and His Message - G. M. Syed
Reserved to Sain Publishers Sehwan Sharif, Sindh ©
Some Selected Verses
of Shah Latif From the Point of View of their Themes
The entire poetical work of Shah Latif has been collected in accordance
with certain musical tunes, and there are many tales and parts related
to each tune. One might say that it is a vast ocean, which enshrines innumerable
pea4s. I have made an effort to find some of these pearls, which are most
invaluable for the embellishment of Sindhi life:
The Shop of Kalal (The circle of Patriotic Sindhis).
If you desire to drink, go to the wine dealer and put your entire
self before the keg of wine.
The clinic’ of Medical Man (The Gathering of National Leaders)
The same old cries are heard from the huts of the poor, which
continue for the whole night But these medical men still resort to the
primitive methods of medication.
Traitors to the country (Those who commit oppression for the
ingratiating of the aliens).
My friend do not try to shoot me with you arrow, because you
are a part of myself. Beware that you do not kill yourself with your own
The Lamp and the Moth (The homeland and the patriotic people)
The moths willingly and intentionally gather around the bonfire.
The heat of the fire could not keep the true lovers away from truth, and
this is how these moths have made the sacrifice of their lives.
The Goldsmith’s House (The Revolutionary Movement).
First make yourself the anvil of the goldsmith, and then find
out his address. It is possible that he turns you into steel.
The Gathering of the Mystics (The sincere servants of the Nation)
Those mystics are neither happy nor unhappy in giving anything.
They have totally espoused annihilation.
The School (The priests and the men of learning who simply see
things from a superficial point of view).
The people are devoted to reading books but they never allow
the meanings enshrined them to take root in their hearts. Therefore the
more they read, they greater the sinners they become.
The Full Moon and the beloved (The Big Countries and Sindh)
Oh moon when you are full and rise with all your beauty, you
can never stand comparison to even one glimpse of my beloved.
In the Light of the Stars (Faith in revolution)
Look, my beloved is omnipresent. Here, there, under that star,
he is present everywhere. He is sweeter even than honey; there is never
any bitterness in him.
The vision of the Beloved in a Dark night (The conception of
a light of revolution in the Dark Nights of Oppression).
When it was pitch dark in the middle of the night, at that very
moment my beloved appeared in a vision. The moment he appeared the Moon
and stars lost their light.
Oh my dear camel, call to your mind your ancestors, because
your name and that of your ancestors is well known. I therefore ask you
to do some good turn to me.
The Service of the Ocean (The love for Sindh and a faith in its
vast natural resources)
Oh man, worship the vast ocean. There are innumerable pearls
and other treasures in its depth. If you can get even a particle worth
of this treasure you will become the possessor of great wealth.
The Divers (The Thinkers and Intellectuals)
It has been a tradition of these divers that they bring pearls
from the depths of the sea.
The Old Boat (Reactionary Tendencies)
Oh man, your boat is too old, do not overload it. It has many
holes in its bottom and the water is rushing in. Your time has passed,
now wait for the day of reckoning.
The Goldsmith’s Shop (Those who can visualize truth)
We know some of the goldsmiths who claim to have the ability
to judge the precious stones, but as a matter of fact they are not. They
quietly hand out spurious peals, and know nothing about their value. Let
us see whether they prove real judges or confuse them with valueless glass.
The Gypsy Woman (A true companion of a Revolutionary)
Look at that fisherwomen, she is lighting lamps in her boat
and hanging colorful buntings. She sings a song, which concerns with her
desire for the return of her beloved. This is the only prayer and desire,
The Terror of the River (The Unfavorable Conditions)
The swiftness of the current and the whirlpools instill terror
in the heart. The ferocious waves threaten to breach the dams. Even the
dauntless swimmers are stunned at the unprecedented ferocity of the waves.
These are the waves, which never let a traveler pass safely. Oh my friend,
help me cross this turbulent river.
Exploitation of the Rivers (The Alien Power)
Do not be so arrogant, Oh, the river. Even you have to answer
God for your deeds. Remember, this drunkenness of yours will never last
forever. Just in a moment you will be shocked back to your senses.
I can hear the sound of the bells around the necks of buffaloes
creating music. Even in my dreams I hear these voices. I had an idea that
the entire world is hearing these sounds.
