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Rambling on

Saturday, February 09, 2013

A story by Siraj on Pakistan floods



وڏڙن ٿي ڳالهه ڪئي ته هنن جي وڏڙن هنن سان ذڪر ڪيو ته هڪڙي ڏينهن الله سائين جي ڪچهريءَ ۾ سمورا فرشتا حاضر هئا، حڪم ٿيو ته هر فرشتو پنهنجي ڪار گذاري بيان ڪري.

سڀ کان پهرين حضرت جبرئيل عليه السلام عرض ڪيو ته يا الاهي، اوهان مون تي پيغام پهچائڻ جو ڪم رکيو هو سو سڀ کان آخري پيغام اوهان جي سڀ کان پياري رسول حضرت محمد ڪارڻي صلي الله عليه وسلم کي پهچائي آيس، تڏهن کان فرصت ئي فرصت آهي، ان فرصت ۾ اوهان جي عبادت ۾ مصروف آهيان، هاڻ جيڪو اَمُر هجي ته حاضر آهيان.

جڏهن حضرت اسرافيل عليه السلام جو وارو آيو تڏهن هن چيو ته ورهين کان مانسرو ور کان سنڌوءَ تائين ۽ سنڌوءَ کان سنڌي سمنڊ تائين سڀ درياهه، نديون، نالا، ڍنڍون، ڍورا سُڪي ٻڙهه ٿي ويا هئا، اوهان جي حڪم تي هڪڙي ئي ڦوڪ ڏني اٿم ته مانسروور کان سنڌوءَ تائين ۽ سنڌوءَ کان سنڌي سمنڊ تائين سڀ درياهه، نديون نالا ۽ ڍنڍون ڍورا تارو تار ٿي اٿلي پيا آهن، پر ويچارن سنڌين جا جهڳا جهڻ ٿي ويا آهن ۽ سندن الهه تلهه ٻهارجي ويو آهي.

ٿوري دير ماٺ ٿي وئي ۽ پوءِ حضرت عزرائيل عليه السلام هيئن بيان شروع ڪيو: مولا، توهان جن جو لکيو مقرر ڪيو هو، تن سمورن جا روح ته قبض ڪري ڇڏيم پر حضرت اسرافيل جيڪا ڦوڪ ڏني، ان جي ڪري الاهي سارا اڻ لکيا روح به اڏامي آيا ۽ منهنجي حساب کان چڙهي ويا آهن، جنهن جي لاءِ آءُ هٿ ادب جا ٻڌي معافي جو طلبگار آهيان.

ستين آسمان تان آواز آيو ته اسرافيل ۽ عزرائيل سنڌ ويندا ۽ اتي جي سموري صورت حال معلوم ڪري اچي بيان ڪندا.

ٻئي فرشتا اڏاڻا ۽ گهڙيءَ پل ۾ سنڌوءَ جي ڪپ تي اچي لٿا، جيئن جيئن هلندا ويا، پاڻيءَ جيڪي راڱا ڪيا هئا ان منظر هنن جون دليون دهلائي ڇڏيون، هر طرف تباهي بربادي هئي، زمين هيٺ هلي وئي هئي ۽ هر طرف پاڻي ۽ پاڻي هو، جنهن ۾ انسانن، ڍورن ۽ ويندي پکين جا لاش پئي لڙهيا، عزرائيل سڏڪڻ لڳو ۽اسرافيل اوڇنگارون ڏيڻ لڳو.

سڄي پَٽَ ۾ سُڪو ٽُڪُر خير ڪو هو، گهر تڙ، مسجدون ۽ مينارا، مدرسا ۽ شفا خانا، مڙهيون ۽ مندر، ڪليسائون ۽ ڪاليج، اوطاقون ۽ مسافرخانا، هوٽلون ۽ تندور خانا، سوين ڪتاب ۽ رسالا، ٻارن جون پٽيون ۽ تختيون، قلم ۽ مَسُ ڪُپڙيون، ڪلر باڪس ۽ ٻارڙن جون ٺاهيل تصويرون، ڦٽين جا ڪارخانا ۽ آڏاڻا، بسڪوٽ ۽ چاڪليٽ، کٽمٺڙا ۽ آئيس ڪريمون، ماڻهن ۽ جانورن جي لاشن سان گڏ لڙهنديون ٿي ويون، هڪ هنڌان ٻئي هنڌ، جتان ٿي اڏاڻا ٻنهي فرشتن کي اهڙا اهڙا منظر ڏسڻ ۾ آيا، جن هنن جون دليون سسائي ٿي ڇڏيون، سڏڪا ۽ شوڪارا ڀريندي ٿي لنگهيا، هنن سڄي سنڌ گهمي ڏٺي، جتي جتي ٻوڏ آئي هئي، اتي اهڙا ڀيانڪ منظر ٿي ڏٺائون، هر هنڌ ڪاريءَ وارا ڪک هئا، زمين، ويران ۽ ڀڙڀانگ، پاڻيءَ کي ٿي ڏوراپا ڏنا، ڳوٺ ۽ شهر ڪنهن جنگ جي بمباريءَ جو منظر بڻجي ويا هئا. انسان اهو سڀ ڪجهه ڏسندي اڌ چريا ٿي پيا هئا ۽ مٿي نهاري الله کي دانهن ڏيندا نظر آيا، هن کي پنهنجي ٻچن جا لاش ڏسي، پاڻ سان قدرت جي ويساهه گهاتيءَ کان سواءِ ٻيو ڪو ڪارڻ به نظر نٿي آيو، جڏهن فرشتن جي دل ٿي ڦاٽي، هي ته ويچارا انسان هئا! هو ميار ڏين به ته ڪنهن کي!

عزرائيل ڪجهه سامت ۾ آيو، تڏهن اسرافيل کي چيائين ته مون کي اهي روح ڳڻڻا ۽ شمار ڪرڻا آهن جن جو موت لوح محفوظ تي لکيل ئي ڪونهي، هاڻ هيئن ٿا ڪريون ته سڀ قبرستان گهمي ٿا ڏسون، اتي تازين قبرن منجهان روح شمار ڪرڻ سولو ٿيندو.

جڏهن سمورا قبرستان ڏسي ورتائون، تڏهن آخري قبرستان جي ٻاهر هڪڙي قبر تي هڪڙي ننڍڙي ڏهن ٻارنهن سالن جي نينگري نظر آين، جيڪا قبر کي ڀاڪر پائي ستي پئي هئي، کنڀڙاٽين جي آواز تي جاڳي پئي.

عزرائيل پڇيس، بابلي، نالو ڇا اٿئي؟

نينگريءَ کنڀڙاٽيون پهريل فرشتا ڏسي حيران ٿي وئي، آهستي چيائين ”سنڌو“


پُٽَ هيءَ قبر ڪنهن جي آهي؟

”منهنجي مارن جي!“ هن مختصر جواب ڏنو.

هن ۾ ڪير پوريل آهن ۽ اوهان ڪير آهيو؟

اسين ٻيڙياتا آهيون، هن قبر ۾ منهنجو ابو، منهنجي امان، منهنجون ڀينر ۽ ڀائر آهن، درياهه هنن کي ٻوڙي ڇڏيو، رڳو آءُ بچي ويس، مان هر هڪ لاش کي ريڙهي، هن بند تي آندو ۽ پوءِ سڀني کي سڌو سمهاري، لپن ۾ گپ ۽ گارو کڻي هنن جي مٿان وڌو ۽ صبح کان شام تائين قبر ٺهي وئي! پر اوهين ڪير آهيو؟

اسين ٻئي الله جا فرشتا آهيون، اسرافيل پاٻوهه مان چيو.

”پوءِ توهان کي ته خبر هوندي ته هن ڪاري قيامت کان پوءِ وڏي قيامت ڪڏهن ايندي؟“ نينگريءَ نهايت معصوميت مان سوال ڪيو.

اسان کي به خبر ڪانهي، پر تون قيامت جو ڇو پئي پڇين؟ عزرائيل سوال ڪيو

گهڙي پل لاءِ نينگري ماٺ ٿي وئي، پوءِ هڪ وڏو ساهه کڻي چيائين: جيئن ڀٽائيءَ به چيو هو، ”درياهه تو تي دانهن ڏيندس ڏينهن قيام جي“ تيئن آءُ به قيامت ڏينهن درياهه تي دانهن ڏيندس.

 
ٻئي فرشتا ڄڻ بت بڻجي ويا، هنن کي پنهنجي کنڀڙاٽين ۾ باهه جو تئه محسوس ٿيو ۽ وٺي اڏاڻا.

ستين عرش تي پهچي، اسرافيل، عزرائيل کي چيو ته عزرائيل تون ته روحن جو ڳاڻيٽو ۽ حساب ٻڌائي آ جو ٿي ويندين، پر جڏهن منهنجو وارو آيو، تڏهن مون کي اها ڳڻتي ورائي وئي آهي ته منهنجو بيان ٻڌي، مون جيڪي ڏٺو آهي، ان جو ذڪر ٻڌي الله سائين لڙڪ نه لاڙي وجهي!

