An excerpt from a pending project
(w)alter, this is an excerpt from the pending project.....even if the final product is something that i do not like, like i mentioned to you earlier, i am still hoping to produce some more translations and work on a solo project and give it a shape that i can be proud of.....so here it goes..
The Risalo of Shah Latif has long mesmerized Sindhis. It has articulated with eloquent description,the cultural ethos of the landscape capturing the Sindhi experience with breathtaking clarity.
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This labour of love is also a rediscovery of Shah Latif in view the importance that Shah’s message has acquired in the 21st century which is an all-embracing message of peace & understanding for the post 9-11 world obsessed with fear, in which thought process as well as policy making is jaundiced by malice and prejudice against a specific group.
Closer to home, we feel overwhelmed by a mini-crisis on the cultural landscape in Sindh. Our values have been hijacked by an invasion of satellite communication and cable entertainment. Tainted images of our values and caricatures of Sindhi culture in the media have made it synonymous with feudalism and jirga justice.
But can we fault the younger generation if it finds comfort in western values alien to their own for being unable to relate to them for either lack of understanding or historical perspective that ought to have been inculcated by the parents?
Can they be blamed if their spoken Sindhi is replete with errors of grammar and gender or for the fact that their parents only nurtured their material ambitions and Sindhi, unfortunately, did not fit into the scheme of economic objectives and was perceived as a disadvantage in upward mobility?
Is it any wonder that that the new generation of successful entrepreneurs, doctors, engineers and business executives with rudimentary knowledge of their language, align themselves with western values to fill the inner void of identity with icons of popular culture?
It is our sincere hope that our effort to bring a new voice to Shah Latif will meet success and the younger generation and students will find the message easier to relate to, in a language they find used commonly in the media as well as commerce.
Shah’s message of peace on earth, reverence to the Creator and His Prophet, devotion to mother-earth is as relevant today as it was during the times of the great bard in the 18th century.