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Homesick in Hyderabad
Composed by ʿAwaź bir ʿAlī Awaź al-Jidḥī’s uncle, who lived and worked in Hyderabad. Recited by ʿAwaź bir ʿAlī Awaź and recorded by Sam Liebhaber at ʿAwaź bir ʿAli ʿAwaź’s home in Qishn, January 2004.
Poem Translation 1) hǧisk b-śer // ḫā hōh meṭḥayn I felt an illness // as though I were being crushed 2) we-ḥyōm ḏīmōh // b-res we-rźayn On this very day // inside of me are fatigue and aching muscles 3) mhāfreḳ lā // wḳōne b-šayn I’m not getting better // perhaps that is not even possible 4) men eśśerḳawt // te ber tǧayn From the east // and as far as where the sun has set. 5) w-ḫezyū ḳlōb // menśē we-ṯḳayn My heart, mind, and body refuse // to be cheerful and stay glad 6) led ribḫem lā // wet hēm fṭayn They won’t quiet down // should they ever recall them… 7) we-ḥfaṭk ḥmōd // we-ḏ-heh meḥźayn God Preserve Ḥmūd // and the others still in their mother’s lap, 8) kenḥōn er šeh // lehnēh memḥayn I wish I were with him // but I am busy. 9) heh senh dfēʾ // wet śī leḥḳayn He’s the windward ridge that keeps [us] warm // if anything should come upon us, 10) we-wḳayt le-ǧrīw // we-ṣfēʾ we-rźayn In times that have passed // days calm and content 11) hes wīke ḫrir // w-berš ḫelṭayn When he was with us // and we were all mixed together, 12) w-birt ālī // eśśett we-zzayn [Including] the daughter of ʿAlī // with her necklace and her beauty. 13) hīš hēt ḫeṣṣāt // w-ṣōyeb tśeyn To you, Birt ʿAlī, are distinctions // you see things correctly 14) w-ṣōye ǧyēd // tǧēr meḫṣayn Your inborn traits are good // and rise above [the rest] 15) teḏhōben wlē // menkel ǧenbeyn They merge all together // flowing from both sides [her mother and father] 16) tzehyen nawt // w-bōlī erġayn They beautify her, a blank slate // [traits inherited] from a noble people. 17) w-ʾeġlē men emesk // we-rhīt we-ġṣayn More precious than musk // [from] a thicket of slender trees and branches, 18) ḥbōr šōfū // w-śitt be-ʾayn When it grows to completion // it attracts the eye. 19) ḫā heh le-meyyōn // we-ʾātōm yseyn Just like a spring with water // flowing forth in a channel 20) en heh be-śrēt // we-ḥrīh ḏ-ḥīṭayn If it is in the highlands // on the very top of mountain gardens 21) w-ḫeṭ meśśənī // w-keḏ yeśheyn A line (of irrigation) seen from afar // by all who can appreciate it. 22) w-bāl hwē // leh ḳalb yṭayn The one who desires [to be there] // his heart takes him away 23) w-sēr śreġ // hwēʾeh ybeyn And behind the want // his desire [for it] builds up, 24) wle le-meǧrē // yeḥlūl we-yfeyn Or [he goes] to the irrigated garden // and sits there, [often] returning 25) yḥazreh lā // wel heh mettəḳeyn He neglects his own land // and is no longer certain of it. 26) tē beź yehmūm // we-mnōw yeṯġayn Even some people are able [to reach it] // since the route is inscribed in their minds; 27) we-zmīhem enśē // we-wōbel ybeyn [God] gave them strong vision // to see exactly where the downpour falls 28) we-rṣayd leh ḳam // ḏ-kef ʾayneyn But [this garden] has high walls // it is merely for the eyes to see, 29) w-šettī l-ḥayd // ṭerḥayn mḥerṣayn A property in the hand // [of an owner who] keeps it held tightly. 30) tē meyt ḏ-šeḳfūl // menśē ḏ-berḳayn Until the time that the rain falls abundantly // and the lightning storms arrive 31) we-msōḳ-ḏe-nǧūm // men hel yeṯḫayn And stars have journeyed hither // from wherever they had settled 32) we-lḥaymer yǧeyn // dēk bāl ġaṭnayn Then the star Lḥaymar gathers [the clouds] // Lord of the Heavy Rain 33) w-alḥūt w-alnəḳā// w-bīt lebṭayn And the stars of Ḥūt and Nḳā // at the time of the barley crop. 34) w-śōreb āśōm // w-sāt yṭayn Sometimes the clustered rain-stars // come around again, 35) w-ḥaymed ānēš // w-ǧīdh yehmayn Ḥaymad [Ḥmūd/Muḥammad] is like the rain-stars // his goodness exceeds the expectation. 36) wet śitt we-rḥāḳ // wle bġawt ʾayn Even when he travels far away // and disappears from sight. 