 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

aaj kay naam aur aaj ke ghum kay naam

the lady, this day, 4 years ago, had a divine glow about her.

she landed in karachi after years of exile and as she disembarked she looked up towards the heavens and the world saw her shed tears of joy. this moment, only the readers of shah latif can relate to.

our modern-day marvi, our bb, accused by her enemies of being corrupt and immoral, died, yearning for the country, pining for her people, her maru

back again

saw that my blog was being followed by 3 people and a random google search on "shah latif" put me on the top 10 sites for info on the poet (this thanks to Raza Rumi)

so i said why not drop by and try and blog again. maybe my umpteenth attempt but who knows. maybe i will muster the strength to continue

interesting days ahead of us with a "tsunami" being forecasted on the political front. if the right-wing message can be packaged in a rock concert to attract the younger crowd, then i wish imran khan the best of luck! his arrival on the scene and how the landscape is changing in the country heralds the death of ideology in the country and a party which has so little to say about its policies is sure supported by the "hand of God" to garner so much support.

when i point out these right-wing nuances to people, they ask me to chill and that convince me that policies will be presented to the public soon. i sure am waiting for that day.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

call of the swan - raga haunsadhwani revisited

i am completely hooked to this raga

i wonder if hansadhawani has roots in hansa meaning swan and dhan which is sindhi for crying sound or call hence call of the swan

i am presenting favorite samples of the raga; my favourite being ustaad amir khan and ustad rashid ali khan





now to my favorite pakistani band




and then ustad amir khan




i actually like this version a lot



and the mesmerising

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Noori Jam-Tamachee Re-visited; Love Stories of the Risalo of Shah Latif

A new addition in the family demands that i revisit this blog entry from the past. So here it goes:


The Risalo of Shah Latif is divided into chapters called Surs which are composed on the lines of musical notes. Each sur is based on symbols taken from stories which are part of Sindhi folklore. Sur Kamod in the Risalo of Shah Latif is based on the love story of Noori Jam-Tamachee

Noori Jam-Tamachee

King Jam Tamachi was a Samo ruler of lower Sind at the end of the 14th century A.D. While on a shooting expedition, he chanced to see a fisher girl named Noori, falling madly in love with her and offered to married her, his love for her blind to the social disparity between them.

When they returned back to his capital, he was made aware of the general disapproval of this match. He merely observed that the detractors did not know her as much as he did. In order to display her character and appease the cynics, one day, he announced to his queens, that he would take one of them for a ride on an outing.

All the queens put on elaborate makeup and their best clothing, but not Noori. She put on her old family garment, perhaps the one she wore when the king had first seen her. When Jam Tamachi visited the queens, she smiled at them and moved on. When he saw Noori, in her simple attire, he was greatly impressed. He nodded her approval at her and led her by the hand to the royal carriage.

When they were alone, he enquired from her about her dress. She tells him that the dress reminded her of what she inherently was, and what she owed the king for her elevation. The king was charmed with her simplicity and sincerity and the legend of their happy lives have become part of the Sindhi folklore immortalized by Shah Latif.

[Taken from Agha M. Yaqoob's 3 volume translation of the Risalo with minor editing]

the kafi describes the scene of the King Jam Tamachee falling for a simple fisherwoman Nooree, marrying her despite her humble attire, her demeanor, her poverty


I am linking a youtube url of the kafi which starts at 2:20. I have not found the refrain in the Risalo but as the other verses are from the Risalo, perhaps Ustaad Manzoor Ali Khan selected this one line from a version that I am not aware of. There are also some other lines not in the risalo and have not translated them.

The track starts at 2:20







toon samoo, aaonn gandree, moon main aib n lakh
mohenjay hin haal jee, tokhay sabh parakh
karan raba, mataan maangar matee-ain

[Refrain] Khuta keenjhar keenaray, tamboo tamachee jaam jaa

Sabh sameeyoon, sabh soomeyoon, sabh-na gichee-in-a haar
Pasan khatir pireen-ana jay, vicha-yaaon vaar

[Refrain] Khuta keenjhar keenaray, tamboo tamachee jam jaa

Jaaraa ain kharaa, maal-a janeen ja mad-a
tayee sain samay kaya, heeraan janeen had-a
Jam partai-n lad-a, sayeed chavay

[Refrain] Khuta keenjhar keenaray, tamboo tamachee jam jaa

you are samoo royalty
I am a mohanee, a fisherwoman
full of countless blemishes
my poverty and condition, you are all aware

in the name of the lord,
do not forsake me for my predicament

[refrain] the royal entourage of jaam tamachee arrives at the banks of keenjhar

the princesses in the harem,
decked up with flowers in sweet splendour
all eager for Jaam's approval, yearning his favor

[refrain] the royal entourage of jaam tamachee arrives at the banks of keenjhar

foul smelling fishing nets and baskets
as their sole possession
this poor lot
prince jaam has accepted as kin
for the sake of love

[refrain] the royal entourage of jaam tamachee arrives at the banks of keenjhar

Sufi interpretation of the story of Nooree-Jaam Tamachee is that the Lord accepts as chosen ones, those who lead simple lives. Simplicity and humility are dear to the Lord and these were the qualities of the Prophet. I rather like the obvious, the direct story telling of love between a man and a woman beyond social mores and stigmas

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bullay Shah - The humanist

it is a good day when a casual conversation with a colleague produces the following email which i am quoting with his permission

"Music is independent of race, nationality, creed, religion.. I have Sanskrit shlokas, Madagascan folk songs, Buddhist chants, Native American chants in my music collection. I am trying to live according to the ideal that Baba Bulleh Shah put forth so succinctly:

Chal way Bulleyah, uthay chaleyay
Jithay saaray annhay
Na koi saadi zaat pichanray
Na koi sannu mannay

Arise O Bulleh and an abode find
Whose denizens are none, save the blind
Where thy race and creed are a path untrodden
Where thou art one of the forgotten"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Compassion

The OUP featured Karen Armstrong recently and she gave a inspiring speech on the need for compassion in our lives. here is an earlier interview that i was fortunate to find on the net.

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the JOURNAL. Karen Armstrong's life, as you will soon learn, was turned around by of all things, a footnote. When this former nun fled the convent and became a scholar of literature at Oxford, she thought she'd put all things theological well behind her. But, as the saying goes, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him, or Her, your plans.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: So can I ask you what you think about the Pope?

BILL MOYERS: Next thing you know, Armstrong was creating documentaries about religion and making comments like this:

KAREN ARMSTRONG: The Pope is the world's last, great, absolute monarch. He not only controls doctrinal and spiritual affairs, but also the political, social and economic fortunes of his church. And because he's believed to be directly guided by God, his decisions have the ring of absolute truth, which is strangely out of kilter with the democratic tenor of today's world.

BILL MOYERS: While working on a film in Jerusalem, the ancient city where Islam, Judaism and Christianity converge, the connections among that trio of faiths rekindled Armstrong's imagination and led to another new career.
She became one of the foremost, and most original, thinkers on religion in our modern world. Her many popular books include studies of Muhammad and Islam, the crusades, the ambitiously titled A HISTORY OF GOD and her latest, THE BIBLE.
A self-proclaimed "freelance monotheist," Karen Armstrong is now on a mission to bring compassion, the heart of religion, as she sees it, back into modern life.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Well this is such an honor.

BILL MOYERS: Last year, at an annual gathering of the leaders in technology, entertainment and design, she received their highly prestigious TED Prize, a $100,000 cash award that, like the genie in the lamp, also grants the recipient a wish.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: I wish that you would help with the creation, launch and propagation of a Charter for Compassion -- crafted by a group of inspirational thinkers from the three Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and based on the fundamental principle of the Golden Rule.

BILL MOYERS: The Golden Rule: "Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you." That universal principle of empathy and respect is at the core of all major religions.

Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion was launched last year with an interactive website, charterforcompassion.org. There, people of all faiths can submit their ideas about what the Charter should say.

Recently, she traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, and gathered with a group of international religious leaders to draft the guiding principles of her charter for compassion. Karen Armstrong, it's good to see you again.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: It's great to be back. Thank you.

BILL MOYERS: So tell us what you're up to with this movement.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Well, my work has continually brought me back to the notion of compassion. Whichever religious tradition I study, I find that the heart of it is the idea of feeling with the other, experiencing with the other, compassion. And every single one of the major world religions has developed its own version of the Golden Rule. Don't do to others what you would not like them to do to you.
You see, the Greeks too, they may have been not religious in our sense, but they understood about compassion. The institution of tragedy put suffering on stage. And the leader of the chorus would ask the audience to weep for people, even like Heracles, who had been driven mad by a goddess and slew his own wife and children.
And the Greeks did weep. They didn't just, like modern western men, wipe a tear from the corner of their eye and gulp hard. They cried aloud because they felt that weeping together created a bond between human beings. And that the idea is you were learning to put yourself in the position of another and reach out, not only to acceptable people, people in your own group, but to your enemies, to people that you wouldn't normally have any deep truck with at all.

BILL MOYERS: So this is not just another call for another round of interfaith dialogue?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: No, it's nothing to do with interfaith dialogue. Look, I'm not expecting the whole world to fall into a daze of compassion.

