The Fine Lads of Delhi

Delhi and its fine lads

With their turbans and twisted beards

Openly drinking lovers’ blood

while secretly sipping wine.

Wilful and full of airs

they pay no heed to anyone.

So close to the heart, they rob

your soul and tuck it safely away.

When they are out for a stroll

rosebushes bloom in the street.

When the breeze strikes them from behind,

See how the turbans topple from their heads.

When they walk, the lovers follow,

Blood gushing from their eyes.

Their heads puffed up with beauty’s pride,

Their admirer’s hearts are gone with the wind.

These cheeky, simple Indian lads have made

Muslims into worshipers of the sun.

Those fair Hindu boys

Have led me to drunken ruin.

Trapped in the coils of their curly locks

Khusrau is a dog on a leash.

Poem by Amir Khusrau translated by Sunil Sharma