Sur Karyal

Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai


I belong to that Baloch, to Him I belong
In reverence unmatched
I bow to Him
And kiss the dust He walks upon
Hold Him dearer than the sight of my eyes

The bird is its own cage, the pond itself the floating swan
When I searched within myself, I learnt
The hunter lives within me

The cowardly liars defiled the fragrant clear pond
From this disgrace
Heartbroken, the swans have flown away to the mountains

All the swans are dead, not a single one survived
Their habitat is now the land of cowards and liars

Do not be deceived by the thinness of the cobra
When it leaps to attack
Great warriors face great peril

There is a single swan in the pond
Surrounded by scores of hunters
It trusts Allah, look at it floating down the waves fearlessly

The birds descended on the pond, deceived by the decoy
Poor simpletons, they were easily beguiled and trapped

The lotus has its roots deep down the waters
The bumble bee zooms around in the air above
Listening to their whispered longing
The One who feeds one and all
Brought them together. Bravo to love!
It enjoined both the lovers

Swans are just swans; none of them is soiled
Wherever they spend a night
That pond becomes perfumed

Awareness of His presence gave the understanding of the pond
In the watery depths, the bird discovered
A treasure trove of sparkling pearls

The clear waters were darkened by the crows
The swans are ashamed to fly down to such a pond

If ever you have looked at a swan attentively
Never will you make a bond with a heron, full of tricks

translated from the Sindhi by Fahmida Riaz