An Eon of Thirsts

My haunt my drinking place was
there, lit by a moon
I was not there.
My intoxication
personified, was there
Not I.
On the slippery slope to
that bar, lips craving wine
I was not there
An eon of thirsts
tottering, was there
Not I.




mai-kada thā chāñdnī thī maiñ na thā
ik mujassam be-ḳhudī thī maiñ na thā
mai-kade ke moḌ par ruktī huī
muddatoñ kī tishnagī thī maiñ na thā


Translator’s Note:

Translating poetry is not just about fidelity to the words but to the essence of the words. In my approach to translations, I look beyond the words for the meaning, the central play in the original poet’s mind. Where possible, and especially in Urdu ghazals, where there is a strict rhyming and syllabic count sequence, I try to recreate a rhyme.


Ajit S. Dutta

Ajit S. Dutta is a Sikh-American author and published poet with an MFA from UC Riverside. In his professional career, Dutta managed a management consulting business with several offices in Africa, Haiti, and India, which brought him in touch with several cultures and countries. Mr. Dutta published a book, A Father’s Poems, in 2000. His poems are also part of an anthology of published poetry in India. In addition to his poetry, Mr. Dutta translates poems from Urdu and Braj Bhasha into English. Dutta currently lives in Oakton, VA.

Photo by: Ajit S. Dutta

Abdul Hameed Adam started writing poetry in his teens and was a master of poems written in clear, simple and, even, pithy words which, nonetheless, touch your heart. He was a career accountant, retiring as the Deputy Assistant Controller of Military Accounts in Pakistan in 1966. He was a heavy drinker which ultimately led to his death.