Yaad – Inspiration from Faiz and Others

After having recently read Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem, “Yaad” [Memory], which is said to have been written during his time in exile, I began to reflect on all that I am now separated from, myself. I began to remember the details of a life I once lived, in a city I once knew, with people I once belonged with. And with these memories comes a longing. A constant battle between self and the soul. Issi liye kehta hoon ke meri rooh aksar mere saath jhagraa karti hai. [This is why I say that my soul often fights with me.] I continued down this train of thought and wrote a poem of my own, which I have also titled Yaad. 

Bashir Badr and Masaan

Apart from the writings of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, I often think back to the line below from a poem that Bashir Badr wrote, which was used in my favorite movie, Masaan.

Musafir hain hum bhi musafir ho tum bhi, Kisi morr par phir mulaqaat hogi سافر ہیں ہم بھی مسافر ہو تم بھی کسی موڑ پر پھر ملاقات ہوگی /मुसाफ़िर हैं हम भी मुसाफ़िर हो तुम भी किसी मोड़ पर फिर मुलाक़ात होगी Travelers both, At some crossroad, we will meet.

Yaad by Hassan Shah

Kabhi kabhi meri rooh bacchon ki tarha zidd karti hai.
Larti hai mujhse; mere saath jhagraa karti hai.
“Paanch minute aur. Abhi sirf paanch minute.”

Rooh ko meri khudgarz kaho ya majboor.
Pata tou usse bhi tha
Hamare chale jaane ke baad, na woh sukoon rahega na woh qaraar
Jo kabhi tumhari sarrkon par humme milla karti thiN.

Kitni ajeeb thiN woh sarrkein.
Guzarte musaafiron ko khushiyaan baantTi thiN.
Ab yaad karta hoon tou hanss ke kehta hoon sab se,
Unn sarrkon par kabhi hum bhi chala karte thhe.

Woh sarrkein yaad kartiN hai mujhe.
PoochtiN hain mera naya pataa.
Par koi kaise batayein unnhe
Inn kadmon ke neeche ab sarrkein aur hain.

Woh sarrkein yaad kartiN hai mujhe.
Woh sarrkein yaad kartiN hai mujhe
Hassan reciting “Yaad”

Hassan Shah currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but often reminisces about the times he spent in Lahore, first as a high school student and later as a middle school teacher. He is an avid moviegoer and when not watching movies, also likes to read fiction and try his hand at writing.


  1. Loved your writing. Very interesting take on a city which leaves its marks on one’s soul….
    And it’s effects carry on with us wherever our lives take us.

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