Home CULTURE Poetry for Peace: ‘Delay the War, it is Better,’ Wrote Sahir Ludhianvi

Poetry for Peace: ‘Delay the War, it is Better,’ Wrote Sahir Ludhianvi

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An English translation of the poet’s verses written for India and Pakistan at the time of the Tashkent peace agreement of 1966, which resolved the 1965 war.

Sahir Ludhianvi

Delay the war, it is better
Your yard or mine,
If the lights stay on, it is better

The blood be your own or foreign
It is the blood of Adam, after all
The war, it may be in the west or east
It is the murder of world peace, after all.

The war itself is a bitter blight
How then will it alleviate any affliction?
The blood and fire will today be merciful
But tomorrow will be starved, insufficient.

Is it necessary, that streaming blood
Be evidence of your superiority?
To dispel the darkness of your own home
Is it necessary to incinerate someone else’s city?

Bombs might shower on houses or borders
They destroy the soul of an edifice;
The land that burns, be yours or foreign
All lives will writhe in indigence.

The tanks might charge, they might retreat
The womb of the earth is left infertile
Exult in victory or grieve in defeat
Life will lament a loss that was futile

For that I implore, my blameless mortals
Delay the war, it is better
Your yard or mine,
If the lights stay on, it is better

(Translated from the Urdu by Vatsala Peshawaria.)

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