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Sartu

This poem by Manzoor Bismil has been translated from Balochi.

 

I’m the aging Ganjul
Wife of missing Jangiyan
Mother of poor Sartu.

I know not
What ails Sartu
Can’t point finger at his malaise
Perhaps witched by a sorcerer
Or victim of an evil eye
Otherwise
How could the loving son of a vivacious mother
And a valiant father
Sits idle all his life
No one believes
How could this be possible
I known something must be wrong
I brood over and over

I know not about the whereabouts of Jangiyan
And this jinxed Sartu is adding to my ordeal
This idle man
The indolent soul
Not the offspring we wished for
I am old and frail
Where from should I bring money for him
And food
I plead him to find himself a job
But will he!

Mir Gajiyan
An elder from our town
Was a merchant
Mir Gajiyan and Jangiyan were close friends
They smuggled cattle
From Gwader and Kolaanchi
Jashk and Chahbahar
Down to the shores of Iraq, Zanzibar and Oman
And brought back merchandise
Warehouses had been stacked with expensive clothes
We were rich and prosperous, all the town
A vigorous soul was Jangiyan
A beautiful dream was our life!
..

Then came a tumultuous time
Full of grief and gloom
No one cared for the other
Concerned only for the self
Days of our happiness came to an end
All the beautiful hues and shades
Time changed its colours
And the life took a turn

It was announced all of a sudden
The government has banned Mir Gajiyan from smuggling
In the middle of such talk
Jangiyan went to far-off lands to seek a job
And he never returned home
Only God knows if he is alive or dead?
A free man or a captive?
Should I wear black clothes or not?
Should I mourn his death or not?
Grief-stricken I know not what to do

The doomed Sartu
Neither went to school
Nor did he learnt any skill
Father forced him not
For he was the only child we had
Nor he lent an ear to my advices
For he was spoiled by excessive love
He still is my eyes’ light
But as this idle, lazy man
Opens his eyes even after a year-long slumber
Would still be wanting to sleep further
As if he has some mysterious illness
He sails with the wind when he walks
Doesn’t do nothing
The town’s people says my loving son is a drug addict
He takes opium and hemp
So he can’t open his eyes
So he thinks not of any work

I know not who is he
Who doles out drugs in the town
Who is he
Who has cast a curse on our people
..

Me the aging Ganjul
Wife of missing Jangiyan
Mother of poor Sartu!

About Rayhaan Baloch

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