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Rambling on: maa-ae nee kinoohn aakhaahn - part ii

Friday, August 11, 2006

maa-ae nee kinoohn aakhaahn - part ii


as committed earlier, an excerpt from "Masterworks of Punjabi Sufi Poetry - Shah Hussain Within Reach" by Muzaffar A. Ghaffar. brief edited commentary that might be helpful to the readers

maa-ae nee kinoohn aakhaahn
dard vichoray da haal

dukhan dhu-ain shaahaan waalae,
jaahn phoolaan taan laal

maa'ae nee kinoohn aakhaahn
dard vichoray da haal

soolaahn maar deevaani keetee
birhoohn pya khyaal

maa'ae nee kinoohn aakhaahn
dard vichoray da haal

dukhaahn dee rootee, soolaahn da laavaan,
haddaan da baalarn baal

maa'ae nee kinoohn aakhaahn
dard vichoray da haal

jungle bayla phiray dhoondaydee,
na mileya maheehnval

maa'ae nee kinoohn aakhaahn
dard vichoray da haal

kahay hussain faqeer nimarna,
milay taahn thayvaahn nayhaal

maa'ae nee kinoohn aakhaahn
dard vichoray da haal

(*)

translation

o mamma ! who can i tell, this state of separation-pain
fires of faqueers smoulder, wherever i rummage ruby-red gain

o mamma ! who can i tell, this state of separation-pain
thorns pierce, make me mad, separation my mind's refrain

o mamma ! who can i tell, this state of separation-pain
bread of pain, curry of thorns, from burning bones fire obtain

o mamma ! who can i tell, this state of separation-pain
jungles, moors she roams in search, yet not found the swain

o mamma ! who can i tell, this state of separation-pain
says hussain the destitute devotee, if he's found, joy i'd attain

o mamma ! who can i tell, this state of separation-pain

commentary

the kaafi comes to us with some alternates in several lines. The first line begins with a desperate situation which every one of us experiences periodically – where there is no one to open your hearts to.

the use of the word maa’ae (o mamma) is an invocation expressing anguish, at the same time addressing the mother with intimacy. The sense of loneliness and being isolated

And sometimes, as here, when what is so very important to us would not be understood, or be mocked at, or related to unimportance. Often this may happen because the other person does not know how to deal with such a revelation.

what is the preoccupation of our poet with pain-separation? Most punjabi tales are spun around this feeling. This is central in Heer, Sohni-Mahinwal, Sassi-Punno.

The word "haal" has two other major meanings other than "state or condition". A common meaning of haal is "the present". This is also the workd for the present tense in Punjabi. Perhaps the poet is referring to an intense episode in a perennial feeling. And there seeems to be no one to relate it to. So "mamma" is invoked.

The other meaning of haal is frenzy. Or physical and spiritual ecstacy. The thought that ecstacy is also present in pain-separation seems to be inherent in the line. And that can certainly not be related to another. This reasing makes the lines ecsstatis rather than despondent. Indeed the word "keehnuun" now does not read as the non-availability of someone to tell, but as "who all to tell". Now the line also becomes a communication with the beloved mamma.

(*) post-script (naveed) - arabic/shahmukhi script that i have pasted without permission from apnaorg has verses that differ slightly from the book from which i have taken the above excerpts (that too, sadly without permission) :)

...the apnaorg version has more verses; however the basic essence is given above should someone want to delve into it a little deeper

2 Comments:

Anonymous Shirazi said...

This post reminded me my days in the village when I was used to this oral literature. Nice job here.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous carri said...

My name is Carri. I'm a screenwriter in Los Angeles, California doing research for a TV program on the sleeping habits of children all over the world, ages 6 to 12. I'd like to include children from Pakistan. I'm wondering if you could help me. I'm specifically looking for information on where children sleep (In the same bedroom with other siblings? On the street? What do their rooms look like? What are their bedtime rituals? I’d like to send parents (or anyone who works with these children) a questionnaire that better explains what I’m doing. My story is meant to be sweet piece on children, for children, but one that also enlightens them to the lives of other children around the world.
Please email me at ckaruhn@msn.com.
Thank you

5:13 AM  

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