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Akhtar Shirani

1905 - 1948 | Lahore, Pakistan

One of the most popular Urdu poets ever, known for his intense romantic poetry.

One of the most popular Urdu poets ever, known for his intense romantic poetry.

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kāñToñ se dil lagāo jo tā-umr saath deñ

phūloñ kyā jo saañs garmī na sah sakeñ

befriend the thorns for they will be loyal until death

what of these flowers that will wilt with just a burning breath

kanTon se dil lagao jo ta-umr sath den

phulon ka kya jo sans ki garmi na sah saken

befriend the thorns for they will be loyal until death

what of these flowers that will wilt with just a burning breath

ġham-e-zamāna ne majbūr kar diyā varna

ye aarzū thī ki bas terī aarzū karte

gham-e-zamana ne majbur kar diya warna

ye aarzu thi ki bas teri aarzu karte

inhī ġham ghaTāoñ se ḳhushī chāñd niklegā

añdherī raat ke parde meñ din raushnī bhī hai

inhi gham ki ghaTaon se KHushi ka chand niklega

andheri raat ke parde mein din ki raushni bhi hai

un ras bharī āñkhoñ meñ hayā khel rahī hai

do zahr ke pyāloñ meñ qazā khel rahī hai

un ras bhari aankhon mein haya khel rahi hai

do zahr ke pyalon mein qaza khel rahi hai

aarzū vasl rakhtī hai pareshāñ kyā kyā

kyā batā.ūñ ki mere dil meñ hai armāñ kyā kyā

aarzu wasl ki rakhti hai pareshan kya kya

kya bataun ki mere dil mein hai arman kya kya

din raat mai-kade meñ guzartī thī zindagī

'aḳhtar' vo be-ḳhudī ke zamāne kidhar ga.e

din raat mai-kade mein guzarti thi zindagi

'aKHtar' wo be-KHudi ke zamane kidhar gae

kuchh to tanhā.ī rātoñ meñ sahārā hotā

tum na hote na sahī zikr tumhārā hotā

kuchh to tanhai ki raaton mein sahaara hota

tum na hote na sahi zikr tumhaara hota

kaam aa sakīñ na apnī vafā.eñ to kyā kareñ

us bevafā ko bhuul na jaa.eñ to kyā kareñ

kaam aa sakin na apni wafaen to kya karen

us bewafa ko bhul na jaen to kya karen

uThte nahīñ haiñ ab to duā ke liye bhī haath

kis darja nā-umīd haiñ parvardigār se

uThte nahin hain ab to dua ke liye bhi hath

kis darja na-umid hain parwardigar se

kuchh is tarah se yaad aate rahe ho

ki ab bhuul jaane ko chāhtā hai

kuchh is tarah se yaad aate rahe ho

ki ab bhul jaane ko ji chahta hai

bhulā baiThe ho ham ko aaj lekin ye samajh lenā

bahut pachhtāoge jis vaqt ham kal yaad ā.eñge

bhula baiThe ho hum ko aaj lekin ye samajh lena

bahut pachhtaoge jis waqt hum kal yaad aaenge

ḳhafā haiñ phir bhī aa kar chheḌ jaate haiñ tasavvur meñ

hamāre haal par kuchh mehrbānī ab bhī hotī hai

KHafa hain phir bhi aa kar chheD jate hain tasawwur mein

hamare haal par kuchh mehrbani ab bhi hoti hai

maanā ki sab ke sāmne milne se hai hijāb

lekin vo ḳhvāb meñ bhī na aa.eñ to kyā kareñ

mana ki sab ke samne milne se hai hijab

lekin wo KHwab mein bhi na aaen to kya karen

thak ga.e ham karte karte intizār

ik qayāmat un aanā ho gayā

thak gae hum karte karte intizar

ek qayamat un ka aana ho gaya

yaad aao mujhe lillāh na tum yaad karo

merī aur apnī javānī ko na barbād karo

yaad aao mujhe lillah na tum yaad karo

meri aur apni jawani ko na barbaad karo

