House (Makaan) By Kaifi Azmi – aaj kii raat bahut garm havaa chaltii hai / aaj kii raat naa fuT-paath pe niiNd aaegii (आज की रात बहुत गर्म हवा चलती है आज की रात न फ़ुटपाथ पे नींद आएगी).
A very hot wind blows tonight,
There will be no sleep on the footpath tonight,
Wake up all! Me, you and you too,
A window will open from this very wall.
This earth was hell bent to swallow even then,
When we took down our foot from the broken branches,
Neither these houses nor the dwellers know,
Of the days we spent in the caves.
When the hands got cast in the mould so how could it get tired
We carved out Palace after Palace,
These high walls, higher and even higher,
We embellished roof and door, more and more.
Storms used to blow off the candles,
So we lighted the bulbs,
When the Palace was built, someone sat on guard,
While we slept on the ashes with bustle of construction.
Carrying the fatigue of our relentless struggle in every vein,
Having an image of the very Palace in our closed eyes,
Day passes in the same way,
Night hits the eyes with dark arrow.
By Kaifi Azmi
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