You make feel delusional, O Life!

This poem illustrates some extreme shades of life, with its intrinsic multifarious and mysterious characteristics, that can easily confuse a human into believing and disbelieving things, which can potentially make him feel delusional. It also illustrates a complex and rather testing relationship between God and man, whilst highlighting the latter’s general frustration at the perceived inability and helplessness of God in lessening numerous existential and mundane human sufferings, especially of the weak, downtrodden and the unprivileged. The man not only challenges God’s role and intentions behind the Creation but also appeals for His help to at least restore the dignity of the poor by making the wealthy more empathetic and caring towards them, thereby, acknowledging and conceding that it is the wealthy and the powerful, and not God directly, who practically shape, make and break the lives of the poor.

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Behaka deti hai tu, ae Zindaghi – a poem in Urdu by Bill Koul (The English translation, “You make feel delusional, O Life!” of the poem is below the Urdu version.)

Behaka deti hai Zindaghi aksar tu, kabi dhoop mein aur kabhi chandni mein;

Kabi dhoop be lagi thandi aur kabi chandni nae be jalaya; kabi jeet nae chhupayee humaree haar, kabi haar nae chhupayee jeet humaree.

… § … ☼ … § …

Kabi haleem bun gaye’ wehshi, kabi wehshi bun gaye’ mateen;

Behaka deti hai Zindaghi, kabi wehshat mein aur kabi sanjeedghi mein, kabi hosh mein aur kabi behoshi mein.

… § … ☼ … § …

Zinda thhey jub hum, hijrat mein rahe’, kabi amiri mein, kabi muflassi mein;

Behka deti hai Zindaghi, kabi zeist mein aur kabhi hijr mein, kabi hum majaz rahe’ aur kabi haq se bilkul mehroom.

… § … ☼ … § …

Kat gayee Zindaghi aisae he, teri husrat mein aur tere initizar mein, kabi kufr mein, kabi sajde’ mein;

Aisa toh nahi ki tu nahi, par behaka deti hai khamoshi teri; kabi aasmaan mein, kabi zameen par, kabi ghar mein aur kabi ibadat-khanne’ mein.

… § … ☼ … § …

Deekhi teri Kudrat kabi veeranae mein aur kabi gulzar mein, kabi urooj mein aur kabi gehrayee mein;

O Kudrat, behaka deti hai tu, kabi khwab mein, kabi hoshyari mein; kabi shorogul mein aur kabi tanhai mein.

… § … ☼ … § …

Aisa toh nahi ki gulistan nahi hai Zindaghi, tarah tarah ke phool hai jisme’ aur kuchh kante’ be;

O Kudrat, behaka deta hai tera har aks muje’, zubaani be aur be-zubanee be, kabi shab main aur kabi subah mein.

… § … ☼ … § …

Behaktae rahe’ hum, kabi nashukri mein, kabi irfaani mein; kabi adab se’, kabi be-adabee se’;

O Zindaghi, behaka deti hai tu, kabi zillat mein, kabi mahshoori mein; kabi shikast mein, kabi fateh mein.

… § … ☼ … § …

Teri barkat se humme’ saadat be milae, irfani be milee; majlis mein be baithe’, ijlas mein be;

Teree hukam aur marzi se hummne’ dosti be kee aur wafa be, naam be kiya aur apna karam be.

… § … ☼ … § …

Teri mohabbat mein hum mehfooz be rahe’, aabad be rahe’; giraftar be rahe’ aur azad be rahe’;

Teri justuju mei, kabi mere alfaaz be gaye’, kabi khayalat be gaye’; tere soz-o-saaz mein kabi madhosh be rahe’ aur kabi rind be bane’.

… § … ☼ … § …

O Rabba, inayat kar de’, dikha de’ apna jalwa, apnee tabinda tabbsum, apnee mehak aur apna noor;

Teri khamoshi kee vajah se hum kabi tanha be rahe’ and kabi ruswa be huae; kabi kufur be kiya aur kabi bandhagee be kee.

… § … ☼ … § …

Kab tak khamosh rahega, O Rabba, kab tak teri duniya mein zulam-o-sitam rahega?;

Gunahgaroon ko agar saza de’ nahi sakta, unhe’ kum-se-kum insaaniyat de’, imandari de’, ruhanyat de’, akal de’, naram-dili de’.

… § … ☼ … § …

Kuchh agar kar nahi sakta, Rabba, phir banayee kyon yeh duniya tumne’, kyon bun gaya tu Khuda?

