Tag Archives: tarkash

Jurm Aur Saza

With the very emotional and ongoing discourse on hanging in secret of the ‘terrorists’ of our country, the call for capital punishment for rapists and the mass uproar over crimes against women, i thought this poem by Javed Akhtar would be apt.
He talks from the perspective of both the ‘criminal’ and the jury and the emotions on both sides.
In our anger or akrosh, we seldom think of the human story of the individual in question. I have been trying to create my own opinion on these ideas and found this poem as I thought about the son whose father is now buried far away and what his emotions would be.

From Tarkash…Jurm aur Saza by Javed Akhtar


Ha gunehgaar hu mein,
Jo saza chahe adalat dede
Apke samne sarkaar hu mein

Mushko ikraar
Ki maine ek din
Kudh ko nilaam kiya
Aur razi-barza
Sarebazaar, sareaam kiya
Mujhko kimat bhi bahut khoob mili thi lekin
Maine saude mein khianat kar li
Kuch khwab bacha kar rakhe
Maine socha tha
Kise fursat hai
Jo meri ruh, mere dil ki talashi lega
Maine socha tha
Kise hogi khabar
Kitna nadaan tha mein
Chup sakte hai kya
Mutti mein rukh sakti hai kya
Woh jo hona tha
Aapke samne sarkar hu mein
Jo saza chahe adalat dede
Fesla sunne ko taiyyar hu mein
Ha gunehgaar hu mein

Fesla yeh hai adalat ka
Tere sare khwab
Aaj se tere nahi hai mujrim!
Zehen ke sare safar
Aur tere dil ki parvaz
Jism mein behte lahu ke nagme
Ruh ka saaz
Aaj se tere nahin hai mujrim!
Wasl ki saari hadise
Ghame hijra ki kitaab
Teri yadoan ke gulab
Tera ehsas
Teri fikro nazar
Teri sab sa-ate
Sab lamhe tere
Rozo-shab, shamo-seher
Aaj se tere nahi hai mujrim!
Yeh toh insaaf hua tere kharidaaroan se
Aur ab teri saza
Tujhe marne ki ijaazat nahi
Jina hoga.

Translation by David Matthews

Yes, I am an sinner.
Let the court punish me accordingly
I stand before you.

I confess
That one day
I put myself up for auction,
And of my own free will
In the marketplace I made it public
I even obtained a good price
But I was dishonest in my trading.
I mean
I kept a few dreams back.
I thought
Who has the time
To search my souls and my heart
I thought
Who will know?
How naive I was
Can dreams be hidden?
Can light
Be concealed in a clenched fist.
The inevitable came about.
I stand before you.
Let the court punish me accordingly
I am prepared for your decision.
Yes, i have sinned.

The court reached its decision:
All your dreams
Are no longer your property, Criminal!
All the journeys of your fancy,
The flight of your heart,
The songs of the blood flowing through your body,
The instruments of your soul,
The power of hearing, your voice
Are no longer your property, Criminal!
The tales of lovers meeting,
The book of separation’s sorrow,
The flowers of your memories,
Your feelings,
All that you think and see,
All your moments,
Night and day, evening and morning
Are no longer your property, Criminal!
Those who bought from you now have their justice.
And now the punishment:
You are not allowed to die.
You are condemned to live!’

You can also watch a video of the poem on you tube here