BILL MOYERS: Oh, I don't think you have to worry about that.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: But this is the beginning of something. We're writing a charter which we hope will be sort of like the charter of human rights, two pages only. Saying that compassion is far more important than belief. That it is the essence of religion. All the traditions teach that it is the practice of compassion and honoring the sacred in the other that brings us into the presence of what we call God, Nirvana, Raman, or Tao. And people are remarkably uneducated about compassion these days. So we want to bring it back to the center of attention. But then, it's got to be incarnated into practical action.

BILL MOYERS: Do you think, for example, that Osama Bin Laden and the Radical Islamists will sign onto this?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Of course not. But we have to understand that Osama Bin Laden and the radical Islamists are largely motivated by politics. They may express themselves in a religious idiom.

BILL MOYERS: As many of those suicide bombers did as they dived into the World Trade Center.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: They did. But their motivation, when you read Osama's declarations and the suicide videos of our own London bombers are all political. Their grievances are political.

BILL MOYERS: Were you there when London was bombed?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: I was right in the middle of it.

BILL MOYERS: What was your reaction?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: I thought that this was virtually inevitable. This is a political matter. And Tony Blair had put us right on the front line by joining with former President Bush. And we were all expecting this in London. There was no great surprise.
I was actually in the British library, right next to the King's Cross station, so it was a police zone. And we had to stay in there all day. We weren't allowed out. We didn't know quite what was happening. It was announced over the Tannoy that we were in a terrorist attack. There we were with true British phlegm still fussing about our footnotes. And--

BILL MOYERS: Did this diminish or strengthen your resolve on this issue of compassion?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: We've got to do better than this. Compassion doesn't mean feeling sorry for people. It doesn't mean pity. It means putting yourself in the position of the other, learning about the other. Learning what's motivating the other, learning about their grievances. So the Charter of Compassion was to recall compassion from the sidelines, to which it's often put in religious discourse and put it back there.
BILL MOYERS: One of your peers, a friend of mine, the scholar of religion Elaine Pagels told me many years ago in an interview like this that, "There is practically no religion I know of," she said, "that sees other people in the way that affirms the other's choice."

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yes. And this is a great scandal. There used to be. Islam, for example, the Koran is a pluralistic document. It says that every rightly guided religion comes from God. And there must be no compulsion in religion. And it says that Muhammad has not come to cancel out the teachings of Jesus or Moses or Abraham.
Now, Muslims have fallen into the trap that Jews, Christians, and others have done, of thinking that they are the one and only. This is ego. This is pure ego.

BILL MOYERS: But it's inspired, is it not sanctified by religion?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Well, no, I mean, the idea is that you all have to be Muslim, is actually going against the explicit teaching of the Koran, in which God says to Muhammad, "If we"-- using the royal we - "had wanted the whole of mankind to be in one single religious community, we would have achieved, we would have made that happen. But we did not so wish. This is not our desire. So you, Muhammad, leave them alone." And everybody says the Koran has their own din. Their own religious tradition, their own way of life.
Now, this is getting lost to the modern world. But that was also Muslim practice for the first 100 years after the death of the prophet when in the empire that they created, conversion to Islam was actually frowned upon. Because Jews and Christians and Zoroastrians and, later, Buddhists, had their own din, their own religion. And that was to be respected.
BILL MOYERS: But you're putting your finger on a real fault line, it seems to me. That, metaphorically, the language of violence, which goes all the way back in these ancient stories, whether they're true or not, and often invoke God for the sanctification of violent acts.
I mean, in this splendid book that you've done recently, THE BIBLE: A BIOGRAPHY, you quote, for example, from Joshua, "When Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai, in the open ground. And where they follow them into the wilderness, and when all to a man had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel return to Ai and slaughtered all its people. All the people of Ai."
You go to the Koran. You have quoted this too, where the Koran paints a picture. You know, "Allah has sealed their hearings and their hearts. And on their eyes, there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom." When you talk about the positive and affirmative side of even these texts, there is also a counter prevailing side that creates this fault line.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yeah. These scriptures all have these difficult passages. There's far more of that kind of stuff in the bible, both old and new testaments--
BILL MOYERS: Right.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: --than there is in the Koran. Now, one of the things that I am going to call for in this Charter are for exegetes, cause the people who interpret scripture, to look at these passages. See how they came into the tradition in the first place. What were the circumstances in which they appeared? What influence they have on the tradition as a whole? And now, what do we do with them? Really study them in depth. How do we deal with them in this age where scripture is the-

BILL MOYERS: By exegetes, you mean the scholars and students and interpreters or every faith?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Every faith. Yes. And that we must, first of all, study our own scriptures, before we point a finger at other people.

BILL MOYERS: You ask the question, "What would it mean to interpret the whole of the Bible as a commentary on the Golden Rule?"

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yes.

BILL MOYERS: What's your answer to that question?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Well, this is one of the things that really intrigued me when I was researching this book. How frequently the early rabbis, for example, in the Talmudic period, shortly after the death of Jesus, insisted that to any interpretation of scripture that read hatred or contempt for any single human being was illegitimate.
Rabbi Hillel, the older contemporary of Jesus, said that when asked to sum up the whole of Jewish teaching, while he stood on one leg, said, "The Golden Rule. That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the Torah. And everything else is only commentary. Now, go and study it."
St. Augustine said that scripture teaches nothing but charity. And if you come to a passage like the one you just read, that seems to preach hatred, you've got to give it an allegorical or metaphorical interpretation. And make it speak of charity.
BILL MOYERS: But of course, what some people do is to read for their own purposes what--

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Exactly.

BILL MOYERS: --they call allegorical. And then, read literally what they want to apply in their--

KAREN ARMSTRONG: And of course, you have to understand that this tendency to read scripture in a literal manner is very recent.

BILL MOYERS: Right.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Nobody, for example, ever thought of interpreting the first chapter of Genesis as a literal account of the origins of life, until the modern period. It's our scientific mindset that makes us want to sort of read these texts for accurate information.

BILL MOYERS: But as stories, don't they still have a very powerful effect? I mean, for example, you and I both know that the first murder in the oldest story grows out of a religious act.
Cain and Abel are brothers. They're rivals for God's favor. And out of jealously, Cain kills Abel. And once that pattern is set, it is followed right through like a red thread. Ishmael and Isaac and Joseph and his brothers. Right on down to Christians versus Muslims, Muslims versus Jews. Christians versus everybody. I mean, this is deeply embedded, is it not, metaphorically in our imagination?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: I think these are difficult texts. We read these texts as though they're easy. Now, I see Genesis as deconstructing a neat idea of God.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean deconstructing?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: First, in the chapter one, you've got the famous chapter, where God's sitting in the universe, center stage, totally powerful, totally benign, blessing everything. All that he has made and, no favorites, impartial. Totally powerful, totally benign. Within two chapters, he's completely lost control of his creation. Then, you've got the impartial God turns out to be a God that has real favorites.
And the Bible makes you feel the pain of the ones that are rejects. When Esau cries out, "Oh Father," to Isaac, "Have you no blessing for me, Father?" And Hagar, Abraham's second wife, who runs up and down outside in distress when Abraham has been commanded to leave her in the desert. And then, God, the benign creator becomes God the destroyer, at the end of the flood. And by the end of Genesis, he's retired from the scene.
And Joseph and his brothers have to rely on their own insights and dreams, just as we do. You can't say what God is. That is, people often ask me, "Ms. Armstrong, do you or do you not believe in the God of the Bible?" And I always say, "Tell me what it is." I'll be fascinated to hear because the Bible is a highly contradictory. What it shows, I think, is that our experience of the divine is ambiguous, complex.
We can misunderstand it. We can use it to create mayhem because of our own horrible sort of murderous tendencies. And there are no clear answers, no clear theology in the Bible.

BILL MOYERS: Spoken like a true Protestant, if I may say. I mean, those of us who believe we are, in effect, the editors of our own sacred text. That gets us in trouble.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: But-

BILL MOYERS: But that's what you're saying.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: But it shouldn't be because in the pre-modern world, you were expected to find new meaning in scripture.

BILL MOYERS: The pre-modern world being...

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Before the 17th century. You have the beginning of the scientific revolution in Europe in the 16th century. And that starts changing everything. A different economy, a much more literal approach to life. And the scientists, people like Newton, start to write theology. And the churches seize upon this and they start thinking that the Bible is literally and factually true.
But in the pre-modern world, what you see are the early Christian and Jewish commentators saying you must find new meaning in the Bible. And the rabbis would change the words of scripture to make a point to their pupils. Origen, the great second or third century Greek commentator on the Bible said that it is absolutely impossible to take these texts literally. You simply cannot do so. And he said, "God has put these sort of conundrums and paradoxes in so that we are forced to seek a deeper meaning."
And the Koran is the same. The Koran says every single one of its verses is an ayah, a symbol or a parable. Because you can only talk about God analogically, in terms of signs and symbols.
You must go to the bible and find new meaning, they said. And the same was true of the Greeks. At the beginning of the rationalist tradition in Greece, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the people who commented on them didn't sort of take down everything they did slavishly. They used it as a springboard to have new insights in the presence. Rather as we might use weights at the gym to build up our strength. They use it as something to start them thinking. But the Rabbis used to say, "You may not leave a scripture or text until you have translated it into practical action for the community here and now."

