Hum Dekhenge- We Shall See

Iqbal Bano, Lahore, 13 February 1986

Zia Ul Haq’s Authoritarian regime

Clad in a black saree- black the color of protest and saree, an attire that had been banned in pakistan during this period- she was a figure of protest that night.  She sang a series of protest poetry by Faiz Ahmed Faiz which had been banned under the regime. The hall was filled up to the brim, people finding just enough space to land their two feet among the audience and raising the roof with their thunderous cheers.

She sang several but the loudest cheers were reserved for Hum Dekhenege. The concert came to an end but the audience let her leave and begged for an encore of Hum Dekhenge. A technician happened to record this encore and this is what remains today.

I have found myself going back to this story and even more to the song several times in these past two years. Translation doesn’t do it justice, neither does summarisation but I’ll include both here. The poem sings of the time when we shall see the end of tyranny and terror of abused power and the people together will get to rule themselves again. It is this reimagination that offers the hope that circumstances can be different, that they can be changed, that there is power in protest and dissent.

Coming of the age to me means the power to reimagine. To observe the structures that need to be rebuilt. To find out how it could be different. And then fight (not necessarily violently) if you must for this imagination to become reality.

Humes has offered me the tools and this Portfolio is my space to reimagine.

हम दीखेंगे, हम देखेंगे
We will see, We will see

लाजिम है के हम भीखेंगे
It is inevitable (that) we too shall see

हम दीखेंगे, हम देखेंगे
We will see, We will see

वो दीन के जस का वडा है
The day that has been promised

जो लुह-ए-अजल मुझसे लिहा है, हम दीखेंगे
That is written in the book of destiny

हम भीखेंगे, हम भी वहींगे
We, too, shall see, We also shall see

जब ज़ुल्म-ओ-सितम के को-ए-गरान
When the mountains of oppression and cruelty.

रोय की तरहा उर जाँगे, हम देखेंगे
Will float away like carded wool. We will see

हम मेखोमन के पांव की कहानी
Underneath our feet – we the governed

ये धरा धरी धरो
The ground will echo like a thumping heartbeat

और अहल-ए-हकम के सर ओपर
And the sky over the heads of the rulers

जब बबली कर के कारकेगी
Will echo with the sound of thunder

हम दीखेंगे, हम देखेंगे
We will see, We will see

बस नाम रहगे अल्लाह का
And only Allah’s name will remain

जो ग़ायब भी है ख़तरा भी
Who is both elusive and present

जो मंजर भी है नजीर भी
Who is the spectacle and the beholder

उत्थेगा-अल-हक का नारा
‘I am the truth’ will be the acclamation

जो मुख्य है हूं, और तुम भी हो
Which I am, and so are you

और राज करगी खालिक-ए-खुदा
And then God’s own people will rule

जो मेन भी हूं और तू भी हो
Which I am, and so are you

हम दीखेंगे, हम देखेंगे
We will see, We will see

हम देहेंगे, हम देहेंगे
We will see, We will see