ab to miliye bas laḌā.ī ho chukī

ab to chaliye pyaar bāteñ kareñ

ab to miliye bas laDai ho chuki

ab to chaliye pyar ki baaten karen

zindagī kitnī masarrat se guzartī rab

aish tarah agar ġham bhī gavārā hotā

zindagi kitni masarrat se guzarti ya rab

aish ki tarah agar gham bhi gawara hota

ab meñ hai ki un ko bhulā kar dekh leñ

vo baar baar yaad jo aa.eñ to kyā kareñ

ab ji mein hai ki un ko bhula kar hi dekh len

wo bar bar yaad jo aaen to kya karen

mohabbat ke iqrār se sharm kab tak

kabhī sāmnā ho to majbūr kar duuñ

mohabbat ke iqrar se sharm kab tak

kabhi samna ho to majbur kar dun

muddateñ ho ga.iiñ bichhḌe hue tum se lekin

aaj tak dil se mire yaad tumhārī na ga.ī

muddaten ho gain bichhDe hue tum se lekin

aaj tak dil se mere yaad tumhaari na gai

chaman meñ rahne vāloñ se to ham sahrā-nashīñ achchhe

bahār aa ke chalī jaatī hai vīrānī nahīñ jaatī

we desert dwellers have a stable state

compared to those that in gardens stay

chaman mein rahne walon se to hum sahra-nashin achchhe

bahaar aa ke chali jati hai virani nahin jati

we desert dwellers have a stable state

compared to those that in gardens stay

miT chale merī umīdoñ tarah harf magar

aaj tak tere ḳhatoñ se tirī ḳhushbū na ga.ī

miT chale meri umidon ki tarah harf magar

aaj tak tere KHaton se teri KHushbu na gai

tamannāoñ ko zinda ārzūoñ ko javāñ kar luuñ

ye sharmīlī nazar kah de to kuchh gustāḳhiyāñ kar luuñ

tamannaon ko zinda aarzuon ko jawan kar lun

ye sharmili nazar kah de to kuchh gustaKHiyan kar lun

raat bhar un tasavvur dil ko taḌpātā rahā

ek naqsha sāmne aatā rahā jaatā rahā

raat bhar un ka tasawwur dil ko taDpata raha

ek naqsha samne aata raha jata raha

ai dil vo āshiqī ke fasāne kidhar ga.e

vo umr kyā huī vo zamāne kidhar ga.e

ai dil wo aashiqi ke fasane kidhar gae

wo umr kya hui wo zamane kidhar gae

kisī maġhrūr ke aage hamārā sar nahīñ jhuktā

faqīrī meñ bhī 'aḳhtar' ġhairat-e-shāhāna rakhte haiñ

kisi maghrur ke aage hamara sar nahin jhukta

faqiri mein bhi 'aKHtar' ghairat-e-shahana rakhte hain

ishq ko naġhma-e-ummīd sunā de aa kar

dil soī huī qismat ko jagā de aa kar

ishq ko naghma-e-ummid suna de aa kar

dil ki soi hui qismat ko jaga de aa kar

vo agar aa na sake maut aa.ī hotī

hijr meñ koī to ġham-ḳhvār hamārā hotā

wo agar aa na sake maut hi aai hoti

hijr mein koi to gham-KHwar hamara hota

in vafādārī ke vādoñ ko ilāhī kyā huā

vo vafā.eñ karne vaale bevafā kyuuñ ho ga.e

in wafadari ke wadon ko ilahi kya hua

wo wafaen karne wale bewafa kyun ho gae

ik din baat ho to use bhuul jaa.eñ ham

nāzil hoñ dil pe roz balā.eñ to kyā kareñ

ek din ki baat ho to use bhul jaen hum

nazil hon dil pe roz balaen to kya karen

laundry kholī thī us ke ishq meñ

par vo kapḌe ham se dhulvātā nahīñ

laundry kholi thi us ke ishq mein

par wo kapDe hum se dhulwata nahin

palaT ga.ī hai zamāne kaayā

nayā saal aayā nayā saal aayā

palaT si gai hai zamane ki kaya

naya sal aaya naya sal aaya

dil meñ letā hai chuTkiyāñ koī

haa.e is dard davā kyā hai

dil mein leta hai chuTkiyan koi

hae is dard ki dawa kya hai

ik vo ki ārzuoñ pe jiite haiñ umr bhar

ik ham ki haiñ abhī se pashīmān-e-ārzū!