Yogurt of the Cowherds (The Correct Political Education)
Sohni has drunk the whey, which Maenwal had prepared for her
with great love. The curd which she had tasted did not quench her thirst,
because she could not bear the pain of being not able to meet her Maenwal,
She could not find any rest without meeting him.
The Unbaked Earthen Pitcher (The Political Parties which raise
Carefully deliberating and by committing a mistake Sohni lost
her mind as well as her heart. Even the waves of the river bewail that
Sohni had drowned. The unbaked pitcher drowned the beautiful Sohni in the
Maenwal and his Buffa1os (Sindhi People and Sindh)
Oh my god, keep the buffaloes of my Maenwal always happy. How
beautifully these black buffaloes with well-rounded horns are coming in
their herds. The plains and meadows, when they graze look bright and beautiful.
When the flood comes, I deeply miss my beloved.
In the memory of Sarang (The Rains) (Tile Desire for Revolution)
Men, the deer, the buffaloes and all other people always
remember the rainy season. The ducks and the cuckoo also find the rains
as a source of sustenance. Every morning the shell in the sea looks toward
the sky for that drop of rain, which will take the form of a pearl. Let
my people have the fresh water to drink so that they are happy.
Bit and the Lake Karar (The center of Art and Learning)
The rains with all their vigor come in the wilderness and deserts.
The lightening has illuminated the northern sky, and there is grass in
plenty. After making the wilderness green and fresh, the clouds have filled
all places around Lake Karar with water. (Karar is the final resting-place
of Shah Latif).
The colorful Aspects of Revolution
Today the clouds have appeared from the sky and the clusters of stars
in most beautiful colors. Oh, the dwellers of the deserts, it is the time
of celebration. Take up your musical instruments, and sing melodious songs.
Today the rains from these clouds have completely saturated the land in
Welcoming the Revolution
Is there one who has witnessed with has own eyes the brave and
the valiant (Hazrat Imam Hussain and his companions) fighting, or any one
fighting like them. The brave men laid down their lives on the battlefield
only when many of the enemy had been put to sword. For them, the goal,
which is fraught with danger to life, is easy for them.
Day and night the vultures look for their prey in the wilderness
and deserts. In their anxiety they inquire from each other about the battlefield.
They exhibit great interest in the dead bodies of the brave, but the dead
bodies of the cowards lie rotting there.
The rains have come, the sky is overcast The birds in their joy
are singing melodious songs. The farmers and other laborers have picked
up their implements. To day my beloved wants to shower all his blessings
upon us. My people are really very happy.
Terrible Jungle (The Difficult Stages of Freedom)
Oh people, I am the traveler of a road, where the journey is
not made easy by the roadside trees, but there appear poisonous snakes
in the way. I ventured out alone on this journey where no family or tribe
will come to succor me. Oh my God, only you can help and guide me in this
Sufferings in the Mountains (Difficulties on the way of Truth)
Oh the mountain, relieve me in my sufferings, do not add to
them, because already I am weak and helpless. I have a personal relationship
with my beloved.
Ways and By ways
O Sassi, do not be anxious, your Punnu, your beloved is
not far. Do not be frightened by these mountains, these mountain roads
cannot stand in your way, because, as you can see, he has just passed this
way. These ways which do the droppings of the camels, the rocks and stones,
mark. Sassi made every possible effort to follow these travelers. Shah
Latif says that these mountains serve as a guide to the camels in the caravan.
Sassi is known and recognized because she follows the path chalked out
by her chief.
The Ferocious Dog
The dog of my beloved woke him from his sleep. He also
got up with a jerk and started barking this is how it will relieve the
poor traveler from difficulties and anxieties.
Mount Harhu (The Obstacles in the way of the Progress of Sindh)
With love and dedication I, Sassi, will cross the mountains.
Oh my God let me not be misguided. I shall cross these mountains and pass
even on my knees. I shall never rest until I am successful] in finding
The call of the Desert (The voice of Sindhu Desh)
The voice of Sassi in the wilderness and deserts is as sweet
as the music of a musical instrument. In fact this is the voice of love.
But people consider it no more than the sigh of a weak woman.
The Camels of the Strangers (The Alien Power in Sindh)
Oh Sassi, when saw you the camels belonging to strangers, then
why did you not tie their knees with a twine. This was only the consequence
of your arrogance, otherwise why you had to bear these difficulties and
Belching of the Camel (Isolation of the National Leader)
These camels do not wish to graze anything, they like nothing,
because they feel so tired. It is the duty of this poor Sassi, whose dress
is in tatters, that she should remain firm and determined to reach her
goal. This is my only concern.