37) bźāt ḏ-mešmūm // ġōlī meṯṯəmayn Bundles of amber // expensive and valuable [Ḥmūd’s beloved] 38) seh līs ṭmāt // tekhōb ḫeṣṣeyn Everyone is greedy for it // and it fetches a high price [the dowry] 39) yāmīles ṭbōb // led śī ṭerḥayn They use it for medicine // and use every bit of it. 40) ʾamūr dwēl // led śī ṭarḥay [Ḥmūd] said: ‘The governments’ [the older kin of his beloved] // have bestowed nothing on us.' 41) śī ḏ-hemmeh nbeʾ // w-waṣf enkayn A bit of news // and a descriptions [of events] has reached us 42) we-lbōdem shīb // w-kel erźeyn Becoming a wave // that spreads through every land [Other families are against the marriage as well] 43) ḳfōlū frēr // we-bnūd sūḳayn They have blocked the double wings of the doors // and closed the markets 44) hes hēm yenwīl // w-šīhem āwayn Because they can reach it // and have the means to do so. [Wealthier families prepare to compete for Ḥmūd’s beloved] 45) we-mrākeb nḳawf // w-tēsen heśḥayn They have moved their ships // and filled them with cargo, 46) w-ġōlī fnōd // brek awźayn They have kept what is precious for themselves // from among all the things that people covet. [They refuse all suitors from outside of the tribe] 47) yʾōlem ḥmīm // be-lyēd ḏ-yetġayn They aim their rifles // on those who can break through obstacles 48) w-śī be-ryūl // b-bar yeṭʾayn Or they come on foot overland // and strike them by hand, 49) w-śī be-smeʾ // ṭyār yeśayn Sometimes from the sky // bombing them with airplanes 50) yhayl meǧrē // brek ġīṭayn Steering their course // high in the cirrus clouds. 51) amōrem ḳdēm // w-ṭāf ḫeṭrayn They tell him: Go forward // and look around the boundaries between the tribes 52) dīḫawṣ we-brīt // w-ǧbēl ferṭayn At Wadi Dīḫawṣ and Brīt // and the two mountains of Farṭayn 53) we-mḥawmel erśī // elbūd ḥeźnayn The beasts of burden, all loaded // are halted there and have been settled in tight rows. 54) w-heḳfīd eǧzē // be-ṭbūl we-fḳayn Their owners unload them // to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals 55) w-ṣawt ġlē // wet hēm rṭayn Each one lifted up his voice in beauty // so as to be trading words 56) we-ḫdūme ġyūǧ// yʾāmīl źabhayn The men worked to make // an echo in the hearts of the others 57) w-āfūr ārūź // menbād ḥźayn ‘To plough the land,’ // after she has left her mother’s lap. 58) heṣbāḥem enḫayl // wa-k-ǧēre ġźayn In the morning [the land] grows // with date palms and ripened crops, 59) we-bnīw meṣnāt // b-ġamź ḏ-āyn They’ve built a large house there // all in the wink of an eye 60) mǧawles ybeyt // men ġeyr derfeyn With seven stories // not to mention a top floor open to the sky. 61) w-dūfe eylēf // we-ḫlūṣ werḳayn He pays out thousands // and finishes off the paperwork 62) l-yeśtərūf // l-hɛ̄s yeśśeyn To raise his esteem in the eyes of others // just as he wishes to be seen. 63) w-ḏēd rebyeh // yeshōr we-yḳayn The one who raised her // staying up at night and holding her in her lap 64) tźōṭ mardawf // we-ǧbēʾ ḏ-yehġayn Takes twice the gifts // more than what suffices, 65) w-ġayw rebźā // we-lyēh ḏ-yelḥayn As do the brothers of her mother // and father and her near relations. 66) ḥmūd we-syēd // w-bīt yesreyn Ḥmūd and Saʿīd // and the family of Yāsir 67) ʾamūr azyēm // ʾemēr heṭmeyn They said that they’ll think [about the proposed marriage] // if he has enticed them 68) beyn bāź mīḥōn // we-ḏ-ġadlem deyn Since amongst them are ones who are needy // and those bearing debts, 69) w-ettōlī amūr // led hād tbeyn Saying: “Afterwards // no one will come after us [looking for payment of their debts]. 70) w-zēy er ġatlūb // we-ksūb erźeyn Her people were convinced // and he earned their satisfaction, 71) w-bīt emdēd // ḏēk er yemḥayn But Bīt Amdēd // are ones who like to put people through trouble 72) wet ber ḏe-ḥzōb // we-wkawb śōṭeyn When they band together // they enter into the flames together 73) ʾamōr ġreyb // be-mdōyem nkayn They said: “A stranger // has come to us in our open squares, 74) mšerḳe lā // ʾamēr ġalṭayn He’ll benefit by nothing // if he should commit any errors against us 75) hes heh w-heḳṣōh // w-ṭōr be-lḥayn Unless he relents // and changes his tune 76) w-ettōlī erdūd // w-red ewṭayn And afterwards withdraws his suit // and returns to his native land 77) men lektəlūf // w-leġdōl šayn Instead of burdening himself // and bearing the disgrace on his shoulders. 78) w-hebṣōr meksēr // w-ṣikk ṭarfeyn He can see that the narrows // are closed on either side 79) sūd ār ḏ-ġalḳet // men elḥayn w-elḥayn And that the dark, black sea // is shut now and forever; 80) yʾalyen mens // w-hād yehǧeyn One should haul [his ship] up // from the sea and take it to shelter.