Nightingale of Pukhtoonwala (Rehman Baba)


Here he rests
The old nightingale
In its peace and grave,
From the descendants
Of an old tribe and its code
The old settlers, at the outskirts
Through years of travel
The poet, in mausoleum of words

The old Pushtu poet
Carried in his words,
The echoes of peace and music
The Old Sufi
Carried in his soul,
The echoes of unity and humility
From the old rivers to its tribes
The imagination that were to capture
For centuries across the time
The old love affair,
With land and its descendants
Now lies in ruins, his words,
The resting place, in holes

Call they themselves
The proponents of change
By destruction and rope,
By death and by smoke
The old echoes still there,
In those fallen grounds
Live I not in the mausoleum
But in those hearts
Of millions that came,
And millions that are now
Never will you succeed,
I am them and they are me,
Bounded by the music
And the legends of this place
Mountains are my witness
And my words, the echo
Of distant past and now yours,

What is it you gained, if gain it is you say,
Maimed you have the old past and its land
The brutality of invaders to the heart that is stone
Inside you, as you have killed yourself
Worry not for me, but for the future ahead
I will always be there in my words
See you must with your own soul
Those moments of peace
As I hear your footsteps in my awake
I am already dead, what more can you do
Killed you have yourself, as I cry for you
In my words, in my land, of distant times
Now the playground, for devil to claim
The imaginary stakes and the real crimes
Remember, it’s in you, the old music
Claim it, the nightingales of time!



10 thoughts on “Nightingale of Pukhtoonwala (Rehman Baba)

  1. “Live I not in the mausoleum
    But in those hearts
    Of millions that came,
    And millions that are now
    Never will you succeed,
    I am them and they are me,” …

    Now the bastards have started to blow the mausoleums of our legendary sufis. I strongly believe whoever is behind this heinous act isn’t a muslim, for how could a muslim even think about damaging the grave of a true lover of the Prophet (S.A.W)? Rehman Baba indeed was a poet and Sufi par excellence. Your poem touches the strings of one’s heart. A great tribute to the great Rehman Baba.

    Here is a link of something I wrote in the same connection sometimes back;

  2. Aadil I completely agree. This thought and mind cannot be the workings of a muslim blowing graves up in this manner. A henious act it is.

    I remember reading these two poems of yours….an equally great tribute, if not much better.

    Keep well..

  3. Thanks Goonga Jee
    Aadil I saw few other posts by Raza Rumi as well on Pak tea House to highlight this issue and treatment given to our poets…

  4. These old sufis of the past left back legacies of wisdom that lie unread, unheard and lost in the dusty covers of historical manuscripts…

  5. Asma,
    It is so true. I remember Aadil had done some wonderful translations of Rehman Baba’s poetry and in fact the credit goes to Aadil for introducing Rehman Baba to me….

    Many thanks Aadil I always wanted to thank you for that.

  6. @ Kashkin … I’m glad we think same on the topic. I in fact am grateful to you for the support you’ve rendered to my rather mundane efforts in poetry. I love to read your poetry and topics you choose to pen. Hope you’ll keep inspiring us to do better. 🙂

  7. Although I have not read the original poem, I am sure you ve done justice to it !
    You choice of words is something that always fascinates me…very intelligent of you !
    I hope you’ll translate more of his works and of others too

  8. Cav,
    This is not a translation of Rehman Baba’s poem. I think Aadil had translated two of his poems. This poem was written as a tribute to the great poet and also the current circumstances we are faced with.

    But I would like to translate some of his works…But the only problem is I dont understand Pushto…:)……I guess Aadil will be a better choice in this respect…

    Aadil if you are going to read this, please note Cav’s request.

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