The Caravan of Kech (The Sindhi Nationalist Movement)
My beloved, look, what a caravan is heading toward us from the
land of Punnu. The leader of the caravan is magnificent as the caravan.
If I could I would cut my long hair for the reins to be made of them for
his camel, and I would make the saddle of his camel. The companions of
Punnu are as courageous and handsome as Punnu himself.
Nearness of the Beloved (The contemporary politics)
My destiny has forced me to live close to Punnu. His love has
consumed me with fire. Oh Sassi, none other, but your desire and steadfastness
have established your relations with these travelers (Punnu and his people)
Stopping on the way during the Journey (Determination for the
Sassi says that these mountains have no significance before
her, these dark and barren mountains cannot stand in her way because under
all circumstances she has to start her journey in the morning. She cannot
wait any longer.
Troublesome Mountain (The Obstacles in the way of National Progress)
Sassi says that many high mountains stand in her way, through
which it is not easy to travel. Frightening voices from the mountains are
heard. But one who is determined to reach her Punnu (the destination) will
remain undeterred by any obstacle. Only those who are really inspired with
courage and determination can understand the meanings of life.
The Grief-stricken and the Mountain (The Patriotic elements and
the Temptations in their way.)
When both the grief-stricken Sassi and the mountains heard a
sigh together, even the beasts of the jungle began to mourn when they heard
The Spinning Wheel and the Law (An Exercise in Futility)
Sassi asks her mother to go and bring her spinning wheel. Alas,
the dear one (Punnu) for whom she span has left for his own land. He has
left her alone.
Hiding of the Sun (The curse of Darkness)
The sun has set; the waters of the sea have inundated the land.
My own people (the people of Punnu) have left me alone to die.
Disgust with the World
My shirt is torn at my shoulder, my head is uncovered. My dear
friends, what is left for me in this city of Bhambhor.
Grief and Sorrows
I do not lack in grief, anxieties and sufferings. Oh my
mother, the well is full to its capacity, there has never been any shortage
in its water.
The Queue (Relationship with Discipline)
Oh Sassi, do not detach yourself from the caravan of your beloved,
lest you lose sight of it when it climbs the mountains, and you are left
behind to lose your way.
Sacrifice of Comfort and Happiness (To embrace all kinds of sufferings
for noble aims)
I have been able to acquire this heartache of love and separation
after sacrificing many comforts and joys and this is the only thing which
has guided me on my way to my beloved Punnu.
The Miracle of the Musical Instrument (The song of Revolution)
The beggar (Bejal) came into the palace with his song and musical
instrument and every note of his music seemed to demand a life. He said
that he would not leave without the decapitated head of the ruler. Soon
the palace of Junagarh would be razed to the ground.
The Spirit of Se1f~sacnfice (The call of the Sindhi Nationalism).
If I place a hundred tunes on one side of the scale, and only
one from the instrument of Bejal, the latter will outweigh the former If
there is no remembrance of the beloved in one’s heart, then this human
frame has no value more than a skeleton.
The Night of Waiting (The Desire for a Revolution)
I, Momal, have spent the entire night standing, until even when
the stars had disappeared. I continued missing my beloved and his camel
the whole might. I continued weeping till the sunrise.
The Pink Garments (Sindhi Nationalism)
Momal and her friends wear pink dresses, resembling the beauty
and color of the rose. Their hair are always perfumed. The beauty of these
delicate women arouse a strange sense of pain in the heart, and one wonders
at the beauty of their ornaments.
Beckoning of Beauty (The Trap of Human Desires)
The attractions of this material world cannot stand in the way
of these pious men of God. Their emotions are never stirred even when beautiful
women try to allure them because they have transcended all these worldly
The Barren Mountain (The Difficult stage of Temptation)
The people who have allowed themselves to be scalded sitting
on the barren Mountain (a mountain near -Hyderabad) and have killed their
desires, they are the real mystics, the men of God.
This is so peaceful a place where you do not hear the barking
of neither dogs nor the anxiety of the hunters. As Sassi passes these ways
she curses these mountains and passes.
The Ascetics and "Nani" (Nationalist Movement for independence).
