Posted by: Myself | May 15, 2011

Pain in words – Amrita Pritam

Writing about Punjabi literature will be incomplete without Amrita Pritam. One of the very few females artists which were accepted in this male dominated society. Not surprisingly she wrote hundreds of writings putting forward the pain of being female. Whether it was at the hands of her in-laws or during the catastrophic events like partition.
One of the most popular works of hers is a short poem where she is calling out to Waris shah, the writer of Heer-Ranjha love story to write about so many women in despair during the partition. The pain and anguish blended with helplessness is something that struck me so hard that i could still feel it the same way when i first used it in a speech of mine when i was barely 10 years old. Here are the words in english as well as the translation for all those who haven’t been through this already.

Original Verse

aj aakhan waaris shah noo kito.n qabra.n vicho.n bol!
te aj kitab-e-ishq da koi agla varka phol!

ik roi si dhii punjab dii tuu likh-likh mare vain
aj lakkha.n dheeyan rondian tainuu.n waaris shah noon kahan

uth darmandan diaa dardiiaa uTh tak apna punjaab!
aj bele laashaa.n vichiiaa.n te lahu dii bharii chenaab!

kise ne panja paania.n vich dittii zahir rala!
te unhaa.n paaniaa.n dharat nuu.n dittaa paanii laa!

jitthe vajdii phuuk pyaar di ve oh vanjhli gayi guaach
ranjhe de sab veer aj bhul gaye usdi jaach

dharti te lahu vasiya, qabran payiyan choN
preet diyan shaahazaadiiaa.n aj vich mazaaraa.n roN

aj sab ‘qaido’ ban gaye, husn ishq de chor
aj kitho.n liaaiie labbh ke waaris shah ik hor

aj aakhan waaris shah noon kito.n qabra.n vicho.n bol!
te aj kitab-e-ishq da koi agla varka phol!

Translation

I say to Waris Shah today, speak from your grave
And add a new page to your book of love

Once one daughter of Punjab wept, and you wrote your long saga;
Today thousands weep, calling to you Waris Shah:

Arise, o friend of the afflicted; arise and see the state of Punjab,
Corpses strewn on fields, and the Chenaab flowing with much blood.

Someone filled the five rivers with poison,
And this same water now irrigates our soil.

Where was lost the flute, where the songs of love sounded?
And all Ranjha’s brothers forgotten to play the flute.

Blood has rained on the soil, graves are oozing with blood,
The princesses of love cry their hearts out in the graveyards.

Today all the Quaido’ns have become the thieves of love and beauty,
Where can we find another one like Waris Shah?

Waris Shah! I say to you, speak from your grave
And add a new page to your book of love.

PS: This is abridged version of her complete poem

Posted by: Myself | May 12, 2011

Do they need it ?

Rahul Gandhi created a storm yet again by reaching out to ‘underpaid’ villagers and got arrested for their cause. The drama well orchestrated from the bike ride at 4 in the morning till ‘bailed’ from the jail after few hours of ‘remand’ was covered live by every damn channel in the country. I don’t want to go into merits and demerits of this act and neither want to put forward my views which can be justified either way. But one issue that slipped in this entire circus of votebank politics is the issue of land.

In Punjab and other states which have farmers as major chunk of population you could see farmers enjoying the showering of benefits like free power at the cost of taxpayer. I agree support to farmer is a must but at what cost ? Land has become a commodity in this country which beats any other trad-able commodity in this country.With the land pricing increasing like anything no one is interested in working in fields. All they do is hire some laborers and make them work. When its time to sell crops they will blackmail govt. to increase the minimum support price of produce.

Every year farmers are selling land to create new colonies which has become need of the hour given the population increase we are having in this country. So if government is paying up for the land because it produces food it makes perfect sense to have some sort of ownership for the state. Why can’t we divide land according to its usage rather than declaring every piece of land at same level. So in principle if I get assistance from govt. to grow food then I shouldn’t be getting full value for the sale of land as commercial/non-farm activity. There has to be payback mechanism for the state funding that anyone gets. Govt. gives me funds because I am creating resource for the country but when I am treating that as my personal gain then I should be made to pay that fund back !

Same rule could be applied to state funded education at every level whether its IITs or IIMs. If it is made necessary that those seeking state assistance has to pay back by working in for govt. at decent salaries I think we could easily weed out the corruption at that level where people falsify their incomes and claim huge sums in aid. But for that to happen there has to be a system to absorb such human resource for anything useful and am sure that is most difficult thing to happen in our country.

