Gayatri Lakhiani Chawla translates Sachal Sarmast’s Sindhi poems into English

Three Poems in translation

O! loved ones are you aware that my Sajan dwells right here 

You search for him in yourself,
do not go looking afar

The divine one,
he is always present in your soul

For who’s sake do you do anything,
why do you lose yourself and say hai hai

He himself shields us
he himself gives us ears
himself he chants stories

You face all hardships
for whom do you do that

Sachu says the divine one rests
in our heart
who says that he doesn’t?

Yesterday sitting close to me Sajan yaar,
opened his heart and spoke

From the core I haven’t forgotten how can I
how can I speak of something other?

Ae Pritam have pity on me,
step into my abode

Ae parmatma for a few days come to me
come to me despite everything

Stay with me till time eternity Ae parmatma,
do not belong, 
do not belong to another country

I have become a recluse
from the day I was enraptured
Sachu says sitting around

In streets of aplenty I quest for you,
becoming a servant 

Forgetting the worldly ties
I have become a servant

Ae dost, intoxicated by you,
my heart is bubbling with love

All of a sudden, inside
a gush of holi,
colours of love envelop me

Sachu says from light years gone by
I am
I am your servant
Sachal Sarmast
Sachal Sarmast (1739-1829) is a Sufi Sindhi poet born in ‘Daraza’, near Ranipur, Sindh. His real name was Abdul Wahab Farouqi. At a very young age Sachal lost his father and was brought up by his uncle Pir Khawaja Abdul Haq I, who later became his spiritual guru. He was nicknamed ‘Sachal’ or ‘Sachu’. Sachu means truthful and Sarmast means ecstatic in Sindhi and Urdu, who is known as the ‘truthful mystic’ or ‘Ecstatic Saint of Truth’. He uses spiritual allegory in his poetry giving it texture and making it unique to his style.
Source text is Lachman Hardwani’s book ‘Sachal Sarmast ji Kavita’
Lajwanti. K. Jaisinghani was born in undivided India. She is well versed in the Gurmukhi and Devnagari scripts, and Arabic and Sindhi languages. She is a spiritual teacher who is active in singing kalaams by Sachal Sarmast and Abdul Latif at satsangs and prayer meetings. 
Gayatri Lakhiani Chawla is an award-winning poet, translator and French teacher from Mumbai. Her poems are featured in the anthology Modern English Poetry by Younger Indians published by Sahitya Akademi, Yearbook of Indian Poetry in English and The Kali Project. Her poem won the Commendation Prize at The All-India Poetry Competition 2013. She is the author of two poetry collections – Invisible Eye and The Empress.Accolades for her poetry include a special mention award in the Architectural Poetry Annual Competition 2020, the Panorama Special Jury Award 2020, being shortlisted by Asia Pacific Writers and Translators in collaboration with Joao-Roque Literary Journal June 2020, and first prize at The New Normal Poetry competition by Poetry Paradigm and Oxford Bookstore. Her translated Sindhi poem ‘Safar’ won the first prize at the Kavya Kaumudi International Poetry Award. She is recipient of the Rahi Kadam Inspiration Award 2021. Her co-translations of Sachal Sarmast’s Sufi poetry are part of an upcoming book.