Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu

Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu is a famous dirge by the famous Punjabi writer and poet Amrita Pritam (1919-2005) about the horrors of the partition of Punjab during the 1947 Partition of India.[1] The poem is addressed to the historic Punjabi poet Waris Shah (1722-1798 CE), who had written the most popular version of the Punjabi love tragedy, Heer Ranjha. In this poem, she appeals to Waris Shah to arise from his grave, record Punjab's tragedy and turn over a new page in Punjab's history.[3]

The poem found resonance in both Punjabs - Indian and Pakistani.[2] It featured in the Pakistani Punjabi film, Kartar Singh, where it was performed by Inayat Hussain Bhatti. It is one of the most widely read poems in modern Indian literature.[4] This was also sung by the Mekaal Hasan Band and featured on their albums, Sampooran (2004) and Saptak (2009).



Poem inspiration

A few months after partition during her pregnancy Amrita was traveling from Dehradun to Delhi in search of work. She casually wrote some lines on the tragedy that she had witnessed in 1947. Amrita had hardly imagined that this casually jotted down piece of poetry, Aj Aakhan Waris Shah Nu lyrics, will one day acquire epic fame and make her immortal.


  • Ajj Aakhan Waris Shah Nuu,
    Kiton Qabraan Wichon Bol,
    Tey Ajj Kitaab-e-Ishq Daa,
    Koi Agla Warka Phol
  • Ikk Royi Sii Dhi Punjab Di,
    Tu Likh Likh Maarey Wain,
    Ajj Lakhaan Dhiyan Rondiyan,
    Tenu Waris Shah Nuu Kain
  • Uthh Dard-Mandaan Diya Dardiya,
    Utth Tak Apna Punjab
    Ajj Bailey Lashaan Bichiyaan
    Tey Lahoo Di Bhari Chenab
  • Kisey Ne Panjaan Paaniyan Wich
    Diti Zahar Rala,
    Tey Unhan Paniyaan Dharat Nuu
    Dita Paani Laa
  • Iss Zarkhaiz Zameen Dey
    Loon Loon Phuttiya Zahar
    Gitth Gitth Charhiyaan Laaliyan
    Fuut Fuut Charrhiya Kaher
  • Wey Waleesi Wha Phair,
    Wan Wan Wagi Jaa,
    Ohney Har Ikk Waans Di
    Wanjli Diti Naag Bana
  • Pehla Dang Madaariyan,
    Mantar Gaye Guwaach,
    Doojey Dang Di Lag Gayi,
    Janey Khaney Nuu Lag
  • Laagaan Keeley Lok Moonh,
    Bas Phir Dang Hi Dang,
    Palo Palee Punjab Dey,
    Neeley Pay Gaye Ang
  • Galeyon Tutey Geet Phir,
    Takaleyon Tuti Tand,
    Trinjanon Tutiyaan Saheliyan,
    Charakhrrey Ghuukar Band
  • Saney Saij Dey Beriyan,
    Luddan Ditiyaan Rohrr,
    Saney Daliyan Peengh Ajj,
    Piplaan Diti Torr
  • Jithey Wajdi Si Phook Pyar Di,
    Wey Oh Wanjhli Gayi Guwaach
    Raanjhey Dey Sab Veer Ajj,
    Bhul Gaye Ohdi Jaach
  • Dharti Tey Lahu Warsiya,
    Qabraan Paiyan Chon,
    Preet Diyan Shahzadiyan,
    Ajj Wich Mazaaraan Ron
  • Ajj Sabhey ‘Qaido’ Ban Gaye,
    Husn Ishq Dey Chor
    Ajj Kithon Liyaiye Labh Ke
    Waris Shah Ikk Hor
  • Ajj Aakhan Waris Shah Nuu,
    Kiton Qabraan WichoN Bol,
    Tey Ajj Kitaab-e-Ishq Da,
    Koi Agla Warka Phol

English Translation

  • Today, I call Waris Shah,
    “Speak from inside your grave”
    And turn, today,
    the book of love’s next affectionate page
  • Once, one daughter of Punjab cried;
    you wrote a wailing saga
    Today, a million daughters,
    cry to you, Waris Shah
  • Rise! O’ narrator of the grieving;
    rise! look at your Punjab
    Today, fields are lined with corpses,
    and blood fills the Chenab
  • Someone has mixed poison
    in the five rivers’ flow
    Their deadly water is, now,
    irrigating our lands galore
  • This fertile land is sprouting,
    venom from every pore
    The sky is turning red
    from endless cries of gore
  • This fertile land is sprouting,
    venom from every pore
    The sky is turning red
    from endless cries of gore
  • With the first snake-bite;
    charmers lost their spell
    The second bite turned all and sundry,
    into snakes, as well
  • Drinking from this deadly stream,
    filling the land with bane
    Slowly, Punjab’s limbs have turned black
    and blue, with pain
  • The street-songs have been silenced;
    cotton threads are snapped
    Girls have left their playgroups;
    the spinning wheels are cracked
  • Our wedding beds are boats,
    their logs have cast away
    Our hanging swing,
    the Pipal tree has broken in disarray
  • Lost is the flute, which once,
    blew sounds of the heart
    Ranjha’s brothers, today,
    no longer know this art
  • Flood rained on our shrines;
    drenching them to the core
    Damsels of amour, today,
    sit crying at their door
  • Today everyone is, ‘Qaido’
    thieves of beauty and ardor
    Where can we find, today,
    another Warish Shah, once more
  • Today, I call Waris Shah,
    “Speak from inside your grave”
    And turn, today,
    the book of love’s next affectionate page

Mekaal Hasan Band

Pakistani band, Mekaal Hasan Band included a 7 minute, 27- second song "Waris Shah" on their albums Sampooran and Saptak. Javed Bashir was the vocalist. The band also released an animated video for this song, which was directed by Zeeshan Pervaiz.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Gur Rattan Pal Singh, My reminiscences, Gur Rattan Pal Singh, 1999, ... referring to the famous lines of Mrs. Amrita Pritam, the celebrated Punjabi writer, about the partition of India: "Aj aakhan War is Shah nu kiton ... tenu Waris Shah nu kahen Uth dard mandan diya dardia Tu tak apna Punjab Aj bele ... 
  2. ^ a b Manohar Singh Gill, Agriculture cooperatives: a case study of Punjab, Vikas, 1983, ISBN 978-0-7069-2371-1, ... Her cry of sorrow and despair, to Waris Shah the immortal bard of the Punjab, finds an eternal echo of shame in both Punjabs. She wrote: Aj aakhan Waris Shah nu kiton kabran vichon bol te aj kitabe Ishaq da koi agla ... 
  3. ^ Marian Arkin, Barbara Shollar, Longman anthology of world literature by women, 1875-1975, Longman, 1989, ISBN 978-0-582-28559-0, ... Aj Aakhan Waris Shah Nu Speak from the depths of the grave, to Waris Shah I say and add a new page to your saga of love today. Once wept a daughter of Punjab your pen unleashed a million cries, a million daughters weep today ... 
  4. ^ ""Popular Indian Poems"". 
  5. ^ [1] Academy of the Punjab in North America (APNA).
  6. ^ Complete verse with Translation
  7. ^ Ajj Aakhan Waris Shah Nu- Poetry in Amrita's Own Voice Academy of the Punjab in North America (APNA).
  8. ^ http://www.pakium.com/2009/06/09/mekaal-hassan-band-waris-shah-video
  9.   http://www.punjabspider.com/resources/2814-Lyrics-English-translation-Aj...

External links

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