Bahar ayee (It Is Spring Again) by Faiz

bahār aa.ī to jaise yak-bār

lauT aa.e haiñ phir adam se

vo ḳhvāb saare shabāb saare

jo tere hoñToñ pe mar-miTe the

jo miT ke har baar phir jiye the

nikhar ga.e haiñ gulāb saare

jo terī yādoñ se mushkbū haiñ

jo tere ushshāq kā lahū haiñ

ubal paḌe haiñ azaab saare

malāl-e-ahvāl-e-dostāñ bhī

ḳhumār-e-āġhosh-e-mah-vashāñ bhī

ġhubār-e-ḳhātir ke baab saare

tire hamāre

savāl saare javāb saare

bahār aa.ī to khul ga.e haiñ

na.e sire se hisāb saare


English Translation by Agha Shahid Ali

It is spring, And the ledger is opened again.
From the abyss where they were frozen,
those days suddenly return, those days
that passed away from your lips, that died
with all our kisses, unaccounted.
The roses return: they are your fragrance;
they are the blood of your lovers.
Sorrow returns. I go through my pain
and the agony of friends still lost in the memory
of moon-silver arms, the caresses of vanished women.
I go through page after page. There are no answers,
and spring has come once again asking
the same questions, reopening account after account.

Listen to Tina Sani and Shabana Azmi’s rendition of the poem.

All pictures © Pippa Virdee, Lahore, Spring 2023

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