Bulleh Shah – Tu Nahion, Main Naaheen


Bulleh Shah (1680-1757) was a Punjabi poet hailing from Kasur. He was educated under Shah Inayat, but rejected his scholarly education and elite family status, instead choosing to roam the streets dancing and singing his kafis for the populace. His poetry covers many themes, including love, Sufism, and social rebellion.

Tu nahion, main naaheen, vay sajnaa
Without you, I am not, my beloved
Kholay de parchawayn waangon, ghoom rahaan mann maanheen
Like a shadow amidst ruins, my heart wanders
Jaan bolaan toon naalay bolain, chup rahwaan mann naaheen
When I speak, you speak inside me and my heart can’t be silenced
Jaan sowan toon nalay sowayn, jay turaan toon raaheen
When I sleep you sleep with me, when I walk, you’re the path
Bullah, shoh ghar mere aaya, jinndree ghol ghumayeen
O Bullah, the Beloved visited me, and I tossed away my existence in his name
Tu nahion, mein naaheen, main naaheen, vay sajnaa
Without you, I am not, my Beloved.
Translated by Sara Kazmi