“Lata Mangeshkar saved us”: the tribute of two Pakistani poets to the icon


Here is the entire poem:

‘In a small Chinese restaurant

Me and my fellow nationalists

Sitting in a beautiful sunset like Keats poems

Watched the aroma rising from the bowl of soup, pleasant to the touch

Transform into body fulfillment

The sparkling conversation with the

Mention of ‘The Wind Cannot Read’, Taj Mahal, Mysore Silk

And Benares sari turned to pak-indian politics

1965 – then 1971 – prisoners of war

Amritsar television

Pakistani culture – new battlefield – alarm bells…..

My zealous colleagues

Were very angry at this attack

I tried to say something, then

They had frowned so much

As if they were given quinine syrup instead of soup

The cheerful wife of the restaurateur too

Looked at me with plaintive looks

(Perhaps an arrow from 1962 was still pierced through his heart!)

In the nerves of the restaurant as if

Rage as if the body of a hypertensive person had entered

If this condition had lasted a while

Then the arteries in our brain would have burst

But then the orchestra fell silent

And the syrupy and honeyed voice of Lata, emerged like

Like in a cluttered room

The window facing the river is about to open!

I saw

On the tension of bodies and faces

The freshness of invisible hands

Sprinkled the dew of love

As if distorted faces adorn themselves again

My fellow nationalists

Keep their chin in the cups of (their) hands

Were sitting quiet and motionless

The magic of the song was rising!

Under the table

Sweet pink feet too

Were dancing to the accompaniment of the song!

The Common Enemy’s Daughter

In the form of the common lover

Spread the arms clean silk tones

Bring us together

was dancing!


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