Of Dirt

by Navid Zaidi

ماٹی قدم کریندی یار

ماٹی جوڑا، ماٹی گھوڑا
ماٹی دا اسوار
ماٹی ماٹی نوں دوڑائے
ماٹی دا کھڑکار
ماٹی قدم کریندی یار

ماٹی ماٹی نوں مارن لگی
ماٹی دا ہتھیار
جس ماٹی پر بوہتی ماٹی
تس ماٹی ہنکار
ماٹی قدم کریندی یار

ماٹی باغ بغیچہ ماٹی
ماٹی دی گل زار
ماٹی ماٹی نوں ویکھن آئی
ماٹی دی اے بہار
ماٹی قدم کریندی یار
ہس کھیڈ مڑ ماٹی ہوئیاں
پوندیاں پیر پسار
ماٹی قدم کریندی یار

ہس کھیڈ مڑ ماٹی ہوئی
ماٹی پاوں پسار
بلھا ایہہ بجھارت بوجھیں
لاہ سر بھوئیں مار

Dirt makes us swagger, O friend !

The apparel is of dirt,

The horse is of dirt ;

Of dirt is the rider.

The dirt makes the dirt flee ;

Of dirt is all clamor.

Dirt makes us swagger, O friend !

Dirt is at war with dirt ;

All weapons are made of dirt.

The dirt with much dirt over it,

Is the dirt full of pride.

Dirt makes us swagger, O friend !

Of dirt is the garden, of dirt the orchard,

Of dirt is all the glory of flowers.

Dirt has come to look at dirt ;

Of dirt comes the season of spring.

Dirt makes us swagger, O friend !

That which laughed and played became dirt again,

It now sleeps with legs outstretched.

O Bullah, if you were to solve this riddle,

You would caste aside your ego and pride.

Dirt makes us swagger, O friend !

                                      …..Bulleh Shah (18th Century Sufi poet of the Punjabi language)

 Man, a sculpture made of dirt, runs around all day without knowing that the physical body of man and all his possessions are made of dirt. This means that they are all ephemeral, passing. All the events in man’s life are seen as a phantom show by Bulleh Shah. They have neither substance nor permanence.

When a man comes to possess much wealth, in his folly he becomes haughty and egotistic. Nothing that is physical and material is free from the disease of decay and transience. The glory of spring flowers is all too fleeting.

Bulleh Shah reminds us emphatically that in the fun and frolic of our lives we are liable to forget the fact of death, which is always looming large before us. If this truth is kept before the mind, no room would be left for pride and insolence.

Poetry: Bulleh Shah; Commentary: Navid Zaidi; Musical Rendering: Umar Aziz and The Sound Chemist Studios

This entry was posted in Classic Poetry, Navid Zaidi, Original Essays and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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