BILL MOYERS: Meaning acts of kindness, acts of compassion.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Acts of compassion.

BILL MOYERS: Acts of justice. Right?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yes. Absolutely.

BILL MOYERS: We are all indebted to those Hebrew Prophets for this powerful resonating sense of social justice.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: And the Rabbis who came after them in the Talmudic age, and who created the Mishnah and Talmud, as it were then, New Testament, that paid very little attention to the Hebrew scriptures. But said, "Now we have to move on." Now,
we've lost that confidence.
And that's what the charter is trying to do. Trying to nudge people into the hard work of being compassionate. People don't want to be compassionate. When I go around lecturing about this, I sometimes see the good faithful, looking mutinous. Because they may know that they ought to be compassionate. But what's the fun of religion if you can't sort of slam down other people? This is ego.

BILL MOYERS: I'm glad you mentioned this, because I know many atheists and agnostics who are more faithful, if that's the right term, to the Golden Rule than a lot of believing religious people.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yes. And I also know a number of atheists who have no time for the Golden Rule at all.

BILL MOYERS: Exactly.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: So this is just people of all-

BILL MOYERS: But what is it that evokes the empathy and the commitment, which you're calling for, to people to put themselves in other's shoes. What is it that evokes that in people?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Basically a sense of urgent need. If we don't manage to do better than this both within our own communities, our own nations, and as regards other nations far away, then I think we are in for a very troublesome ride. We are not doing well at the moment. The three monotheisms, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, they have besetting problem, a besetting tendency. That is idolatry. Taking a human idea, a human idea of God, a human doctrine and making it absolute. Putting it in the place of God. Now, there have been secular idolatries too. Nationalism was a great idolatry.

BILL MOYERS: The state can be-

KAREN ARMSTRONG: The state can be. This is what we do. As Paul Tillich said, "We are makers of idols." We are constantly creating these idols. Erecting a purely human ideal or a human value or a human idea to the supreme reality. Now, once you've made of something essentially finite, once you've made it an absolute, it has, then, to destroy any other rival claimants. Because there can only be one absolute.

BILL MOYERS: Who created God?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Human beings created the idea of God. But the transcendence reality to which the idea of God nudges us, is embedded in part of the human experience.

BILL MOYERS: But if we create God, then we can read into God. Our-

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yes.

BILL MOYERS: -passions, jealousies, envies, animosities, aspirations.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yes and this is idolatry. When you are creating a God in your own image and likeness. When the crusaders went into battle with the cry, "God wills it," on their lips. They were projecting their own fear and loathing of these rival faiths onto other people. And we get a lot of secular people doing this too.

BILL MOYERS: With the Stalinists, the Communists, the fascists-

KAREN ARMSTRONG: And even nearer here in the United States. You know, we've got people saying, "We want to get rid of religion." Or Radical Republicans slanging Democrats. We are very agonistic society.

BILL MOYERS: Agonistic?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Meaning competitive. That we're in our discourse. Can I just say-

BILL MOYERS: Yes.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Let me say this. In our discourse, it is not enough for us in the western democratic tradition simply to seek the truth. We also have to defeat and humiliate our opponents. And that happens in politics. It happens in the law courts. It happens in religious discourse. It happens in the media. It happens in academia. Very different from Socrates, the founder of the rationalist tradition, who when you had dialogues with Socrates, you came thinking that you knew what you were talking about.
Half an hour later, with Socrates, you realized you didn't know anything at all. And at that moment, says Socrates, your-- quest can begin. You can become a philosopher, a lover of wisdom because you know you don't have wisdom. You love it. You seek it. And you had to go into a dialogue prepared to change, not to bludgeon your conversation partner into accepting your point of view. And every single point in a Socratic dialogue, you offer your opinion kindly to the other, and the other accepts it with kindness.

BILL MOYERS: But you can't have a dialogue with people who don't want to have-

KAREN ARMSTRONG: No.

BILL MOYERS: -a dialogue.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: But that doesn't mean we should give up altogether. Because I think the so called liberals can also be just as hard lined in their own way.
Most fundamentalist movements, in every tradition that I've studied, in every fundamentalist movement, in Judaism, Christianity and Islam has begun with what is perceived as to be an assault by the liberal or secular establishment. And look at your Scopes Trial for example. You have this absurd ruling of ban on evolution in the public schools. And after the trial, the secular press do a number on the fundamentalists.

BILL MOYERS: H.L. Menken was ruthless about them-

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yeah.

BILL MOYERS: -in depicting a caricaturing of them.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: And they crept away. And we thought we'd seen the end of them. But of course, they were just regrouping. But before the Scopes Trial, fundamentalists had often been on the left of the political spectrum.
Prepared to work alongside socialists and alongside social gospel people in the slums of the newly developing industrialized cities. After the Scopes Trial, they swung to the far right, where they remain. Before Scopes, fundamentalists tended to be literal in their interpretation of scripture. But creation science, so called, was the pursuit of a very tiny minority.
After the Scopes Trial they became more militant in their literal interpretation of scripture. And creation science became, and has remained, the flagship of their movement.

BILL MOYERS: So does your notion of compassion embrace liberals saying that, in the interest of harmony we will encourage our state schools to teach creationism alongside with your Darwin's-

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yeah, you see-

BILL MOYERS: -notion of evolution?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: You see, the assault of Richard Dawkins on creationism has resulted, for the first time, in a worry about Darwin in the Muslim world. Up until this time--

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: There was no worry about Darwin in the Muslim world up until very recently. The Koran doesn't say how God created the world. The texts tell you this is an ayah. We don't know what happened. And there was just no problem about it.
Now, and I get to see it on the websites that I get, it's headline news that British scientists sort of slangs creation. And Darwin has now become an anathema as a result of that assault. So I think we've all just got to come off our high horses a bit.
I think just to cool down the rhetoric. I think that truth must be respected. There must be an openness towards science, as Saint Augustine pointed out years ago.
He said, "If a religious text is found to contradict contemporary science, you must find a new interpretation for this text." You must allegorize it in some way. We need to get back to that. And let's just state I don't want this to be going after the fundamentalists. I don't want this to be going after extremists. I want this to just say, quietly, let us to remember the primal duty of compassion.

BILL MOYERS: Which is?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: To put the words calm and passion, means to feel with the other. To experience with the other. Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you. If you don't like to be attacked, don't attack others. As Confucius said, who was the first to propound the Golden Rule, 500 years before Christ, you seek to establish yourself, then seek to establish others.
If you don't like hearing your own traditions traduced then have the discipline not to traduce the traditions of others. And it's hard. It's hard. It's not- people who say it's a simplistic idea, obviously, never tried to practice the Golden Rule. As Confucius said, "All day and every day." Which means that you constantly have to dethrone yourself and your own ideas from the center of your world and put another there. And realize that even in the most unlikely person there is a trace of the divine.

BILL MOYERS: We'll be back shortly with more of my conversation with Karen Armstrong. We'll discuss Islam, one of her favorite subjects, and how a footnote changed her life. But first, this is the time we remind you that you are the public in Public Television. Please take a moment to call this station and make a pledge. We need you now more than ever. Thank you.

BILL MOYERS: Welcome back and thanks for your support. I'm here with the scholar and historian of religion, Karen Armstrong. Her latest book is THE BIBLE: A BIOGRAPHY, but it was this one, MUHAMMAD: A BIOGRAPHY OF THE PROPHET, that first got everyone's attention. When it was published in 1991, PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY called it "Engrossing," and The ECONOMIST praised the book as "Knowledgeable without being pedantic... and readable." Armstrong's work was even welcomed in the Muslim world, where readers sensitive to misinterpretation of their faith were surprised to learn a westerner, and a woman at that, could so gracefully capture the essence of Islam's founding prophet.

Karen, you were just in Pakistan...

KAREN ARMSTRONG: I was indeed.

BILL MOYERS: Did you get any kind of response when you raised this subject?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Well, I had an immensely warm welcome in Pakistan. One woman came up to me and she said, "When I see you with your blond hair and blue eyes speaking with such respect about our prophet, I just weep."

BILL MOYERS: But what do they say about their own militants?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Well they are--

BILL MOYERS: Those insurgents who are, you know, slitting the throats of many Pakistanis right now.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Indeed-

BILL MOYERS: Decapitating them, murdering them, suicide bombers.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yeah.

BILL MOYERS: What do they say about them?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: They're appalled of course. And you know, they've just had their own sort of 9/11, with the bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad. Not an anti-American thing. This was directed solely against Pakistani Muslims who were breaking their Ramadan fast there.
The Marriott Hotel in Islamabad is right next to the government buildings. It's a great icon in Islamabad. This was a massive attack on their own people. I went to see President Musharraf, and he said that of course, Muslims themselves are under attack from these militants because all fundamentalists movements, whether they're Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Sikh or Buddhist, begin with an assault on their own co-religionists. They see that people are always saying, "What can't these mainstream Muslims keep the militants down?"
Well, the militants regard the mainstream Muslims with absolute disdain and see them as part of the problem. They're not interested in people studying the Koran or praying in the mosque in the usual way. These are political activists.

