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When resistance became romantic!

When resistance became romantic!
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*Khan Khawar Achakzai

I wake up at night, perspiring, and restlessly look for my notebook to find it by my side, I push the random keys on my laptop which are half smudged in the cigarette ash, to bring it alive from a sleeping state and check if my social media accounts are still working or some of them have been blocked, I waffle through all the ‘poems’ on my iCloud if any has ‘disappeared’ while I had fallen unto the ‘occupation’ of my slumber. The old demons stir up again, the chorus of echoes: Jailed, killed, raped, enforced, martyr, rebel, widow. I try to break each of them again, into their origins, implications and consequences and I end up, ‘un-breaking’ them again, into a romance.

“As soon as the wounds of your memory begin to heal
I begin to remember you on some excuse or the other”

(*Faiz Ahmad Faiz)

This city is built of bones, plastered with blood and flesh and smells of the incense from funeral rites, this city is filled with conceit and hypocrisy, but, surprisingly I have found my love in every dark crevice and every preposterous corner of my ‘Gotham’. While, the songs are forbidden in it, the nights are kept awake by the barking of rabid dogs and rattling diesel engines of the army convoys, its days are sooty with adultered petrol exhaust and the gun-powder smoke, I have found my music in its noise and my poems in its haze. I have found a hope to write, to speak, in its every alcove that stands for occupation, the sand bags piled up as walls of desperation and fear, the camouflaged ghosts with their riffles staring into my face, in the prison I have found a longing to hold the hands of the beloved.

“Observe the city, from here
circles within circles, the city walls stretch
like a prison in all directions
on every street”

(Faiz Ahmad Faiz)

What does my city represent? It represents the occupation’s unyielding hunger for human life and freedom’s undying thirst for blood. Both ‘ungiving’, have become my muse.

“I was taking count of life’s sorrows today
Your memories flooded my mind uncountably”

(Faiz Ahmad Faiz)

I never realised how madly I was in love with it. The word was enough to throw me into an emotional trance, a poetic orgasm. It is not that I didn’t realise that how much blood was spilled for that very word, but that realisation is what made it more romantic and more poetic for me, for the lovers have always bled, have been dragged and put on the crucifix, but the agony of separation inflicts much deeper wounds and leaves uglier scars than the physical torture.

“Joy of union-yes, agony of separation-forbidden!”

(Faiz Ahmad Faiz)

This word is a promise, unfulfilled, like the unrequited love that deserves lovers singing of it, madmen writing love songs, poets composing salutations and mendicants becoming ecstatic of the thought of having had it, if ever. Certainly yes!

“Your memory sweetens the bitterness of the times
The poet composes salutations to your beauty”

(Faiz Ahmad Faiz)

When the world wants to see it in a mask, with head bands, throwing stones and retaliated with the shrapnels and tear gas shells, I see it as a sparrow with no handcuffs and fetters and chirping the declaration of fidelity.

“On every page of life the heart saw inscribed
chapters of your love and fidelity “
(Faiz Ahmad Faiz)

The nemesis, the cup bearer never blames/recognises the wine, it always holds the drunk responsible for the mayhem. The nemesis never recognises the freedom, never tries to understand the euphoria and elation, it holds the poet responsible for the uprising and the rebel responsible for the revolution.

“The sovereign of love’s sorrows never went away
though the heart witnessed revolutions every day.”

(Faiz Ahmad Faiz)

It’s not the stones, neither the slogans, it’s the heartbeats and faith that put up a fight against the Goliath, the unquenched thirst for love; such that whatever we write, even if we scribble a few random thoughts, they reverberate of its boisterous stature.
I have often realised that the actual strokes hardly make a sense, but its always the feeling, that as a canvas yearning for freedom, smudges the pen with the poetic allure. Red and green dress, perfume of musk and soot, indeed that freedom must be beautiful, which even if unknown can squeeze a poets heart to write volumes for it.

“Colour: the name of your dress
Perfume: the name your hair flowing in the wind
The season of the flowers is the name of
Your appearance on the balcony”

(Faiz Ahmad Faiz)

The resistance resides in the random inscriptions of a poet as much as it resides in the convictions of a leader, only a little less than the valour of the martyr.
If you can’t find it in yourself, find it in a poem written with bloody fingertips dipped in a heart.

“So long as there’s blood in my heart, with my tears
I’ll go on creating the colours of the beloved’s face”

(Faiz Ahmad Faiz)

The tongue will be cut, the throats will be choked but that heart shall always be free to beat and bleed.

“Whenever they control our speech by stapling our lips
the atmosphere resounds even more with the songs of freedom”
(Faiz Ahmad Faiz)

*Faiz Ahmad Faiz was a famous revolutionary poet of Pakistan who wrote in Urdu language.

(Writer is a published author, social activist and a doctor by profession).

*This piece was originally published on medium.com and is now republished here by the consent of author.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position or editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.

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