In Desert of My Solitude (Dasht-e-Tanhai Mein)

– Performed by Meesha Shafi on platform of Coke Studio (Latest and most popular rendition till date)


In wilderness of my desolation,
Oh my beloved, lingers…
silage of your whispers,
and mirage of your lips.
In wilderness of my desolation,
beneath soil of distance, blooms…
charm of your embrace,
as jasmines and tulips.

Ascents warmth of your breaths,
close – somewhere,
Being simmered in its own fragrance,
softly, bit by bit.
Far away glimmering on the azure
canvas, tear by tear,
Perches like a glance of your love,
a dew, heaven-lit.

With such love and benevolence,
Oh my beloved, settles…
the memory of yours, its hand
on bosom of my heart, here now.
It feels as if,
(though it’s time of lonesome dawn),
Sun of rapture is soothing down,
Moon of union is to cast spell here now.

– Dedicated to a desert of solitude that transforms into an oasis of remembrance…

Dasht-e-Tanhai Mein
Aye Jaan-e-jahaan, Larzan Hai
Teri Aawaaz Ke Saaye
Tere Honton Ke Seraab.
Dasht-e-tanhaayee Mein
Doori Ke Khas-o-khaak Talei
Khil Rahe Hain Tere Pehlu Ke
Saman Aur Gulaab.

Uth Rahi Hai Kahin Qurbat Se
Teri Saans Ki Aanch
Apni Khushboo Mein Sulaghti Huee
Maddham, Maddham…
Door Ufaq Paar Chamakti Hui
Qatra Qatra…
Gir Rahi Hai Teri Dildaar
Nazar Ki Shabnam.

Is Qadar Pyaar Se
Aye Jaan-e-jahaan Rakkha Hai
Dil Ke Rukhsaar Pe Is Waqt
Teri Yaad Ne Haath.
Yunh Ghumaan Hota Hai
Garj Hai Abhi Subh-e-firaaq
Dhal Gaya Hijr Ka Din
Aaa Bhi Gayi Wasl ki Raat.

– Originally written by poet of far excellence and sheer brilliance Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

This is a very famous and equally cherished poem by Faiz saheb. It’s widely known for its rendition by Iqbal Bano and later by Tina Sani and Meesha Safi. Out of which Iqbal Bano’s rendition is still most beloved to me. And as it happens, there are many translations of it on internet. Yet, since it portrays the genius of the poet, it’s very close to my heart. I was bound to personalize it in some way.

Notice the symmetry along the rhythm and flow in it (the rhymes are intricately woven with free verse here). See how metaphors are played with here, the solitude of the lover is presented as desert, and his melancholy as dessert’s nature. Yet everything representing despair in desert converts into a garden of hope and love, which he explains later in last verse that it’s due to remembrance of love of his life. He starts to take everything in wilderness as positively just because he’s along the memory of the beloved.

I have tried my best here to keep the original’s subliminal structure intact in translation, along all the metaphors by the way they are introduced in one line just to be ascended in another. Faiz saheb’s this poem is really a sheer work of brilliance, and of course this translation can never justify it completely. Yet I am glad, that I made an attempt to exhibit my love.

Jealousy or Love?

This poem is a response to Miss Sidra Kamals intense and picturesque piece…  “Jealousy in Love

I find myself craving for you like a tree aching towards dawn's direction...

I find myself craving her like a tree aching for sun, in dawn’s direction…

I am jealous of the ocean that treats her like sun,
sinks her within like a dazzle beyond refraction.

I am jealous of the moon that keeps her in sight,
and stars that follow her in her dreams all night…

I am jealous of the clouds that hover on her head,
as they become a drizzle to kiss her forehead…

I am jealous of the drizzle that she soaks herself in,
and those droplets that later glide on her skin…

I am jealous of wet air that touches her hair, and
of those lights that make her eyes go twinkling.

I am jealous of those wet roads that she walks on,
and everything that feels her and stands gasping.

I am jealous of those places that have her embodied,
and those moments that carry her as charm unique.

I am jealous of sound of wind blowing, drops falling
they whisper love in her ear to send her dreaming.

I am jealous of all those words that fall from her lips,
as I’m not there to catch them before they leave sigh..

I am jealous of all those songs that set her on fire,
and all those little secrets that turns her fragile.

I am jealous of those blank sheets that she writes on,
opening up like a bottle, pouring herself like wine…

I am jealous of all the metaphors that she likes,
since they make their way so easily into her lines…

I am jealous of mirrors that tend to see her often,
wearing that smile, grace, charm and aura divine…

I am jealous of that mascara spread on her eyes,
that knows before me what her silence confines…

Yes, I am jealous…

I am jealous of even the future imagining myself in it,
that it loves her more intensely than I in a present time.

But Perhaps…

I am not actually jealous of anything that is in contact with her,
But resentful of self that I can’t express my gravity of love to her.


I have a jealousy with such strange jealousy in love,
like a tree it grows yet deepens in roots my love for her.

My love is jealous of every loving gesture of her life that she can't make me a part of.