BILL MOYERS: Can you point today to one place where this notion of compassion has been embraced by different religions to actually bring about a political consequence that we could look upon favorably?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Not as yet. No, I can't, because we're not living in a compassionate society, whether we're talking in a secular or religious terms. You know, look at the way, sometimes, your elections are carried on. With real slanging matches and discrediting.

BILL MOYERS: That's politics.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yeah. That's politics. And what is a lot of this religious slanging, but religious politics? Many of the so called religious leaders are in power not because they are sages of wisdom or contemplatives. They're not Dalai Lamas. They are religious politicians who are not known for their lack of ego.
But basically the human race has never embraced compassion. Why did we create this compassionate ideal at the time of the--when all the great world religions were created? Because their societies had reached a point of violence. And this--the religious people said, people like the Buddha, Confucius, the Sages of the Upanishads , the Prophets of Israel, Socrates, they all said this aggression, even in a good cause, is not the way to go. And people found that when they did it all day and every day, it worked. Because you get rid of ego, it does bring you a sense of enlightenment. But it's not just a question of holding hands in church. Or you know, embracing when you make the peace. Or allowing a charitable thought to rise to your mind in a sporadic moment. It is a discipline that you have to practice all day and every day. I used, you know, to be a really spiteful human being.

BILL MOYERS: No.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: I learned a vicious form of rhetoric from my religious superiors. and also, from my teachers at Oxford. You know? And people used to say to me, "I would really hate to be your enemy," because I have this very sharp tongue that I knew how to use it. And I get in first before someone put me down. That kind of thing.
I found that, in my studies I had to practice, what I found called in a footnote the "science of compassion." There was a phrase coined by great Islamist, Louis Massignon. Science, not in the sense of physics or chemistry but in the sense of knowledge, scientia, the Latin word for knowledge.
And Latin--the knowledge acquired by compassion. Feeling with the other. Putting yourself in the position of the other. And this footnote said that a religious historian, like myself, must not approach the spiritualities of the past from the vantage point of post enlightenment rationalism. You mustn't look on this in a superior way and look at the author of "The Cloud of Unknowing," a 14th century text as, poor soul. You know?
And you had to recreate in a scholarly fashion, all the circumstances which had resulted in this spirituality or this teaching and not leave it, or certainly not write about it, until you can imagine yourself putting yourself in that position. Imagine yourself feeling the same. So when I wrote about Muhammad, for example, I had to put myself in the position of a man living in the hell of seventh century Arabia, who sincerely believed he had been touched by God.
And unless I did that, I would miss Muhammad. I had to put clever Karen, edgy Oxford educated Karen on the back burner. And go out of myself and enter into the mind of the other. And I found, much to my astonishment, it started changing me. I couldn't any longer be quite as vicious as I was or dismissive as I was in the kind of clever conversations-

BILL MOYERS: Why? This is the first time I've heard of a born again experience beginning with a footnote. Was it your imagination that said, "I have to see this world the way Muhammad saw it and experienced it?"

KAREN ARMSTRONG: I said that this footnote is right. If I go on writing, as I had been doing up to this point for saying, "This is all rubbish." You know, I know it all. These poor benighted souls in the past didn't know what they were talking about. I was not fulfilling my job as a historian.
It was my job to go in and recreate it, enter into that spirit. Leave myself behind and enter into the mind and society and outlook of the other. It's a form of what the Greeks called ekstasis. Ecstasy. That doesn't mean you go into a trance or have a vision. It means-- ekstasis means standing outside yourself. Putting yourself behind. And it is self, it's ego that hold us back from what we call God.

BILL MOYERS: You speak of the change in you. You're talking about a personal transformation. But take the next step. What would bring about the kind of real change in society and in politics that would be an extrapolation of or a continuation in community of what you're talking about?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Okay. Not to treat other nations or other... in a way that we would not wish to be treated ourselves.

BILL MOYERS: Unless they've attacked you.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Even so, I mean, there was a chance after 9/11, you know, when something different would have been done. The religions have generally developed, as the Koran does, a theory of just war. You know? That you can fight only in self defense. But a lot of the policies that we created helped to, you know, first of all, let's leave America out of this. Look at the British, and their colonial policies.
Many of the problems we face in the Muslim world date back to that colonial period, to British behavior, and arrogance, and the abuse of democracy. For example, in Egypt, between 1922, when Egypt was granted a modicum of independence, and 1952, when you have the Nasser revolution. There were 17 general elections in the country.
All of them won hands down by the Wafd party, who wanted to see reduced British influence in Egypt. They were only allowed to rule five times. On every other occasion, the British made them stand down and put more congenial people in power. This made the whole idea of democracy a bad joke. Now, would we wish to be treated like that ourselves?
BILL MOYERS: Now, this is what some people call blow back, in the intelligence world. And some people say, "Are the chickens coming home to roost?" But I want to make sure that people don't misunderstand. After 9/11, we made a mistake of invading a country that had not attacked us.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Yes.

BILL MOYERS: But what about when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor or when the Germans, the Nazis wanted to come across the channel and destroy Britain? You're not saying they're to treat Germany or Japan the way we would like to be treated.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: No, but you fight in self-defense. And the trouble with war is it has a horrible dynamic of its own. So that, in the end, we all start doing dreadful things that-

BILL MOYERS: That's right.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: That violate all our own principles. Like the British bombing of Dresden, for example.

BILL MOYERS: The American bombing of Hiroshima.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Exactly.

BILL MOYERS: Nagasaki. The atrocities of both sides-

KAREN ARMSTRONG: That's what happens when in war. So that's why they say you-- the Koran, for example, says you must limit war and you must stop hostilities as soon as the enemy sues for peace. That kind of thing. But instead of seeing the other world as them, or instead of seeing our own fundamentalists as them and enemies, somehow learn to see, perhaps, the pain that lies at the root of a lot of this because they feel attacked by us. I was once in a - recently some years back -- in a conference in Portland where a man got up and started shrieking at us, saying that the Jews and the Christians and the Muslims on the stage who were agreed with each other were all going to hell.
And I could hear the pain in that man's voice. That, at some level, we had assaulted him. At some profound level. There was pain there. In a war situation, it takes a long time before you can even get people to sit around the table. In Northern Ireland, for example, before you could get people on all sides, the British and the Republicans and the IRA and the Ulsteristes to get them around the table was an immense achievement.
People said when they saw everybody coming up this drive of Stormont Castle and sitting around that table, the emotion in that room in itself was profound. We're not nearly there yet. One of the things that we can do on our side is to learn to decode fundamentalist rhetoric. As we learn to decipher a great poem or an op-ed article. To see the hidden agendas. To see what lies underneath this. Because they are expressive of a fear and rage that no society, as we've seen, can safely ignore.
BILL MOYERS: What is it--you've studied this--what is it fundamentalist Muslims fear about the world?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Basically they have experienced secularism as a profound assault. We had 300 years to develop our secular institutions. Modernization in Europe, and later the United States took a long time. And the new ideas had a chance to trickle down naturally to all different levels of society. They didn't have that chance. Modernization had to take place very quickly. So that, for example, when Ataturk modernized Turkey, he closed down all the Madrassas. He-

BILL MOYERS: The religious schools.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: The religious schools. He forced the Sufi orders, mystics, underground and forced all men and women to wear western clothes. In Iran, the Shahs used to make their soldiers go out with their bayonets, taking off the women's veils in the streets, and ripping them to pieces in front of them. In 1935, the Shah gave his soldiers orders to shoot at hundreds of unarmed demonstrators in one of the holiest shrines in Iran who were peacefully protesting against western dress.
And hundred of Iranians were killed that day. Now, in such a context, secularism doesn't seem the benign ideology that it has been for privileged people, like you and me. It feels like a dead, lethal assault. The most virulent forms of Sunni fundamentalism in Islam developed in the concentration camps, and to which President Nasser had interred thousands of members of the Muslim Brotherhood without trial.
Submitted them to mental and physical torture and execution. Some of them had done nothing more incriminating than handing out leaflets. And in these camps, they became radicalized. One of them was a man called Sayyid Qutb, who entered the camp as a moderate, a student of French and European literature. When he heard Nasser vowing to secularize Egypt and confine Islam to the private sphere on the western model, he looked around this prison. And secularism did not seem benign. It seemed lethal.
And there's something else. There's been a Gallup poll that asked Muslims what they liked most about the West. And what the biggest thing that they all liked was our freedom. They'd like to see more of it themselves. What do they fear most about the West? What do they dislike most about the West?
What worries them most? Their disrespect for our religion. And when they hear ill considered, uneducated remarks about their religion, this is a gift to the extremists who can use it to show that the West is making a crusade against Islam. And it's also endangering our own security.

BILL MOYERS: But the burden is not wholly on the West, is it?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: We have to do our part. And not exaggerate things. This survey also asked--in 35 Muslim countries, it asked them whether they thought the 9/11 attacks were justified. Only seven percent said they were justified. And the reasons they gave were entirely political. Palestine. You know, the Iraq--sanctions in Iraq, et cetera. The occupation of Muslim lands.
These 93, or 92, percent who said they were not justifiable may not have liked western foreign policy. But what they said was their rational for condemning these attacks was religious. They quoted those parts of their scripture which says that to take one life is to take an entire world. That to kill is not justified. We've got to see that. And we've got to see that reflected more in our own press and in our own dealings with this. Otherwise, we're going to build up a bogey, as we did with the Soviets.

