Rabba Sachiã My True God
A Punjabi poem by
Faiz Ahmad Faiz
My true God, it was you who said:
‘Go Man. Go forth and be King of the World’
All my bounties belong to you
You shall be my anointed and appointed on Earth.
Having given false promises
Have you ever stopped to ask
What happened to this poor soul?
What this world has done to your king?
Here, the excesses of Police and State
There, the extortions of Revenue collectors
My bones shake in this tortured frame
Like the shrieks of a crane, ensnared.
What a great King you made of me Lord
Insulted, humiliated, beaten with shoes
I don’t hanker for a kingdom my Lord
Just a piece of bread with dignity
I don’t need castles and mansions
Just a nook to shelter my head
Let’s strike a deal
If you heed me, your every command I’ll obey
And if this bargain doesn’t suit you
Then I’ll go and seek another God.
Translated from the original in Punjabi by
Sudha Bhuchar and Amarjit Chandan
For Poet in the City event, London. 17 Jan 2011