This poem of Akbar Barakzai has been translated from the original language Balochi into English by Fazal Baloch.
WAITING FOR GODOT Arise! O friends from this deep slumber Godot will not, will never show up Godot is the prophet of slumberous wakefulness He's a messenger with a black scripture to misguide the ignorant, halfwits and simpletons O friends and pals! In your hearts and mind and in every bone and vein of your body The poison of slumberous wakefulness Sprouted into toxic mushrooms Pray tell me why do you want to waste yourselves Why do you want to rob your mind of wisdom and reason O friends! Much desired is the dark tunnel of death Than the curse of slumberous consciousness Either sleep eternally like a rock Or like the sea stay awake for evermore Either imbibe the poisonous chalice of death Or reap the treasured harvest of life The poison of slumberous wakefulness is evermore feared Than the murderer's deadly sword The murderer's sword puts an instant end to life Liberates one from all worries and woes The curse of slumberous wakefulness Neither lets you die in peace Nor breathe in life's gentle breeze Dear friends and comrades rest assured Godot will not, will never show up Setting our eyes on Godot's trail We shall surely lose our vision And the wealth of wisdom We shall squander away forever Arise my pals and companions Pray cast off the snare of death Liberate yourselves From this slumberous consciousness Set your brilliant minds free From the fetters of indolence For the hope of a mirthful spring Together with your mates Gulp down the potent liquor of death O friends and comrades! Betray not yourselves any more Godot will not, will never show up
About the Poet:
Akbar Barakzai was born in Shikarpur, Sindh in 1938. He is ranked amongst the proponents of modern Balochi literature. His poetry reflects the objective realities of life. Love for motherland, peace, and prosperity, and dignity of a man are the recurrent themes of his poetry. His love for human dignity transcends all geographical and cultural frontiers. Barakzai is not a prolific poet. In a literary career that spans over half a century, Barakzai has managed to bring out just two anthologies of his poems, but his poetry has depth and reaches out to human hearts with its profundity. Last year, Barakzai rejected the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) award, quoting the oppressive policies meted out to Balochistan by the government as the reason.
About the Translator:
Fazal Baloch is a Balochi writer and translator. He has translated many Balochi poems and short stories into English. His translations have been featured in Pakistani Literature published by the Pakistan Academy of Letters and in the form of books and anthologies. Fazal Baloch has the translation rights to Barakzai’s works and is in the process of bringing them out as a book.
Courtesy: The poem was originally published in BORDERLESS JOURNAL