Hiding from the people, the pious men have set about toward
Hinglaj. Now it is quite difficult for me to stay here, because without
them my survival is not possible.
Dedication at Lahoot (Dedication to the achievement of the aim)
The pious men have given up blowing on their horns, their twines
and their rough covering ; they have removed their garlands of beads from
their necks. They have dashed their bagging bowls on the ground. Those
who possess a desire and love for the shrine at Lasbela, they do not leave
The covering of the Religious Guide (The lesson of truthful politics)
I feel ashamed of removing or cleaning the covering, which the
pious men have given to me. My disciples cannot provide me that comfort
and peace of mind, which I get from it.
The Kiln and Love (Secrecy)
Oh man, why don’t you keep your love secret as the ~n of the
potter. If the fire loses its heat how will the pots be baked. So listen
attentively to the potter and let it remain in your mind.
The love, which is only for self-interest, has no significance.
Laelan, you should try to find only your Chanesar although you may have
to go through untold sufferings.
When my beloved drove nails into my neck, those nails were never
I can repeatedly hear the cry of the swans. Perhaps they are
ready to fly. their voices are full of sighs. Perhaps they are stricken
with grief after being separated from their innocent young ones.
The hunter has a gun in his hand, he is wearing dirty clothes.
This is the hunter who goes after big game and not the small, and then
he goes ahead.
The Poor Laborer (The Laboring People)
Holding the battered winnows in their hands and a spade on their
shoulders, they wander about for a morsel to satisfy their hunger. They
lead a nomadic life. Look, the Lakhas are leaving this place.
The Limited Resources of the Revolutionaries
This steel is not straight, it is crooked, and is very uneven.
Then how can I spin cloth, I have to spend move and can save only a little.
How can the poor generate resources, but if my husband owns me I shall
be able stand proudly with my friends.
When these eyes see my beloved in the morning I feel fed with
breakfast. The sight of the beauty of my beloved is no less than a pilgrimage
for my body and my soul
Pride in our Traditions
There are so many patches on my dress; my covering is torn at
various places. In order to reach my dear ones, I have not worn the shawl
given by you, Oh Umer. The shawl I was wearing still covers my head. My
God, I pray thee to protect my honor.
Love for Independence even in Poverty
Oh Umer, the king, my homeland is one where a wild flower grows
in abundance, and where people build their homes on the sand. There the
people love their companions and regale them with cups of milk. Oh Umer
here in your laud I have come here as a trust, which should never be betrayed.
Let me go back as pure as I came here.
Love for the countrymen and hatred for slavery
Marvi says that my soul has firmly attached myself with my dear
ones, how can I break this relationship. Oh Umer, the King I always remember
that flower and grass. Physically I am here, but my mind and soul are in
my homeland Malir. I remember my native huts and here alas, I find myself
confined in a fortress.
Preference to a Life of Freedom in the Desert over the Slavery in
Now my homeland Dat is populated, fresh and green, where my
people are living happily. God has blessed the whole country but I am confined
in this place where I have a sense of being choked.
The Faith of the Revolutionary
My friends, all of us should learn a lesson from the shells.
Look at them, they wait for the clouds even when living in the depths of
water. I see their support only in this desire.
The Field of the Opponent
Water has surged out of the desert, and the dear ones are watering
the animals after drawing the water out of the well. These women draw water
from the depth of sixty feet. They go early in the morning and are much
pleased with themselves. They are overflowing with joy. Love for my dear
one continues to grow and renew ever day.
Disgust at a Transitory Benefit
Why should I keep these clothes and these ornaments. I
don’t intend to attend the wedding of anyone, because I am sad and unhappy.
My people are yet far from me. Then why should I wear this dress.
The Message of the National Leader
Even the crow coming from the land of the beloved does not tell
a lie. It always brings the true message. He is conveying the message of
my beloved to me and mine to him. It has completely removed all anxiety
from my heart.
The Love for the People
We are the people whose entire life consists of the fish baskets
and fishing nets. We are deeply in love with the fish. Wherever we sit,
our clothes give a smell. We are like the beaver, which keeps submerged
in water. Only Jam Samma has given respect and love to the insignificant
people like us.
The hunter of the birds has lost all vitality, and his backbone
has curved into the shape of the roof of the hut, which is covered with
grass. In such a hut the birds are easily trapped.
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