‘Ashorjan’ or ‘Ashro Jang’ is said to have been derived either from Persian word ‘Ashob-e-Jan’ means ‘pain of soul’ or Khowar word ‘Ashro Jang’ means ‘profuse flow of tear amounting to war of tear’. Whatever is the reason for the nomenclature, Ashorjan is one of the oldest forms of folksongs in the Khowar folk music. It is believed that the original Ashorjan dates back to 16th Century. Nonetheless, they say it is quite difficult to associate the composition of these songs to any specific person(s). Instead, there have been numerous composers, who contributed verses in different period in the flow of Ashorjan’s renowned tune, which evokes melancholy amongst the listener. Mny songs of this form are anonymous but some are associated with known persons. This particular song is said to be created by Wazir Munfiat Kan, a 19th century nobleman in Chitral.
Translation by Atiqur Rahman
O my sweet heart!
All kings, whether Alexander the Great or Darius, with all their glory of honour and splendour, could not equal thee in grace;
All the beautiful cities of the world, even Bukhara the Noble, could not be worth your abode.
If it could have honoured me with your simple sight, I would have given away all my property and all the riches I ever had. I would then come and feast on your sight.
Once I chanced to have a spectacle, unique and strange. To my pleasant surprise, there stretched in thy yard roses all in bloom;
Eyes and brows wantonly at play; lips and teeth at war; oh what a sight it was.
Dear love, how could I come to your country, oh how could I ever come;
If I ever do, thy country folk do apprehend and get scared.
I wish I could be a flowing stream in thy path, rather living in anguish;
So that thou, oh my beloved take a sip of me with thine sweet lips;
On that golden moment my most cherished yearns till the ecstasy of death, will fulfill.
The life of a lover is like a thorny shoot in the heath;
The gust of love striking it, the scorching sun of woes burning it;
Its leaves dried and roots decayed.
Once I chanced to turn up in thy valley, oh curse be the day;
When I heard the ill-fated news of your departure.
I once chanced to turn up in my sweetheart’s yard;
Lo! There was noise and noise everywhere;
And mid this tumult, was my beloved fixed to the door;
Ah! She was shedding helpless tears over my pitiful fate.
I have retreated to dwell in a corner far away from the people;
Alas! I am as helpless as an ant or a fly;
Oh! My love, come and bless me with your company for a while.
Let them kill us both, for no richer moment could there be;
To embrace death but with you;
To die is never a guilt;
It comes and steals on everyone.
Oh! How human cherish life;
And most dearly long to live it;
Oh! Life is never a thing to be cherished;
Some are sad for a loving mother who is no more, and some feel bereft for a father who is among the departed souls, and others are bend under the grief of the siblings;
Oh! Life is bitter for all, sweet for none, even for the sweetest one!
Affluent turns the heads, and brings pride; adversity breaks heart, and brings humility;
I hail the sagers, who have their fingers on the pulses of life, and understand its ways.
Oh! How vainly I express my woes, like the singing bird, the golden oriole;
I, for my beloved, and he, for the departing spring season.
مہ ژانئے تہ غونہ نہ باچھا اسکندر ، نہ کہ خور شہنشاہ، نہ دارا بیسیر۔۔۔ شوم وطنہ اسراف، تہ نشیکو ژاغہ بخارا بسیر۔
یک برائے دیدار ہفت ہزار روپیہ، کہ چارہ بیسیر۔۔۔ تھے گیسام اوا تان بیزیمی تان دورو، خور کارا بیسیر۔
بہت بی ایہہ نیسیتام، عحائب پوشیتام، بو نوژان پوشیتام، مہ دوستو شرانہ گلاب رنگ کونیانئے۔
غیچ برو اشٹوک کونیان شون دون ژانگ کونیان۔