Hope

Imagine, if you can, a Kerry presidency. Really think about it. Doesn’t it feelbetter? Like a tall glass of cool lemonade on a hot summer day? That ticker which runs constantly along the bottom of your screen won’t say “Threat Level: Elevated Threat Level: Elevated Threat Level: Elevated Threat Level: Elevated Threat Level: Elevated”. Tom Ridge won’t interrupt this broadcast to tell you that they are looking at your bridges. John Ashcroft won’t beam at you from behind the eagle seal and say that the biggest, baddest group has been caught and, yet, you will never know who they were or what they did or even if they got convicted. Condi Rice will not interrupt Tom or Tim to say that that was just a historical document. John Snow won’t claim that 1 million jobs were created while you were watching the Factor alone. No child will be left behind.

I am tired of living in anger. I am tired of living in fear. I do not want to hate my government. I do not want to ridicule my president. I would like to believe that those sworn to protect me do not hate my liberties. I would like to go back to making jokes about sneaky, lying, cynical politicians and not having the punchline blow up in my face for lack of irony. Things are bad all around but I would like to have some hope – everywhere.

Kerry is no magic pill for all that ails this world. But, he gives me hope. A new administration gives me hope for new answers, new paradigms, new methods. The world needs a ctrl-alt-del. We need a re-boot. We need a start over.

Bush may win. By hook or by crook. And I will have to live through 4 more years. But, I will not live quietly. I will not keep my head down and hope it all goes away or that no one looks at me. I will raise my voice. I will protest with millions. I will hope that I do something to make a difference.

But, I really, really hope we get a fresh start. My prediction, and my hope, is in the graphic up there.

PS: I am not one to pay any attention to editorial endorsements but this from Economist emphasizes exactly the points I would raise were I to write this blog more lucidly.

updated Nov 3, 12:13 AM CST: Aaj bazaar mein pa-bajolan chalo

Chashm-e Nam, Jan-e Shoreeda kafi nahin
Thumat-e Ishq poshida kafi nahin,
Aaj bazaar mein pabajolan chalo

Dast afshan chalo, Mast o Raqsaan chalo
Khaq bar sar chalo, khon bad-aman chalo
Rah takta ha sab Shahr-e Janaan chalo

Hakim-e Shaher bhi, Mujmaa-e Aam bhi,
Teer-i Ilzam bhi, Sang-e Dushnam bhi,
Subh nashaad bhi, Roz-i nakam bhi

Un ka dam saz apnay siva kon hai
Shehr-e Janaan mein ab ba-Sufa kon hai,
Dast-Katil kay shaiyan raha kon hai

Rakht-i dil bandh lo, dil fogaro chalo
Phir hamien Katl ho aiyn, Yaro Chalo


—–
A wet eye, a shaken life is not enough,
The accusation of a hidden love is not enough,
With feet in chains, Let us go in public today.

Let us go with palms exposed, with a song and dance,
with dirt in our hair, with blood on our chest,
Let us go while the entire city of lovers watches.

For the warden of the city, and the crowd of the commoners,
And the arrows of accusation, and the stones of abuse,
And the glum morning, and the failing day,

Who is there to give them life except us?
Who is ready in this city except us?
Who is honorable enough for the killer’s hand except us?

Pack up your belongings O Injured heart ones!
Let us go friends and get killed once again.
– Faiz Ahmed Faiz, 1959 (Lahore Jail)


[all mistakes in the translations are mine and should be excused]

Author: sepoy

what is the vertiginous chapati saying to me?

10 thoughts on “Hope”

  1. Faiz, the great anti-imperialist and champion of the common man. Both views which got short shrift in the Pakistan of his day.

  2. Pingback: Aaj Bazar Mein
  3. A wet eye, a shaken life is not enough,
    The accusation of a hidden love is not enough,
    With feet in chains, Let us go in public today.

    Let us go with palms exposed, with a song and dance,
    with dirt in our hair, with blood on our chest,
    Let us go while the entire city of lovers watches.

    For the warden of the city, and the crowd of the commoners,
    And the arrows of accusation, and the stones of abuse,
    And the glum morning, and the failing day,

    Who is there to give them life except us?
    Who is ready in this city except us?
    Who is honorable enough for the killer’s hand except us?

    Pack up your belongings O Injured heart ones!
    Let us go friends and get killed once again.
    – Faiz Ahmed Faiz, 1959 (Lahore Jail)

    [all mistakes in the translations are mine and should be excused]

  4. No. That is the title of a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Aaj Bazaar Mein Pa-Bajolan Chalo: With feet in chains, let us walk in public today..

    He wrote it while in prison. It stands for me as the ultimate FUCK YOU by someone who has no power, who has no control, who can only give his life and does so with great enthusiasm:


    Chashm-e Nam, Jan-e Shoreeda kafi nahin
    Thumat-e Ishq poshida kafi nahin,
    Aaj bazaar mein pabajolan chalo

    Dast afshan chalo, Mast o Raqsaan chalo
    Khaq bar sar chalo, khon bad-aman chalo
    Rah takta ha sab Shahr-e Janaan chalo

    Hakim-e Shaher bhi, Mujmaa-e Aam bhi,
    Teer-i Ilzam bhi, Sang-e Dushnam bhi,
    Subh nashaad bhi, Roz-i nakam bhi

    Un ka dam saz apnay siva kon hai
    Shehr-e Janaan mein ab ba-Sufa kon hai,
    Dast-Katil kay shaiyan raha kon hai

    Rakht-i dil bandh lo, dil fogaro chalo
    Phir hamien Katl ho aiyn, Yaro Chalo

    If you like, I will post a translation but I am not sure I have the words right (posting from memory)

  5. My parents and I puzzled through your Nov 3rd post here and got something like “I am in the market of uncertainty.” Were we close?

Comments are closed.