back to the post:

*A lunatic killed over 30 students on the Virginia university campus and I joined millions of Americans in this hour of sadness. But then I heard George Bush saying how his heart was full of sadness at the deaths.

*Later as news of 360 persons dying in a single day in Baghdad in four separate suicide attacks was broadcast, I switched off the television in disgust. The figure was slightly higher even by Iraq's standards.

Hulagu Khan [Halaku]
You curse these mindless Shias and Sunnis, butchering each other. But then we really don't know what is happening there. We only know one thing for sure, who planned this insane war on Iraq and the devastation of this country.

Doesn't he feel remorse? Can he sleep peacefully after this dance of death.

It was during such a mental state that I remembered Hasan Abidi's Urdu verse about Halaku's second coming. The Tatar Holocaust had begun nearly eight centuries ago when the army of Halaku [also writte as Hulagu or Halagu], turned towards the Abbasid empire.

Halaku was the son of Changez [Genghis/Chingiz] Khan. As the cruel war-monger Halaku moved ahead, the tidal wave of devastation led to millions of deaths in Iraq. Baghdad, Nishapur, Samarkand and Herat accounted for over a million deaths each.

Many other cities were completely exterminated. The jewel of Islamic world, Baghdad, was turned into a city of corpses by Halaku's men. Halaku's father practiced Shamanism, they worshipped sky, and his mother was a Nestorian Christian woman but his great grandson Berek had later embraced Islam.

What Halaku would feel if he comes to Baghdad again?

The English translation is here:

Halaku, when you will come to Baghdad this time
'Dajla' would have cleaned her shore with wetness of blood
Here one more army, an army of blaze-n-rock would have camped
For many hundred years this city of angst
which never slept, would have been slept this time

Halaku, when you will come to Baghdad this time
You will find corpses, but without head
A tower of skulls would have been built before your entrance
streets, lanes, inns, sanctuaries, cafes
would have been standing their hands bagging their shadows

Ashes of libraries would have been drifted
Antiques would have been distributed in bags
Valued copies of god's book and divine scrolls
whose sights kept chests lighted
woud have been burned
No more Marjinas, No more land of Alif Laila

Halaku, when you will come to Baghdad this time
Nights of "alif Laila" (Thousand nights) will have escaped from tales
wearing sheet of sunlight, sitting on sand's cliff
would have been waiting for tale-tellers, merchants, travellers, con-mans and princes
(to see when night will fall on city)
But now no dawn will come, or any night will fall

Halaku, when you will come to Baghdad this time
(from) Ali Baba's treasures of gold, (to) tents and field, all would have been looted
Where vougish-n-astucious Marjeena lived, there now lived young warriors of some other world
Here is a magic in soil, earth bears gold
(but now)there is smell of oil

Halaku, when you will come to Baghdad this time
you will come for not to go

[Thanks to Mystic Soul for the translation]