BILL MOYERS: Your new book, "The Case for God," comes out in September.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: It does.

BILL MOYERS: Will you come back?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: I'd love to.

BILL MOYERS: In the meantime, we have Karen Armstrong's, "The Bible: A Biography." Thank you very much. It's been good to talk to you again.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Thank you, Bill.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Moomal Rano - Faquir Juman Shah; the faquirs of Bhitshah

Jury is out on the Episode 2 of Coke Studion season III

Thought faquir Juman Shah performed brilliantly as he had had to squeeze the vaee to less than 7 minutes whereas their live performances can stretch for hours.

In the track, Moomal is pleading Rano for his forgiveness. The faquirs of BhitShah use feminine intonation & mimic heroines of Shah's risalo be it Noori, Moomal, Sasui, Marvi.

The female character, her pleading, her search is the key to Shah Latif's message of search for Truth/God, finding approval, solace in blessings of the Prophet. Please read about these stories & this type of music will start making sense.

it is a form of music that grows on you. i understand people may not be able to relate to the higher ptich but i can ask the listeners to remember that despite being a piece of music that speaks of love between Moomal and Rano, a story of our cultural heritage made immemorable by Shah Latif,  all these verses are steeped in sufi interpretations that speak about the good Lord and His Prophet at a larger level.

The track is as follows



I had earlier uploaded the love story previously on this blog which is being reproduced

Love Stories of the Risalo of Shah Latif - Moomal Rano

Sur Mumal Rano has captured the imagination of readers & "Rano" has, more than being one character of this love story and a sur named after him, become a favorite musical piece which is this sur rendered in a semi-classical style, the experts of this genre being Ustaad Manzoor Ali Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Abida Parveen & Ustaad Mohammad Juman to name a few

Moomal-Rano

The story begins with the description of the charms, clothes and perfume adorning Mumal and her sisters and attendants as they weave a web of magic in the Kak palace to attract rich suitors for the hand of Mumal, deprive them of their wealth and also finish them off in a maze of labyrinths, fake ponds and other illusions of the palace.

The reputation of this palace, and of Mumal’s dazzling beauty soon became legend. Hamir alias Umar, the last Soomro King of Umer Kot in Sindh, and his three ministers, all Sodhas by caste were attracted to the magical Kak.

One of the ministers was the young Rano alias Mendhro. Hamir attempted to reach the palace but failed. The other ministers, too, failed. Rano then ventured to try his luck. He was an extremely intelligent and courageous man which led him to succeed in reaching the palace, unharmed. Mumal was so impressed that she accepted her as her consort. He spent the night at the palace and returned to Umer Kot in the morning. He covered long distance from Umer Kot to Kak to spend time with Mumal.

One day, Rano reached Kak Mahal unusually late due to some business that he had to attend to. Mumal got so frustrated that she planned to play a trick on him. She dressed her Sumal in a man’s attire and made her sleep by her side. When Rano arrived, he mistook Sumal as a Mumal’s paramour.

Out of disgust he left his riding cane besides Mumal’s bed and returned to Umer Kot. Mumal pleaded Rano to forgive her but Rano ignored her requests.

Out of desperation, she set a fire and jumped in it. When Rano came to know of this, he rushed to the place where he saw that Mumal was already in flames, he joined her to be consumed by the fire along with Mumal.

[Taken from Agha M. Yaqoob's 3 volume translation of the Risalo with minor editing]

As indicated above, Rano is now sung during mehfils and it is most frequently requested musical piece in a mehfil of kafi genre.

what better way to conclude, this story of eternal quest for love, to capture the essence of this sur by a verse that encapsulates Moomal's anguish, her waiting for her raano

vaithee nit-u nihaaray-aan, raana tohinjee raah
mota-aay maagan tay, aaranduoee Allah
rana togar saah, nat-a rana ghara-n raaj main

Urdu translation by Agha Saleem

taktee hoon din raat ay raana
main to tairee raah
aik din tukh jo layay ga
aangan main Allah

English translation by yours truly

lonesome I sit
eyes fixed on ever path
combing alleyways
that could lead you to me

my soul in a prayer, sweet prince
that the Lord blesses your safe return

love, there are many a prince in this land
but you are the one that rules my heart

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Kh. Ghulam Farid & Pathanay Khan

All time favorite Kh Ghulam Farid kafi by the legendary Pathanay khan; this link has the best translation i have seen in years. Pathanay khan's (PK) intro verse comes from a different kafi and this is why we do not see this kafi translated as it was covered by PK doing justice to the greatest most important piece of our sufi tradition.

Khamosh Tamashai has done complete justice & deserve our sincere thanks. Only part 1 has the translation & I have requested him/her to upload part 2 with translation; part 2 is still available on youtube but without translation.

Monday, March 29, 2010

before a storm

a strange calm has descended; feel floating in air oblivious of the mess all around; somehow one dies a little every passing day ignoring the mess that keeps piling up

perhaps this desensitizing is good so as to focus on things that matter...

Friday, February 19, 2010

call of the swan

i am completely hooked to this raga

i wonder if hansadhawani is a combination of hansa meaning swan and dhan which is sindhi for crying sound or complain/call hence call of the swan

in any case, semantics being irrelevant when faced with sheer beauty, i am presenting favorite samples of the raga; my favourite being ustaad amir khan and ustad rashid ali khan





now to my favorite pakistani band




and then ustad amir khan




i actually like this version a lot

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good Article on Pakistan and "realpolitik"

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/03-Dear-Hillary-which-Pakistan-are-you-talking-about-ss-01

&

http://www.thesamosa.co.uk/


"Osama Bin Laden resides in Pakistan"

So goes the mantra of the US government. This is followed by the assertion that ‘Mullah Omar’ resides in Pakistan. Both might be true. My cousin, who lives in Sindh province, was given the first name ‘Osama’ and certainly in a country full of mullahs there must be a few hundred conjunctions of Mullah and Omar ... giving us many Mullah Omars in the Islamic Republic.

Another mantra – that of most mainstream western media outlets – is to present Pakistan as a country on the brink of failure and sunk in violence. This is aptly summed up in the Newsweek headline of Pakistan as ‘the most dangerous place in the world’. And there is, again, partial truth in this. Besides the occasional US drone attacks, the US-sponsored renditions, MI5/ISI torture nexuses and Taliban attacks, the gravest danger we face is in crossing the roads – road accidents in our country are among the highest in the world.

It simply is not a safe place to be, nor is Pakistan a state that we Pakistanis can run ... we are corrupt, violent, harbourers of terrorists (in the same way Saddam harboured nuclear bombs) and simply do not understand Islam (which, as the US State Department and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office via their spokespersons at the Quilliam Foundation will tell you, is a religion of peace and in harmony with Western foreign policy!) In fact, the Quran enjoins us to servitude to the US State Department. So goes the line of these sponsored Muslim spokespersons.

US governments and their aides in the Western media know realpolitik. The image systematically created of Pakistan by these sources has an operative function of furthering US and Nato intervention in this region. The logic is simple but all the premises are false and based on a distortion of facts, history and most conceptions of justice – Christian, Islamic, liberal and Marxist.

It runs thus: America has a right to pre-emptive action against those planning to attack it or its interests. Islamists are planning to attack America or its interests. Pakistan harbours Islamists. Therefore, America has a right to pre-emptive action against the Islamists harboured in Pakistan. I do not believe that the State Department or the FCO care much for Pakistan, its people, or its realities – the US has a long history of murdering the people of the Third World, from the Philippines and Vietnam to Iraq and Pakistan today - for them it’s a market they want for their companies and a region for their ‘war’ in Afghanistan. The image of Pakistan they manufacture, however, does not and can not correspond to the myriad of realities that exist there. It is not meant to.

What then are these realities? Here allow me to throw some of these realities at you by telling you of only a few of the people of this soil.

Let’s take Shah Inayat, a Sufi saint who in the early 1700s set up a commune on theological lines in defiance of the Mughal Empire. He held that the land belonged to God and that only those who worked to grow the crop were entitled to it. ‘Those who sow should eat’ was the commune’s motto. His thoughts convinced peasants far and wide not to pay crop shares as tax to either the Empire or local landlords. Oral history suggests that the commune grew to over 40,000 strong. As it acquired more members so too did it attract the wrath of the Empire. Emperor Farrukh Sayyar sent in troops; upon their arrival they besieged the commune, but it resisted for months. Having failed with force, the Empire turned to cunning. Offering peace terms and swearing on the Quran to guarantee Shah Inayat’s safety, they angled him out of the commune, arrested and then beheaded him. In Pakistan’s Sindh province, Shah Inayat’s name is well known and he continues to inspire calls for social justice.