My idea might be primitive and sound more like a communist system wherein state owns the resources but I think this kind of system can work perfectly in the capitalistic society that we are building at such a great speed.

Posted by: Myself | May 12, 2011

Words & Emotions

These days thanks to longest holiday ever in my life i have been reading some of the gems of punjabi literature given the shape of words by likes of Amrita Pritam, Gurbaksh Singh, shiv Kumar Batalvi and so on. Anyone who loves this language and its roots will know how rich these names made this relatively young language. The simplicity yet the emotion portrayed in the lines blow you away every time you go through them. Be it words of Pritam asking the Waris Shah (man who penned legendry love story known as heer-ranjha) to rise up from the grave and look up to the state of his motherland drenched with blood at the time of partition or if it romantic verse by Batalvi they all show the dominant character of this beautiful language.

I always feel that every language is beautiful to anyone who listens to the heartbeat of words rather than reading them just as drawn symbols. Emotions just need some medium to reach from one person to other it could be a single gaze (most popular example as love at first sight) or a writing traversing 1000s of pages. Language just aid in transfer but the one which has special place in your heart makes the emotion even more meaningful. But if someone tries to relate, words make their own place in any heart whatever be the language. Found very beautiful lines written by Batalvi called ‘Arjoi’, the Request, expressing the emotions of a father in most subtle yet beautiful way i ever read. Though many will contest he has done much more legendary works but lets not go into that :)

I have found the lines as well as translation on a facebook page so copy pasting from there. First para is in punjabi but should be understandable to most hindi speaking population too. Translation of the same in english is below. Incase you don’t understand the original please read the translation and then read the original. I am sure you won’t be able to help but appreciate the work !
(for ease of reading word ‘nhera’ means darkness )

Tu jo sooraj chori keeta Mera si. Tu jis ghar vich nhera keeta, Mera si. Ih jo dhup tere ghar hasse, meri hae. Is de baajhoN meri umar haneri hae. Is vich mere gham di mehak batheri hae, Eh dhup kal si meri, aj vi meri hae. MaeN hi kiran-vihoona is da baabal haaN, Is de angi meri agan samoi hae, Is vich mere sooraj di khushboi hae, Sikhar dupehre jis di chori hoi hae. Par is chori vich tera kuj vi dosh naheeN, Sooraj di har yug vich chori hoi hae. RoNdi roNdi sooraj nu har yug aNdar, Koi na koi sada dupehri moi hae. MaeN nir-loa, risham-vichuna araz karaaN, MaeN ik baap adharmi tere duvaar khaRa, Aa hatheeN ik sooraj tere sees dharaaN, Aa aj aapni dhup lai tere paer phaRaaN. MaeN kalkhaai deh, tu maenu bakhsh daveeN, DhupaaN saahveN muR na mera naam laveeN. Je koi kiran kade kujh puCHe, chupp raveeN, Ja maenu ‘kaala sooraj’ keh ke Taal daveeN. Eh ik dhup de baabal di arjoi hae, Meri dhup mere lai aj toN moi hae, Sane sooraje teri aj toN hoi hae, Dhup jide ghar hasse, baabal soi hae. Tu jo sooraj chori keeta, Tera si. Mera ghar ta janam-divas toN Nhera si.

Translation
The sun that you stole Was mine. The house that you threw into darkness, Was mine. The sunshine that smiles in your home, is mine. My life is bleak without it, The odor of my grief is heavy on it, It was mine yesterday and is mine today. It is I, bereft of light, who am its father. It is my fire that is embedded in its limbs. The smell of my sun is in it, The sun that was stolen from me in broad daylight. But you cannot be blamed for this theft. The sun has been stolen in every era. An afternoon has always died, Weeping for the sun. I, lightless, beamless, have a request, I, a faithless father, stand at your door. Let me place a sun upon your forehead, And beg you for my sunlight. I, who died long ago, beg you to bestow this on me. Never utter my name again in the sunlight. If ever some ray asks a question, remain silent, Or call me a ‘black sun’ and let it go. This is the request of a father of sunlight. From this day, on my sunshine is dead to me Along with the sun it is yours now, Wherever it smiles, is the home if its father. The sun that you stole Was mine. The house that you threw into darkness, Was mine.

