Nanak sang the songs of love to ‘illuminate’ the hearts of mortals! However today, ironically, at a short distance from the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan where Nanak breathed his last, a barbed wire along the Indo-Pak border remains ‘illuminated’ with high powered lights even during the bright daylight! Nanak’s lamps to ‘illuminate’ the souls are now replaced with lights to manage a divide!


Having walked across the fields towards the border fence, on the return, I hitched a ride on a buffalo cart. Sitting on piles of wheat straw, as I gazed at a distance, on my right was Nanak’s final resting place and in the rear the artificially ‘illuminated’ border. My being was filled with Amrita Pritam’s evocative poetry about the horrors of division. Her lament calls out to poet Waris Shah, the author of the most popular version of the love tragedy, ‘Heer Ranjha,’ to arise from his grave to record this new tragedy of Punjab.


Today, I call Waris Shah,
“Speak from your grave”
Turn to the next page in your book of love
Once, a daughter of Punjab cried and you wrote an entire saga
Today, a million daughters cry out to you, Waris Shah
Rise! O’ narrator of the grieving! Look at your Punjab
Today, fields are lined with corpses, and blood fills the Chenab


Ajj Aakhan Waris Shah Nu Kitton Kabra Vichon Bol
Tey Ajj Kitabey Ishak Da Koi Agla Varka Fol
Ik Roi Si Dhi Punjab Di Tu Likh Likh Marey Vain
Ajj Lakhan Dhiya Rondiya Teinu Waris Shah Nun Kahen
Vey Dardmanda Diaa Dardiya Uth Tak Aapna Punjab
Ajj Beley Lasha Vichiyan Tey Lahu Di Bhari Chenab



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