Guzarish hai tumse, O Rubba, buchoon ko mehroom na kar teri shaan se, tere gul-o-gulzar se, teri muhhobat se, teri noorani se.

… § … ☼ … § …

Khamosh hai toh kya hua, koi aisee jagah nahi jahan tu nahi , koi aisa karm nahi jo tu nahi kar sakta;

O Rubba, ab shafqat kar, inayat kar, apne ulfat se gariboon ko izzatt de’, zindaghee de’, azadee de’ aur, agar ho sake’, amiroon ko be naram-dili de’, insaaniyat de.

… § … ☼ … § …… § … ☼ … § …… § … ☼ … § …… § … ☼ … § …… § … ☼ … § …

 You make feel delusional, O Life!

The illusion of life invariably made me delusional and I strayed; at times, I felt cold in the hot sun and, at times, I was scorched even by the moonlight. At times, my victory concealed my defeat and, at times, my defeat was hidden within my victory.

… § … ☼ … § …

Sometimes, Life turns a gentle into a brute and a barbarian into a decent individual; sometimes, a giants is dwarfed and a dwarf becomes a giant.  Life tricks us when we are wild and also when we are serene; sometime consciously and sometime unconsciously.

… § … ☼ … § …

 Life was passed mostly in exile, away from home, at times, in prosperity and, at times, in poverty. Life tricks us, sometime in livingness (with our beloved) and sometime in our separation; sometime we have (lawful) authority and, sometime, we are completely disenfranchised.

… § … ☼ … § …

 Life just passed by, in your longing and in your wait, sometime (blasphemously) ungratefully and sometime in prostration. It is not that you don’t exist but your silence makes me feel delusional and I stray, sometime when I am in the sky and sometime on the ground, sometime at my home and sometime at a place of worship.

… § … ☼ … § …

 Having witnessed thy mysterious nature, sometime in the wilderness and sometime in a garden, sometime at the zenith and sometime at the nadir; O Nature, I stray, sometime in my dream state and sometime in waking state, sometime in the din that surrounds me and sometime in my solitude.

… § … ☼ … § …

 It is not that Life is not a garden of flowers, which contains flowers of varied types as well as some thorns; O Nature, thy mysterious images and reflections confuse me and make me feel speechless, both explicitly and implicitly, sometime during a pitch dark night and sometime at a glorious daybreak.

… § … ☼ … § …

 I kept straying, sometime in my (unwise) thanklessness and sometime in my gratitude and thankfulness, sometimes in a cultured way and sometimes in an uncultured way. O Life, I stray when you make me feel delusional, sometime in my humiliation (by the world) and sometime by my fame, both in my defeat as well as my victory.

… § … ☼ … § …

 With your benevolence and blessings, I received honour, wisdom and knowledge in abundance. I also sat in high councils and addressed distinguished gatherings. As per your will and instructions, I friended many a people, faithfully, whilst carrying out my allocated duties.

… § … ☼ … § …

 Your love not only protected me, I thrived and prospered too. Although I remained arrested (in your love) yet I remained (absolutely) free. In my yearning for you, at time, I lost my words and, at time, my thoughts. Sometimes, your (divine) presence not only made me ecstatic but also intoxicated me like a drunken rogue at other times.

… § … ☼ … § …

 O Lord, be kind and benevolent, charm me with your bright smile and drown me in your fragrant, effulgent divine form. Due to your silence, sometimes, I have been lonely and sometimes dishonoured; sometimes, I have become an infidel and sometimes a worshipper.

… § … ☼ … § …

 O Lord, how long will you keep quiet and let torture, oppression and injustice thrive in your world? If you are unable to punish culprits, at least make them humane, honest and spiritual, infuse wisdom in them and make them a little soft-hearted.

… § … ☼ … § …

 Lord, if you are unable to do anything, why did you create this world in the first place, why did you become God? I request you, O Lord, don’t deprive your children from your lustrous Divinity, your infinite Grace, your heavenly garden of flowers and your unbounded love.

… § … ☼ … § …

 Even if you are silent, there is not a place where you are not present; there is nothing that you can’t do. O, Lord, with your love and kindness now, restore the dignity of the poor, give them a respectful life and free them up and, if you can, make the wealthy a little soft-hearted and more humane.

… § … ☼ … § …… § … ☼ … § …… § … ☼ … § …… § … ☼ … § …

… Bill Koul (Perth, 25 April 2020)

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