Or take the poet Shaikh Ayaz, who, for those who know his work, is considered to be the foremost poet of the 20th century, comparable to Pablo Neruda or Nazim Hikmet. Ayaz was born in 1923 in the city of Shikarpur. A firebrand poet, he was imprisoned for his anti-establishment views and his first book was banned by the colonial government upon publication. In 1965 more of Ayaz’s books were seized and banned as his defiant poetry challenged the republic’s pro-war rhetoric against India. He lived and understood a Pakistan that was not confined to Jinnah and Iqbal, the military state’s two symbolic heirlooms, but one nourished by the soil’s deep connection with Hinduism, Buddhism, river gods, Sufi saints and the civilization-giving river ‘Sindhu’ (Indus). Connected to this 5000-year-old history Ayaz was able to defy mullah, general and invader. Listen to the confidence in his civilization in this short poem entitled The Conquering Ant:

After his attack and conquest
Alexander the Great
Took with him

Two philosophers from Sindh

And he asked them on the way,
What is the philosophy of Sindh?

One of them said,
‘An ant in its home in Sindh
has a grasp on matters philosophical
greater than that of Aristotle’.

The other said,
‘An ant going along its way
Is a conqueror greater than Alexander the Great’.

The Americans and their sponsors will not tell you about him – after all, he would not bow to any invader!

Again let’s take David Barkat. David, 55, lives with other Christians in the Kachi abadi (slum) in Lahore, where he migrated in 1991 to make a living. He sells oranges and peanuts from a small stall in the winter, and ice in the summer, working from 6am to 8pm. If he has a good day he makes around 130 rupees (about 94 British pence). From this income he has to support his family and keep up with bills, food and other necessities…to give you an idea of the difficulty involved, twelve bananas in the market were going for 60 rupees today. None of his three children got any formal education: ‘I cannot even dream of getting my children educated’. They had to work to help the family survive from a young age. David survives by his own ingenuity and his community’s. He relies on an informal support network for interest free loans and other help.

The state and NGOs have been absent. ‘I have been waiting 25 years for the government to provide us with help and work effectively… and I will continue to wait’. David knows that neither army commander General Kayani, nor President Zardari, opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, Hillary Clinton or American Viceroy for Pakistan Richard Holbrooke know or care of his needs or the Pakistani Christian community’s – and so he gets on with his life, as he should and as we all do – despite the US bombs and colonisation, despite the Taliban and the intrigues of the elite and intelligence agencies - with ingenuity, wit, and the wisdom of generations.

How ridiculous to us, then, seem the views of Newsweek magazine, CNN, BBC, the UK and US governments and Mrs Clinton’s imperial visits. They know how to cut political deals, but nothing of Pakistan’s realities. What we Pakistanis, home and abroad, must avoid is the internalisation of this propagandist image of Pakistan and Islam – no easy task given that most of our intellectuals, military brass, mullahs, and the political class have auctioned themselves off. We are part of the long chain of civilizations and in our daily lives we live a beat of our ancient soil and its history. It’s the beat, to remind you of Ayaz’s poem, of the self-conquering ant going about its daily routine. It is civilization.

This is an article by Qalandar Bux Memon, editor of Naked Punch, from the www.thesamosa.co.uk, a new UK-based politics, culture and arts journal, campaigning blog and website.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

oh by the way

have been inspired to blog again; don't know if it's the weather or the curiosity that is killing me to find the identity of that one "follower" of my blog

it better not be the usual suspect

maybe it is wanting to say something something that sounds like rambling to some but it is really thinking aloud, a premature middleage crisis

it is not as if as "himmat-e-iltija naheen baqi"

"i say ..... no surrender"

i was in love with the band for which justin currie was the lead; they have split up but the guy goes on, brilliantly, unscathed by life in the fast lane


part 1


part 2


Big Macs for the fat, local wraps for the call centre battery hens, Japanese snacks for the choice-spoilt citizens, caviar kickbacks for the citadel denizens.

Airport shoeshines servicing the suits among the little silver stereos and hand-rolled cheroots, First class passengers file on last after the scum are packed in with their tax-free loot.

Checkout calamity, you're cheated out of loyalty points, ten more years at this joint you'd be home & dry, Beggars beat round the cash machines but you just slip between them with the usual lie.

Terrible tales of kidnapped kids keep you focused on the family and filling up the fridge, Neighbourhood watchers shop dole dodgers, stick their semis on the market & start racking up the bids.

Should you stand and fight, should you die for what you think is right
So your useless contribution will be remembered?
If you're asking me I say no, surrender.

Constant growth the cancerous cure, a swarming race of profiteers ensure
Cheap cars for the rich, cheap lives for the poor, cheap weeks in the sun, free drinks at the door.

Puerile propaganda plugs up the TV, keep folk following the money so they'll never be free Keep them swallowing the swill, the celebrities, the paedophiles, the immigrants invading from the
camp over the hill.

War talk, the big debate, footsoldiers in the capitol liberating new kinds of hate
Cum-shots of human dots caught in the spotlight's glare; he dies who dares.

Fatuous fast-trackers sneering at the shelf-stackers, little Middle-Englanders can't stand the backpackers, Fortress Freedom, come on in, take your chances-you might win.

Should you stand and fight, should you die for what you think is right
So your useless contribution will be remembered?
If you're asking me I say no, surrender.

Sunset beaches security patrolled, keep out the undesirables who don't accept the code Equal opportunity to live in total poverty, execute the ignorant incarcerate the slow

Car caressing managers choking up the avenues, brain dead patriots standing in salute, Paperwork raining again and again so that billionaires can claim there's an enemy to shoot

Pill pushers, doorsteppers, personal goal shoppers, lifestyle trendsetters, meditating mindbenders, Hare-brained share sellers pumping out stocks til you're choking on a chain-letter avalanche of dross.

God squads crawling through every country tracking down fools who are bullshit hungry Blinded by divinity followers fall into the man-traps set along the Wailing Wall.

Athletes compete in grand charades while tanks flatten streets and a nation laughs,
Visa holders gape at the changing guards while creeps bribe bums to take their photographs.

Film fans flock to the latest schlock, blockbusters block out even the vaguest thought Bankrupt schools grind out fool after fool then feed them to a system where idiots rule.

Polling booths, phone votes, bogus questionnaires, you get a say as if anybody cares
Joe Public doesn't want to play so liquidate his life as he looks the other way.

Don't get sick, don't get wise or they'll gut you with a *justice* where everything is lies March down Main Street, complain if you want but it's twenty years straight for the losers at the front.

If you're asking me I say no, surrender

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

fun stuff

would love to know more about these guys but for now time to enjoy the clip

Saturday, June 27, 2009

winners' parade

in continuation of my earlier entry on the demeanor of our T20 team, cable channels have thronged to the homes of cricketers

shahzaib hails from inner city in Karachi; humble beginnings from the lines area; neighbors estatic and dressing up the streets and getting ready for a party

just watching interview of the 17-year old Mohammad Aamir (Raja Mohammad Aamir Fayyaz is the full name we are told) is being interviewed from his village in potohar valley

the song remains the same, grew up bowling with tape-ball cricket emulating wasim akram and the rest as well know is history

he repeatedly mentions wasim akram and credits him for the success he has had but i see a little bit of Imran Khan in him in terms of the way he looks and speaks

he is already a star as far as i am concerned; this kid is going to go places. i hope he remembers, as do all pakistanis, how it all started for them

good luck kid

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Amazing effort

being a sucker for pakistani popular music, this recent effort under the sponsorship of coke studios is something of great interest to me.

i am sharing some of the tracks that i liked the best

Ali Noor and Ali Hamza team up with Saeen Zahoor for a refreshing rendition of Bullay Shah

I like the part where Ali Noor, nearly at the end of a note, shows vulnerability that is part of nee mai janaa jogee day naal.

for one moment, the anguish of this moment, when the damsel in distress, utters her heartfelt anguish to be with the jogee (the lover); is captured beautifully

what to say of saeen zahoor; aren't we glad that he has been discovered. i find him at his best when he hits the high notes; take me to rohi and have me sit in stifling heat and i am willing to listen to him shout at the top of his voice



this track by zeb and haniya has grown on me since i caught it on cable a few days ago; their debut album was good but this is brilliant. to have revived the sound of the rubab and to bring to the fore these ladies from NWFP as consummate artists; an intro to pushto/dari/persian music for the rest of us

hats off to these ladies



it has almost become fashionable for the very young crowd to be an Atif Aslam fan but i posted on him just at the time of his debut album 5 years ago. he fuses Jal Pari with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and gives it a totally new sound

he should really shed his image in the media and that he has talent is reflected in this recording



finally, it is all Rohail Hayat whose stamp is visible on all aspects of this production; this is the best way a global brand such as Coke can contribute to revival of fusion music in Pakistan

Monday, June 15, 2009

losers' parade

t20 world cup
india - though it comes naturally for us to gloat when the indians lose, it is a fantastic team that should get all the support from the fans back home as it makes an early exit losing its title; one bad game does not mean that MS Dhoni deserves the sort of comments that are being showered upon him

perhaps we pakistanis are so used to losing that we have become good at forgiving the team when it performs badly

there are somethings that are very indian in character; these are not found in the pakistani team; no pakistani player looks like a rock-star, you would not find any sun glasses on the field, no funky jewelry, tattoes, no lucrative contracts from big brand companies; heck i do not even think i have seen any sun-screen

be that as it may, the indian team, with all its colorful characters, is a fighting team that is bound to bounce back. if dhoni was apologetic during his post-match press conference, then it should be accepted by the fans; that is a true test of character to be gracious in defeat; perhaps it is time to break this tradition of threatening the losing team members with dire consequences

new zealand: danial vettori was and remains a respected cricket captain; but questioning umar gul on his world-record feat is not in the spirit of the game; he could ask his bowlers to get some advice from wasim akram or even umar gul on how to reverse-swing. he said during the post-match interview that he could not understand how umar gul could reverse swing after 12 overs in a t20 match; that my dear mr. vettori is called talent; your bowlers obviously do not have it

Saturday, May 30, 2009

dancing for love

had been trying to find a way to upload link to a youtube clip but could not figure it out earlier and shared with you the link in a primitive way by hardcoding the link.

