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Poetry

Changing

By Akhtar Ul-Iman
Translated from Urdu by M. A. R. Habib

In this teeming city, is there none
Who might recognize me, walking,
Calling: Hey, you, madman!
We two might embrace just there,
Forgetting our place, surroundings,
To swear, laugh, scuffle,
Sit in the shade of some nearby tree,
Listening, talking, for hours.
And in this market of pristine souls
This priceless life of mine
Might, for a day, change. 

Translation of “Tabdili,” in Sar-o-Saman (Bombay: Rakhshanda Kitab Ghar, 1983). Translation copyright 2010 by M.A.R. Habib. All rights reserved.

English

In this teeming city, is there none
Who might recognize me, walking,
Calling: Hey, you, madman!
We two might embrace just there,
Forgetting our place, surroundings,
To swear, laugh, scuffle,
Sit in the shade of some nearby tree,
Listening, talking, for hours.
And in this market of pristine souls
This priceless life of mine
Might, for a day, change. 

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