Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu

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Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu 
by Amrita Pritam
Original titleਅੱਜ ਆਖਾਂ ਵਾਰਸ ਸ਼ਾਹ ਨੂੰ

Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu (English: "Today I Invoke Waris Shah"[1] or "I Say Unto Waris Shah",[2] Punjabi: اَج آکھاں وارث شاہ نُوں, ਅੱਜ ਆਖਾਂ ਵਾਰਸ ਸ਼ਾਹ ਨੂੰ) is a famous dirge by the renowned Punjabi writer and poet Amrita Pritam (1919-2005) about the horrors of the partition of the Punjab during the 1947 Partition of India.[3] 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 (ਹੀਰ ਰਾਂਝਾ, ہیر رانجھا).[4] It appeals to Waris Shah to arise from his grave, record the Punjab's tragedy and turn over a new page in Punjab's history.[5]


In the poem the poet invokes Waris Shah, a historic Punjabi poet, who wrote a popular version of Punjabi love tragedy Heer Ranjha. Pritam asks to record and witness the miserable condition of Punjab and its people after partition (1947) and open a new page of his book of love. In the story of Heer Ranjha, Shah narrated the misery of a woman (Heer), but a million of daughters of Punjab, Pritam feels, were crying to Shah.

The fields are lines up with dead bodies, and Chenab is filled with blood. Someone unknown poured poison in the water of the five rivers, and the deadly water is destroying the land. The land, which used to fertile, is sprouting venom, and the sky has turned red from endless cries and tears.


These are the opening lines of the poem:[6][7]

Punjabi - Gurmukhi script Punjabi - Shahmukhi script English translation

ਅੱਜ ਆਖਾਂ ਵਾਰਸ ਸ਼ਾਹ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਤੋਂ ਕਬਰਾਂ ਵਿਚੋਂ ਬੋਲ।
ਤੇ ਅੱਜ ਕਿਤਾਬੇ ਇਸ਼ਕ ਦਾ ਕੋਈ ਅਗਲਾ ਵਰਕਾ ਫੋਲ।
ਇਕ ਰੋਈ ਸੀ ਧੀ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਦੀ ਤੂੰ ਲਿਖ ਲਿਖ ਮਾਰੇ ਵੈਣ।
ਅਜ ਲੱਖਾਂ ਧੀਆਂ ਰੋਂਦੀਆਂ ਤੈਨੂ ਵਾਰਸ ਸ਼ਾਹ ਨੂੰ ਕਹਿਣ।
ਵੇ ਦਰਦਮੰਦਾਂ ਦਿਆ ਦਰਦੀਆ ਉੱਠ ਤੱਕ ਆਪਣਾ ਪੰਜਾਬ।
ਅਜ ਬੇਲੇ ਲਾਸ਼ਾਂ ਵਿਛੀਆਂ ਤੇ ਲਹੂ ਦੀ ਭਰੀ ਚਨਾਬ।

اج آکھاں وارث شاہ نوں، کتھوں قبراں وچوں بول
تے اج کتابِ عشق دا کوئی اگلا ورقہ پَھول
اک روئی سی دھی پنجاب دی، تُوں لکھ لکھ مارے بین
اج لکھاں دھیاں روندیاں، تینوں وارث شاہ نوں کہن
اُٹھ درد منداں دیا دردیا، اُٹھ ویکھ اپنا پنجاب
اج بیلے لاشاں وچھیاں تے لہو دی بھری چناب

Today, I call Waris Shah, “Speak from your grave,”
And 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.

In popular culture[edit]

The poem found resonance in both Punjabs - Indian and Pakistani.[4] 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.[8]

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.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roshen Dalal (23 August 2017). India at 70: snapshots since Independenc. Penguin Random House India Private Limited. pp. 186–. ISBN 978-93-86815-37-8.
  2. ^ Shubha Tiwari (2005). Indian Fiction in English Translation. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. pp. 29–. ISBN 978-81-269-0450-1.
  3. ^ 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 ...
  4. ^ 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 ...
  5. ^ 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 ...
  6. ^ Amrita Pritam Academy of the Punjab in North America (APNA).
  7. ^ Ajj Aakhan Waris Shah Nu- Poetry in Amrita's Own Voice Academy of the Punjab in North America (APNA).
  8. ^ ""Popular Indian Poems"".
  9. ^ http://www.pakium.com/2009/06/09/mekaal-hassan-band-waris-shah-video