Just managed to find the way to do this. Life is a lot simpler this way. You can teach this old dog new tricks afterall



[this is part of fantastic list of uploads on youtube by ssaqi; a messiah in more ways than one]

this is Abida at her very best; this is a remarkable remake of a kafi attributed to Bhagat Kanwar Ram, most revered bhagtee of Sindh, killed by extremists in the pre-partition days

as is common with remakes, abida has improvised by adding two verses of Shah Latif that is the most moving description of the Lord's compassion

these two verses are given below with a poor attempt at translation

sahib tuhinjee sahibee
ajab dithee soo-n
pan-a boreen pataar main
pahan tareen toon
jay razee thee toon
ta mairyaee man-a lahaan

lord, your splendor is unfathomable
mesmerized in sheer wonder
I see that when you so desire
leaves sink deep
and when you wish
pebbles stay afloat
with your majesty so grand
if i am blessed with your acceptance
a soul as sinful as i,
earns your forgiveness

jayseen jyaraeen tayseen
hadee rakh-j hifz main
mohtajee makhlooqa jee
qadir maan karee
arabee, abdul lateef khay,
hik vayl ma visareen
pur-kash pyareen
bharay jaam janat ma-on

lord, so long as you permit me to live
keep my wellbeing into consideration
your creation,
ows it salvation to to you,
not even for one moment,
praise the Prophet,
must you forget to bless Abdul Latif
& bless him with goblets drawn from heaven

(at this stage, the 2 verses of Shah Latif end and the actual kafi by Suleman Faquir which is what was made popular by Kanwar Bhagat Ram begins; Qasim Maka has made a video homage to Kanwar Bhagat Ram that can be found at the following



kafi starts at 4:11 in the above track after an intro to Kanwar Bhagat Ram. I suggest you first listen to the Abida remake and then the original)

keyayain reejhayan
kafi by sulemaan faquir
originally sung by Bhagat Kanwar Ram

keyayain reejhayan tokhay
keyain parchayan
das ko daa-n

how do I gain your favor
In what manner do I plead with you
show me the way
the way to your love

ya the-yan momin paak nimaazee
jehn main, janib-a,toon theen raazee
jamee jora-yan kina siraro nimayaan
das ko daa-n

I could become a momin,
purity personified
Which ever way, love,
I can earn your favor
i could be in constant prayer
build a place of worship
to bow my head to you
how do I gain your favor
in what manner do I plead with you,
show me the waythe way to your love

ya the-yan hindu
ya the-yan hindu maan
pojaan but-khanay
kashee dyaray
ganga ashnan-ay
jareeyon payan
kina tilak lagayaan
das ko daa-n

I could become a hindu
head towards a mandir
amidst holy statues in varanasee,
i could bathe in the holy ganges
to rid myself of sins
put a tilak on my forehead
and proclaim my devotion to you
how do I gain your favor

in what manner do I plead with you
show me the way
The way to your love

ya the-yan naachoo
payaan peshwazee
dhukhar, dhamchaar
sazee avaazee
phair-ree payaan
kina chair chimkayan
das ko daa-n

Or I could become a dancer
Put on peshwaz for you
whirling to the beat of music
dancing round in esctasy
to the tune of drums
how do I gain your favor
in what manner do I plead with you
show me the way
the way to your love

Ach-u ta pyar-ala
karyoon parchaoo
sarn-a Suleman-a jay
karyoon sarchayoo
laiq nayhaan poay bi
toon jaree ahyaan
das ko daa-n

come Love
help me seek the way
the way to your Love
i am full of sins and blemishes
but it is only to you, that I belong

show me the way
the way to your love

this is one track that you will find the sindhi diaspora plus local Sindhis totally captivated in remembrance of this great artist. if you want to see a grown man cry, this is the one to amuse yourself with

The track that I have referred to above has a loree in Seraiki on 2:33 of the track.

this loree originally covered by Bhagat Kanwar Ram, was replayed a couple of years ago on Rohi TV during its test transmission; the artist was introduced as Mohan Bhagat, a young lad sitting in the desert with his yak-tara and singing this song of the desert dwellers.

If anyone is familiar with the work of Mohan Bhagat, let me know.

There is a Mohan Bhagat of Tharparkar that I am familiar with but it performs as a group & comprises of senior thari artists. I need a link or any information about the younger Mohan Bhagat]

Saturday, May 16, 2009

with friends like these...

Joke shared by a friend

----------------------------------------------

Woman in bed with husband's best friend

The phone rings

Woman : "Yes? Ok. Fine. Bye"

Woman laughingly to her lover : "My husband is saying that he is out playing golf with you"

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

News-worthy?

AAJ TV breaking news (May 03, 2009)
"Akshay Kumar to grow a beard for a role of a sikh in an upcoming movie"

way to go AAJ TV

Monday, May 04, 2009

halos for sale

Another one shared by an ex-colleague

The angel Gabriel came to the Lord and said 'I have to talk to you. We have some Pakistanis up here in heaven and they are causing problems. They're swinging on the pearly gates, my horn is missing, they are wearing Dolce and Gabana saris instead of their white robes, they are riding Mercedes and BMW's instead of the chariots, and they're selling their halos to people for discount prices. They refuse to keep the stairway to Heaven clear, since they keep crouching down midway eating samosas and drinking chai. Some of them are even walking around with just one wing!'

The Lord said, 'Pakistanis are Pakistanis. Heaven is home to all my children. If you want to know about real problems, give Satan a call, in Hell.

Satan answered the phone, 'Hello? Damn, hold on a minute.'

Satan returned to the phone, 'OK I'm back. What can I do for you?'

Gabriel replied, 'I just wanted to know what kind of problems you're having down there.'

Satan says, 'Hold on again. I need to check on something.' After about 5 minutes Satan returns to the phone and said, 'I'm back. Now what was the question?'

Gabriel said, 'What kind of problems are you having down there?' Satan says, 'Man I don't believe this.......Hold on.'

This time Satan was gone at least 15 minutes. He returned and said, 'I'm sorry Gabriel, I can't talk right now. These Pakistanis have put out the fire and are trying to install air conditioning!!

problem resolution

This is a beautiful story shared by a colleague...


A Father was reading a magazine and his little daughter every now and then distracted him. To keep her busy, he tore one page on which was printed the map of the world. He tore it into pieces and asked her to go to her room and put them together to make the map again.

He was sure she would take the whole day to get it done. But the little one came back within minutes with perfect map... When he asked how she could do it so quickly, she said, “Oh... Dad, there is a man’s face on the other side of the paper... I made the face perfect to get the map right." she ran outside to play leaving the father surprised.

Moral of the story:
There is always the other side to whatever you experience in this world. This story indirectly teaches a lesson. That is, whenever we come across a challenge or a puzzling situation, look at the other side.... You will be surprised to see an easy way to tackle the problem...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Employee of the year.....the award goes to:




Sunday, March 15, 2009

music worth checking out

Laal

Laal's debut album features the track (Main nay us say yeh kaha) that I repeatedly promoted last year on this site

following the imposition of emergency in november '07, this track kept disappearing from youtube

thanks to the album release, it is now available in the public domain; the album starts off with this track and it is followed by umeed-e-sahar by Faiz.

for me, the rule of thumb for any desi album to be regarded as a success is if it has atleast 3 well-written songs, it is money well spent.

alternately if it features a nazam or ghazal by Faiz and is executed with care and commitment, the album would do justice

Laal passes both the tests with flying colors

Laal's debut album more than exceeded my expectation and i was pleasantly surprised that despite the politics of their music, they were not loud; a subtle approach is always effective

I am encouraged that after having the first three tracks by Habib Jalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Aitezaz Ahsan, the tracks written by the band hold their ground and the lyrics show maturity of thought

the melody is consistently pure with lilt of revolutionary anthems that will make this album popular among listeners

Laal is, in my opinion, destined for greatness; i just hope they do not compromise quality for commercial success

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Funnies Part II

Due apologies, ladies!!


video

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday Funnies

Scientific Explanation of Hell

HELL EXPLAINED BY CHEMISTRY STUDENT

The following is an actual question given on University of Washington chemistry mid term.

The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than on religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'

>> THIS STUDENT RECEIVED AN A+ <<

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lahore - Food Street Dec-2008


Gwader - Let there be light - Part II


And the magic continued