Saturday, July 31, 2010
Last week was one of the worst for the people of Pakistan. 152 people died in an unfortunate plane crash at the Margalla Hills just as the plane was about to land at Islamabad airport. The shock and grief of losing loved ones wasn't even over when the country got hit by the worst monsoon rains and floods, breaking a 90 year old record. So far 400-500 people have lost their lives, and around 600,000 are displaced/injured.
On top of that, the British PM made some controversial and unsettling remarks about the war on terror and Pakistan's role in "exporting terrorism" while on his visit to India. Some of his words are actually insulting to the efforts of the Pakistan Army, and the sacrifice of the civilians of Swat and Waziristan region who have suffered for years due to the armed conflict between the army and the militants, and also US drone attacks.
What's worst is that our dear President is due to visit the same British PM in a couple of days in the UK, where- according to news reports, suites in the most expensive hotel have been booked for his stay. And who pays for his air-fare, and his luxurious suites? Why, the grief-stricken, flood-affected, homeless, distressed people of his poor third-world country of course! I mean, why not? He's our Mr. President, right? He's upholding our "democracy", right?
Monday, July 26, 2010
I often have this nagging feeling inside, as if things are happening too fast, too slow, too randomly, to make any sense. Being so connected with the multimedia has lead to this sort of ... overwhelming amount of information, and I wonder if one day...my brain just gives up? And what about information that has an effect on how one feels? Information that is emotionally charged, and higher than normal doses of such, will be bad for mental health. This much I know. But I still can not distance myself from the various sources with such info. Where can I go, o modern world...with the cell phones, the internet, the satellite televisions...?
When these things seem to rush at me all at once, and I can't even catch my breath, I often ask myself...what does it feel like right now? Answer: Chaos.
Everything is chaotic. From the weather, to family, to life, to television, to news, to political conferences that make my heart beat 10 times faster with the implied threats, to health issues, to emotions, to the flooding in some areas of my country, to the people who make random narrow-minded remarks, to the ever-growing religious fundamentalism everywhere. So right now, it is chaos. Utter confusion. Bedlam. Turmoil. Unrest. Lawlessness. Disorder.
I pray for some peace and quiet. For the sake of sanity.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
One early morning,
A dream knocked on my door,
And opening it, I saw...
Some guests had come from across the border.
They looked very familiar,
Their words were well-known, and their voices heard before,
I lead them inside to wash away the dirt from their travel,
And made them sit in my orchard,
I offered them some corn bread, fresh from my oven,
And they had brought me some molasses,
Made from last-year's sugarcane crop.
And then as I woke up, I saw...
There was no one at home.
When I touched the oven, it was still warm,
And the sweetness of the molasses,
Was still there upon my lips.
Must be a dream, must have been a dream,
At the border last night, I've heard there was some cross-fire.
At the border last night, I've heard some dreams were killed.
By: S. Gulzar
Translated by me.
...صبح صبح، اِک خواب کی دستک پر دروازہ کھولا، دیکھا
صرحد کے پار سے کچھ مہمان آئے تھے
آنکھوں سے مانوس تھے سارے چہرے سارے سُنے سُنائے
پاؤں دھوئے، ہاتھ دھُلائے، آنگن میں آسن لگوائے
اور تندوُر پہ مکئ کے کچھ موٹے موٹے روٹ پکوائے
پوٹلی میں مہمان میرے پچھلے سالوں کی فصلوں کا گُڑ لائے تھے
...آنکھ کھُلی تو دیکھا گھر میں کوئ نہیں تھا
ہاتھ لگا کے دیکھا تو تندوُر ابھی تک بُجھا نہیں تھا
!اور ہونٹوں پہ میٹھے گُڑ کا ذائقہ اب تک چپک رہا تھا
خواب تھا شاید، خواب ہی ہو گا
صرحد پر کَل رات سُنا ہے چلی تھی گولی
...صرحد پر کَل رات سُنا ہے کچھ خوابوں کا خون ہوا
Sunday, July 18, 2010
certainly, we will also see,
that Day which is promised,
the Day that is written in the book of Eternity.
When mountains high of cruelty and oppression,
will fly away like wisps of cotton,
when the ground under our feet,
will shudder and shake,
On the heads of the rulers that day,
the thunder shall find its way.
From the Centre of God's land,
every idol will be thrown out,
and we, the faithful, forbidden in "sacred" halls,
shall enter in triumph,
When the crowns will be tossed in air,
and the thrones will sink to dust.
Only the name of God shall remain,
Who is Unseen, yet Omnipresent.
Who is the Beholder, and yet the Beheld.
"I am the Truth!"- shall be the motto,
which is both You as well as Me,
And the People will freely rule this world,
which is both You as well as Me.
Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge
Wo din ke jis ka wada hai
Jo lauh-e-azl mein likha hai
Jab zulm-o-sitam ke koh-e-garan
Rooi ki tarah ur jaenge
Hum mehkoomon ke paaon tale
Ye dharti dhar dhar dharkegi
Aur ahl-e-hakam ke sar oopar
Jab bijli kar kar karkegi
Jab arz-e-Khuda ke kaabe se
Sab but uthwae jaenge
Hum ahl-e-safa mardood-e-harm
Masnad pe bethae jaenge
Sab taaj uchale jaenge
Sab takht girae jaenge
Bas naam rahega Allah ka
Jo ghayab bhi hai hazir bhi
Jo manzar bhi hai nazir bhi
Utthega an-al-haq ka nara
Jo mai bhi hoon tum bhi ho
Aur raaj karegi Khalq-e-Khuda
Jo mai bhi hoon aur tum bhi ho