Posted by: Myself | April 28, 2011

Quick Update

Well its been a long season without any post. Blogs have suffered a hit at least among the people i know thanks to increase activity in media like facebook which are perfect for sudden outburst of emotions !
But from now on i have decided to kick away this laziness seeped deep in me and update the blog more often :) Any ideas pertaining to titles will be highly appreciated.
PS: 1st real post is on the way in a day or two :)

Posted by: Myself | May 21, 2010

For sake of austerity !

11 is the number of special advertisements in today’s TOI. All 11 were from different ministries but saying one and only thing. Everyone was shouting on top of voice to show how much theycare about Nehru Gandhi family and the dates important to them.

Today is the day Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, wont say his martyrdom day as it was result of his policies not something he was doing for country. All ministers wanted to please all powerful Gandhi khandaan and made this day a gold mine for paperwallas.

This is the same govt which went all out for austerity drive. Though its another thing that for sake of austerity Sonia Gandhi travelled by economy class from Del to mum in sep 2009 and saved 10,000 bucks for her seat but no one counted how much money was spent to vacate the seats around her in ‘cattle class’ for her security.

I dont have any issue with austerity drives or people showering their love for Rajiv Gandhi, as to me both are political compulsions for them. Rajiv Gandhi was a visionary despite all of his shortcomings. He is one who took first step for new India and I have full respect for that person and he deserves all the adulation he is getting (though the reason is totally opposite for what it should be ! ). But how long will we be mute spectators of this brash wastage of public money ?

Posted by: Myself | March 17, 2009

Passing Thought

Do some gals wear small clothes as they grow older to negate the ageing effect till some age ?
Just a random idea … what do you think ? :)

Posted by: Myself | March 15, 2009

dinga dinga dee ….

Israeli arms maker Rafael presented this video at Aero India Show in bangalore. This aimed to make policymaker believe that they should buy arms from them. Don’t know how much it helped the case but if this is the way these kind of products are sold no wonder half of them are procured without any use ! Afterall policymakers are humans too ;)
Don’t worry about defence just enjoy the video ….

Posted by: Myself | March 14, 2009

Aarambh hai Prachand

Sorry for slightly misleading title. Its not about latest offering by Anurag Kashayap Gulaal. Instead i m talking about other beginning or should i say beginning that happened once again. It’s about third front(TF) formed by few regional parties.
The sole objective as stated by TF leaders is to keep cong. and BJP out of power as they are unable to do any good to nation. Though its total negative attitude to start with which is not showing any positive signs ahead for the country. The famed unity in diversity of this multicultural, mutilingual, vari-hued nation is showing its full colors now.

Going back into not so old history, Congress was fortunate to have Indira as the heiress for Gandhi dynasty. Though you may perceive her as in which ever way you find it convenient. But the truth is it’s due to Gandhi family there was political stability in this nation. Though it was misused at will but this provided the most essential stability to a young nation. Had Congress been weak like it is today in 60s n 70s and have to look at the support of other parties for every decision it would have left country nowhere. The time nation building process was going on requirement was to take some decision daringly and follow it and not wait for green/red signals from your partners in crime!

Look at pakistan. It didn’t have any leader immediately in ’48 after Jinnah was rested in peace and the country was left as an open venture of who so ever could control it. Lack of single power handle made it so difficult to control things that they took over a decade to draft constitution which was thrown in dustbin by every alternate govt. like a piece of trash. Army being the powerful and united entity seized this opportunity time and again and ruled at will for most part of its history so far. Even the only PMs pak produced like Bhutto and Sharif were constantly under this menace and never led country in peace.

Coming back to Indian scene as Indira Gandhi did a blunder in form of emergency the opportunity was seized by various hopefuls. I don’t want to comment if rule by them was gud or bad as compared to congress but they failed to give a single stable non congress govt. to this nation till date. Only exception being BJP led by Vajapayee who was able to finish its term rising on anti congg. sentiment and as an alternative. But quickly faded into oblivion in 2k4 and now trying again to gain power with help of ‘allies’ in each state.

Now look at the composition of Third Front from leaders like Devegowda who now fully knows how to throw out well established govt. at will to leaders like Mayawati who want elections at every 6 months because thats the only way for her to increase her vote count gradually and lead to PMship. How can parties like TDP and TRS can agree to each other on any issue when they are bitter foes since their inceptions. How can a conglomerate of all ‘PM ki gaddi’ ke aspirant can see one person ruling Delhi and other watching it from their state capitals ? The very foundation of this start is shaky and little hope to success. But only thing that worries me is if incase they succeed somehow then we will see every 5-7 state level leaders and opening a front of their own. No prize for guessing the kind of stability they will be able to provide !

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