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Archive for January 11, 2011


Cigarette smoke is the residue of your pleasure. It contaminates the air, pollutes my hair and clothes, not to mention my lungs. This takes place without my consent. I have a pleasure, also. I like a beer now and then. The residue of my pleasure is urine. Would you be annoyed if I stood on a chair and pissed on your head and your clothes without your consent? ~Sign from Ken’s Magic Shop

Not only does smoking harm you and the people around you physically, it breaks the hearts and aspirations of your loved ones. You need to be a mother to know how much it hurts when her child smokes–no matter how old the child is.


They smoke cigarettes professionally. The smoke is inhaled very sharply and the teeth are bared.
Then the head turns to give you a profile and the smoke is exhaled slowly and deliberately and the grey jet stream becomes a beautiful blue cloud of smoke.
What  on earth are they trying to tell us?
– Jeffrey Bernard, Spectator, 1982, Source: The International Thesaurus of Quotations


Jab jab cigarette sulgate ho
To Maa ko bhi tum tarpate ho
Aur kash pe kash jo lagate ho
Maa ke armaan bhi to jalate ho
Dhuan jo moonh se urate ho
Maa ke ehsaan bhulate ho.
Moon se jab badboo aati hai
Bus maa hi paas bithati hai
Khaans khaans nidhal jo ho jaate ho
Maa ko bhi behaal banate ho
Sub dost wost kho jaate hain
Maa ki mamta hi saath nibhati hai

Ilmana Fasih

11 Jan 2011

For a mom you will always remain a smoking ‘kid’ no matter how old you get.

Taj Mahal | Music of Ancient India

FACTS, FIGURES & TRIVIA:                                                                                           Year of Construction: 1631

Completed In: 1653
Time Taken: 22 years
Built By: Shah Jahan
Dedicated to: Mumtaz Mahal (Arjumand Bano Begum), the wife of Shah Jahan
Location: Agra (Uttar Pradesh)
Building Type: Islamic tomb
Architecture: Islamic
Cost of Construction: 32 crore rupees
Number of workers: 20,000
Highlights: One of the Seven Wonders of the World
A UNESCO World Heritage site

Some more Taj Mahal trivia:
Before his accession to the throne, Shah Jahan was popularly known as Prince Khurram.
Shah Jahan fell in love with the beautiful Arjumand Bano Begum and married her, making her his third wife.
Arjumand Bano Begum christened by Shah Jahan as Mumtaz Mahal, meaning the “chosen one”.
Shah Jahan lost Mumtaz Mahal when she got giving birth to their 14h child.
It is believed that in her last breath Mumtaz secured a promise from Shah Jahan that he would construct the most beautiful monument in the her memory.
For the transportation of the construction materials, more than 1,000 elephants were made use of.
As many as 28 different varieties of semi-precious and precious stones were used to adorn the Taj with exquisite inlay work.

Enta Omri~ by Umm Kulthoom ~Music without borders

Umm Kulthoom Ebrahim Elbeltagi ( ??  1904-February 3, 1975) was an Egyptian singer, actress and song writer,  known lovingly as  the Star of the East (Kawkab Al Sharq).

More than three decades after her death, she has ataained a near-mythical status among the young Arab fans . She is she is l recognized as one of the Arab world’s most famous and distinguished singers of the 20th century.  Umm Kulthoom is widely regarded as the greatest female singer in Arab music history, that has ever lived.

Coming from a humble peasant family, in her own words about her village: ”

“It was a humble village. The highest building in it did not exceed two stories. The greatest display of wealth was the umdah’s carriage pulled by one horse! . . And there was only one street in the whole village wide enough for the umdah’s carriage . . . I sang in the neighboring villages, all of which were small. I thought that the city of al-Sinbillawayn was the biggest city in the world and I used to listen to news about it the same way one would listen now to news about New York or London or Paris.” 

Gamal Abdel Nasser was an ardent fan of Umm Kulthoom . Some claim that her popularity helped Nasser’s political agenda. For example, Nasser’s speeches and other government messages were frequently broadcast immediately after Umm Kulthoom’s monthly radio concerts.

Her songs deal mostly with the universal themes of love, longing and loss. They are nothing short of epic in scale, with durations measured in hours rather than minutes.

A typical Umm Kulthoom concert consisted of the performance of two or three songs over a period of three to four hours.

Her voice is known to be of the contralto variety, i.e. a deep voice which had the versatility to sing in almost every octave.

“Her ability to produce approximately 14,000 vibrations per second with her vocal cords, her unparalleled vocal strength (no commercial microphone utilized for singing could withstand its strength, forcing her to stand at a 1- to 3-meter radius away from one , and her voice surpassed convention arguably made her one of the most incomparable voices in the world.” writes Wikepedia.

She sang standing amidst an interactive audience.  She sang with a handkerchief in her hand waving with her hand. He moods would  reflected in  her versatile voice and the waving handkerchief was infectious enough to spread among the audience listening her live. Within minutes the audience were  transcended to the heights of  ecstasy by her thrilling  renditions.

You would notice the intervals between her singing interrupted by the enthralled audiences, going euphoric, applauding her and at times asking her to repeat.

Finally my labor has paid off, and my search for the rendition which I was hunting for years,  is finally rediscovered. Please do envy me knowing that, thanks to my father’s love for it,  this was the music I grew up listening to.

ERnta Omri  is one her best known compositions.

Happy listening Umm Kulthoom…


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