ek wo ki aarzuon pe jite hain umr bhar

ek hum ki hain abhi se pashiman-e-arzu!

mujhe donoñ jahāñ meñ ek vo mil jaa.eñ gar 'aḳhtar'

to apnī hasratoñ ko be-niyāz-e-do-jahāñ kar luuñ

mujhe donon jahan mein ek wo mil jaen gar 'aKHtar'

to apni hasraton ko be-niyaz-e-do-jahan kar lun

mujhe hai e'tibār-e-va.ada lekin

tumheñ ḳhud e'tibār aa.e na aa.e

mujhe hai e'tibar-e-wada lekin

tumhein KHud e'tibar aae na aae

bajā ki hai pās-e-hashr ham ko kareñge pās-e-shabāb pahle

hisāb hotā rahegā rab hameñ mañgā de sharāb pahle

baja ki hai pas-e-hashr hum ko karenge pas-e-shabab pahle

hisab hota rahega ya rab hamein manga de sharab pahle

ġham azīzoñ hasīnoñ judā.ī dekhī

dekheñ dikhlā.e abhī gardish-e-daurāñ kyā kyā

gham azizon ka hasinon ki judai dekhi

dekhen dikhlae abhi gardish-e-dauran kya kya

mubārak mubārak nayā saal aayā

ḳhushī samāñ saarī duniyā pe chhāyā

mubarak mubarak naya sal aaya

KHushi ka saman sari duniya pe chhaya

ġham-e-āqibat hai na fikr-e-zamāna

piye rahe haiñ jiye rahe haiñ

gham-e-aqibat hai na fikr-e-zamana

piye ja rahe hain jiye ja rahe hain

ab vo bāteñ na vo rāteñ na mulāqāteñ haiñ

mahfileñ ḳhvāb sūrat huiiñ vīrāñ kyā kyā

ab wo baaten na wo raaten na mulaqaten hain

mahfilen KHwab ki surat huin viran kya kya

kiyā hai aane va.ada to us ne

mere parvardigār aa.e na aa.e

kiya hai aane ka wada to us ne

mere parwardigar aae na aae

umr bhar talḳh bedārī sāmāñ ho ga.iiñ

haa.e vo rāteñ ki jo ḳhvāb-e-pareshāñ ho ga.iiñ

umr bhar ki talKH bedari ka saman ho gain

hae wo raaten ki jo KHwab-e-pareshan ho gain

hai qayāmat tire shabāb rañg

rañg badlegā phir zamāne

hai qayamat tere shabab ka rang

rang badlega phir zamane ka

kis ko fursat thī zamāne ke sitam sahne

gar na us shoḳh āñkhoñ ishārā hotā

kis ko fursat thi zamane ke sitam sahne ki

gar na us shoKH ki aankhon ka ishaara hota

us ke ahd-e-shabāb meñ jiinā

jiine vaalo tumheñ huā kyā hai

us ke ahd-e-shabab mein jina

jine walo tumhein hua kya hai

kūcha-e-husn chhuTā to hue rusvā-e-sharāb

apnī qismat meñ jo likkhī thī vo ḳhvārī na ga.ī

kucha-e-husn chhuTa to hue ruswa-e-sharab

apni qismat mein jo likkhi thi wo KHwari na gai

chaman vāloñ se mujh sahrā-nashīñ būd-o-bāsh achchhī

bahār aa kar chalī jaatī hai vīrānī nahīñ jaatī

chaman walon se mujh sahra-nashin ki bud-o-bash achchhi

bahaar aa kar chali jati hai virani nahin jati

sū-e-kalkatta jo ham ba-dil-e-dīvāna chale

gungunāte hue ik shoḳh afsāna chale

su-e-kalkatta jo hum ba-dil-e-diwana chale

gungunate hue ek shoKH ka afsana chale

pārsā.ī javāñ-margī na pūchh

tauba karnī thī ki badlī chhā ga.ī

parsai ki jawan-margi na puchh

tauba karni thi ki badli chha gai