My love is jealous of every loving gesture of her life that she can’t make me a part of.

– Dedicated to a beloved by a self-proclaimed jealous lover.

Art Reference:
1. African Big Tree at Dawn wall art –
2. Love Tree at Twilight wall art –

Love You…

This poem is a response to Shereen Aljarrah‘s very vigorous and fervent piece…  “Love Me


You make me whirl in your love. Dance you are, you’re the wind…

I look at you not with child like orbs,
but like an orbs of a man,
that has earned the brightness in eyes
after years of blindness.
Before you, who had no idea of colors,
whatever he did know of them was from
the text and the shallow inscriptions.

I touch you not like a Gardner
touching his beloved flower,
but like a soul – a vagabond spirit
who earns all the senses to touch and feel
after uniting with its contender for a journey.
Before you, it had no idea of what it feels like
to be the one with somebody.

I kiss you not like a man struggling for
survival, so you can lend him a life… No.
But like a monk, who’s been rewarded
with the fruit forbidden for an after-life,
in lieu of all the chastity and sacrifice.
The eternal chalice of the youth potion,
one that he cherishes each day, each night.

I hold you not like a lost traveler
holding a torn map in last hope of destination.
But like a way an old man holds glasses and stick.
Like the way mystic carries his heart,
because that’s the abode of the beloved.
Like a companion without whom
there could be no journey, let alone the destination.

I love you not like anything or anyone…
Because that would be a faulty comparison.
If anything, I love you like greater than the previous moment…
Because I desire to love you like anything
ever been in love before; I desire to love you
beyond realms of the ordinary metaphors.
I love you like time loves itself, it only reveals this in the steps.

I can’t be your placating anchor,
I can’t be your stormy sea either.
Nor I can grant you to take refuge in me,
nor allow you to sail through me.
Because I’m inside you, like you’re inside me…
what happens to me is what happens to you…
We sink, we stay, we board ashore, or we stray
we are together in all possibilities.

How can one separate the light from eyes and still make it see?
How can one separate the life from its sensibility?
How can one separate the creativity from the artist?
How can one separate the heart alive from its heart beats?
How can one separate the love from its very pool of emergence?

What need be for me to surrender?
Why would you want me to be conquered?
There’s nothing in me,
that doesn’t belong to you…
I look with you…
I feel with you…
I kiss you like a life…
I hold you like the body carries its soul…

Just give me a permission for one thing, if you can…
Can I love you more than you want me to??

Whirling Dervish - Hayrettin Karaerkek

You are the sheet, I am in and you are the color I have on me.

– Dedicated to the seekers of love, worldly or mystic. I sincerely don’t know how to fathom what love is, but if it’s most grand as I imagine it to be, my all tries are to get close.

Art Reference:
1. Whirling Dervish by Areesha Khuwaja
2. Whirling Dervish by Hayrettin Karaerkek

Image Credits: and

Poem Being Written

This poem is a response to Aminah Tasleem‘s very intense piece…  “Be my poem, I want to write you.


“As you write to me… I’m a poem being written!”

Book not “unread”, but the one buried being hexed – marked cursed.

A book torn apart,
of whom each page is scattered,
for no consolidation later.
Unless by the One,
who shred it
in the crime of passion.

Letter not “undone”, but one that’s burned right after the reading.

A letter, written in symbols,
of whom each alphabet is ciphered,
for no comprehension later.
Unless by the One,
who wrote it
under intoxication of love.

Rose far from the “book”, but from the bouquet left on the grave of foe departed.

A rose with stark color petals,
of whom fragrance is dispersed,
to never be captivated by beholder.
Unless by the One,
who planted it
in soil of worth.

Pearl not “cryptic”, but a rock under erosion due to an affair with the ruthless motion.

A pearl so transparent,
of whom nothing gets filtered,
to ever be possessed by the hunter.
Unless by the One,
who shaped it
with skin of bewilderment.

Cloud not “dark”, but fog so light, lost in air, mixing with dust storms of desert.

A cloud made of unseen radiance,
of whom light remains unparalleled,
ceaselessly overwhelming the witness.
Unless for the One,
who orchestrated it
with sound of explosion.

Ocean not without “Sun”, but one that has absorbed the star and is now burning with-in.

An ocean full of star dust,
of whom each particle is lit with fire,
drowning those who want to swim.
Unless for the One,
who set it blazing,
with enlightening smile.

Wanderlust not seeking a “guide”, but one that’s seeking to be lost in the wilderness.

A wanderlust on the path of expansion,
of whom each way leads to new indulgence,
engulfing those who seek some place.
Unless for the One,
who creates the labyrinthian,
whirling around the effulgence.

And being one missing already… like an air from the planet, I request observer to move on, to search a base with life to inhabit.

Missed are the ones, from there place,
who set their eyes on the illusion…
Missed are the ones, from the very moments,
who come to know the truth behind the appearance.

Think of me – I’m verse being remembered…
As you write to me – I’m poem being written!

– Dedicated to two opposite dimensions that reside with-in single entity: Personalized pessimism vs. Mystic optimism.

Image Credits: