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Archive for January 15, 2011


Ghanaa din so liyo Re……Ab to Jaag Musafir Jaag

(Many days you have slept O traveler, Now wake up !!)

Pahle soyo Maata ke Garabh mein…Aundhey muh wahan Jhulaa….

(First you were asleep in mother’s womb, hanging upside down )

Kaul kiya wahan Bhajan karoonga…Baahar aakar bhoola

(You promised there you will sing for God, when out you came, you forgot)


A journey of a boy’s mama

Whatever a woman happens to be—whether a home maker or a working woman, whether a successful or an ordinary woman—-if she is a mother of a boy as well, she will have to walk through the same journey that every ‘boy’s mama’ travels. The journey with girls is somewhat different. As they say, and I agree, you can raise 4 girls instead of one boy.

And the journey goes:
Test comes ‘positive’
Nause, morning sickness
Anxieties, apprehensions
Back aches, as weeks pass by
Yeyy, the angel kicks.
Oh what a feel!
Thy name is Mom.

Midnight heartburns
Pale eyes, puffy face
Torment of unease and fear
Pain progresses, as hours pass by
Wow, the baby cries aloud.
Oh what a bliss!
Thy name is Mama.

Hundreds of feeds
Thousands nappy changes
Restless days, sleepless nights
Burns out, as days pass by.
Yeah, the kiddo crawls, runs, jumps
Oh what a sight!
Thy name is Maa.

Baking favourite cookies
Reading bedtime stories
Lessons on good manners
Million scolds and hugs
Unending kisses on cuts n bruises
Shoes grow smaller, as years pass by
Aah, the naughty boy grows
Oh what a comfort!
Thy name is Ummi.

Daily tug of war
High spirited, roguish teen
Naggings on deaf ears
Endless worries and woes
For exam grades, as terms pass by
Pheww, the playful graduates .
Oh what a tranquility!
Thy name is Amma.

Constant vigil
Assertive, youthful
Heart breaking arguments
Amidst endless love, selfless care
A constant referee between Dad and him
Egos collide, generation gap manifests.
Differences pile, as life passes by.
Alas, a youngman, independent, comesforth
Oh what an atonement!
Thy name is Ammi.

Ilmana Fasih
Dec 26, 2010

Hum Dekhen Ge ~Faiz sung by Iqbal Bano

This piece of poetry is a  symbol of resistance against injustice and oppression. Many of Faiz’s( the poet of this piece), couplets  and lines have become the rallying cal for the masses. Many  leaders and visionaries aspiring for a change, use his poems as their anthems to garner support for their causes. This is the power of a revolutionary poetry.

Hum dekhenge
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


English translation: 

We shall Witness
It is certain that we too,
shall witness the day
that has been promised
of which has been written
on the slate of eternity
When the enormous
mountains of tyranny
blow away like cotton.
Under our feet-
the feet of the oppressed-
when the earth will pulsate
deafeningly and on the heads
of our rulers
when lightning will strike.
From the abode of God
When icons of falsehood
will be taken out,

When we- the faithful-

who have been barred out
of sacred places
will be seated on high cushions
When the crowns will be tossed,
When the thrones
will be brought down.
Only The name will survive
Who cannot be seen
but is also present
Who is the spectacle
and the beholder,
both I am the Truth
– the cry will rise,
Which is I, as well as you
And then God’s creation will rule
Which is I, as well as you


The Poet:

Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1911–1984)
was a Pakistani intellectual,
poet, and one of the most famous
contemporary poets of the Urdu language.


Ud Jayega–Kumar Gandharva

Ud Jayega Hans Akela
Singer—Kumar Gandharva

Ud Jayega hans akela
Jag darshan ka mela

Jaise paat gire taruvar ke
Milna bahut duhela
Naa jaanu kidhar girega
Lageya pawan ka rela

Jab howe umar puri
Jab chutega hukum huzuri
Jam ke doot bade mazboot
Jam se pada jhamela

Das kabir har ke gun gaawe
Wah har ko paran pawe
Guru ki karni guru jayega
Chele ki karni chela

Ud Jayega hans akela
Jag darshan ka mela

Translation by Tagore (1915):

The Swan Will Fly Away All Alone,
Spectacle of the World Will Be a Mere Fair
As the Leaf Falls from the Tree
Is Difficult to Find
Who Knows Where it Will Fall
Once it is Struck with a Gust Of Wind
When Life Span is Complete
Then Listening to Orders,
ollowing Others,
Will Be Over
The Messengers of Yama are Very Strong
It’s an Entanglement with the Yama
Servant Kabir Praises the Attributes of the Lord
He Finds the Lord Soon
Guru Will Go According to His Doings
The Disciple According to His


Here Swan represents our free-spirit that continues to live beyond the death of the body. When the physical death comes, the “less-constrained” life leaves every worldly thing behind (including the body) and the whole spectacle of the world is like a fair or carnival that we witness and now know its true transient nature.

Kabir reminds us that we are much like a leaf if when severed from the universal spirit (the tree) is liable to be blown away by the gust of unfulfilled desires. In such a state it is difficult to predict where the leaf (spirit) will finally land on getting dismembered from the tree of universal oneness.

All through our physical life we are listening to either orders of others or are ordered by our own desires. When death comes nobody is really with us and we finally realize that the obeying and following others is not as meaningful as following our inner voice. “Kala” (Yama) or time, is relentless even in the wake of our last-minute realizations and feeling unfulfilled.

Finally Kabir reinforces that a continuous dedication to God yields instantaneous results. But warns that its our own effort that bear fruits and everybody (both Guru and Disciple) progresses according to their own actions.
Notes Courtesy-Rajender Krishan, NY.

Ud Ja hans Akela Death Song 1

Ek daal do panchi baitha, kaun guru kaun chela
Guru ki karni guru bharega, chele ki karni chela
sadho bhai, Ur ja hans akela

Mati chun chun mahal banaya, log kahen ghar mera
Na ghar tera, na ghar mera, chiriya rain basera
Bhai, Ur ja hans akela…

Kauri kauri maya jori, jor bharela thaila
Kehat Kabir suno bhai sadho, sang chale na dhela.
Ur ja……

Maat kahe ye putra hamara, bahen kahe ye veera,
Bhai kahe ye bhuja hamari, Naari kahe nar mera.
Ur ja….

Peit pakar kar mata roye, baanh pakar ke bhai,
Lapat jhapat ke tiriya roye, hans akela jayee.
Sadho bhai ur ja…

Jab tak jeeve mata roye, bahen roye das maasa,
Barah din tak tiriya roye, pher kare ghar waasa.
Ur ja…

Chaar gadiya ghar manwayi, chara kaath ki ghori,
Chaaron kone aag lagai, phoonk diyo jas hori.
Sadho bhai ur ja…

Bhaar jale ho jaise laakri, khey jale jas dhaga,
Sona jaisi kaya jal gai, koi na aaya paasa.
Ur ja hans…

Ghar ki tiriya dhoondan lagi, dhoond phiri chahoo desa,
Kehat Kabir suno bhai sadho, choro jag ki aasa.
Ur ja …

Baghbaan ne bagh lagaya, bagh lagaya kela,
Kache pakke ki marm na jaane, tora phool gandela.
Ur ja….

Na koi ata na koi jata, jhoota jag ka nata
Na kahoo ki bahen bhanji, na kahoo ki mataa.
Sadho bhai ur ja hans….

Moko Kahan Dhoondhe Re Bande

Moko Kahan Dhundhere Bande Mein To Tere Paas Mein
Na Teerath Mein, Na Moorat Mein Na Ekant Niwas Mein
Na Mandir Mein, Na Masjid Mein Na Kabe Kailas Mein
Mein To Tere Paas Mein Bande Mein To Tere Paas Mein
Na Mein Jap Mein, Na Mein Tap Mein Na Mein Barat Upaas Mein
Na Mein Kiriya Karm Mein Rehta Nahin Jog Sanyas Mein
Nahin Pran Mein Nahin Pind Mein Na Brahmand Akas Mein
Na Mein Prakuti Prawar Gufa Mein Nahin Swasan Ki Swans Mein
Khoji Hoye Turat Mil Jaoon Ik Pal Ki Talas Mein
Kahet Kabir Suno Bhai Sadho Mein To Hun Viswas Mein

Where do you search me? I am with you
Not in pilgrimage, nor in icons, Neither in solitudes
Not in temples, nor in mosques Neither in Kaba nor in Kailash
I am with you o man, I am with you
Not in prayers, nor in meditation, Neither in fasting
Not in yogic exercises, Neither in renunciation
Neither in the vital force nor in the body, Not even in the ethereal space
Neither in the womb of Nature, Not in the breath of the breath
Seek earnestly and discover, In but a moment of search
Says Kabir, Listen with care, Where your faith is, I am there.
My Understanding
In spite of the different approaches of all religious and philosophical teachings, it is very clear that the all-pervading, omniscient, omnipresent factor is finally God. Due to our customs, traditions, languages we only address Him by various names. Yet, it is also true that in spite of this awareness, we spend a lot of time in arguing about God and try to impose attributes.

Kabir noticed this centuries old phenomenon in his times also. And this great Master, in the above verse highlights the underlying principle that God is everywhere.

Kabir reveals in this verse the various search patterns adopted by mankind. And each one seems to be justifying his chosen method. Some say God will be realized through pilgrimages while some justify the idol worship. Some say He is up in the mountains while some believe that He is in places of worship. Some proclaim prayers and meditation the path, others believe realization through fasting. Many talk about yogic exercises (activity) and renunciation.

In this verse Kabir seems to be saying that God is NOT in any of these. However, this cannot be true. To my understanding, Kabir is saying that God is everywhere and therefore in all these too. However, his saying “No” simply means that we should apply our faith to One and follow it up sincerely. This will lead to instant realization of the divinity within us. However, if we “switch” our approach from one path to another, then we are simply conducting a sort of gymnastic. In his typical mystical ways, Kabir shows us the omniscience of God.
Rajender Krishen


Baalam Avo Humre Geh Re, Tum Bin Dukhiya Deh Re
Sab Koi Kahet Tumhari Nari, Mo Ko Eehe Andeh Re
Dil Se Nahin Dil Lagayo,Tub Laga Kaisa Sneh Re
Ek mek Ve Sej Na Soyo,Tub Lug Kaisa Neh Re
Anna Na Bhave Neend Na Aave, Ghar Bar Dhare Na Dheer Re
Kamin Hai Balam Pyara, Jyon Pyase Ko Neer Re
Hai Koi Aisa Upkari, Piv Se Kahun Sunaye Re
Ab To Behal Kabir Bhayo Hai, Bin Dekhe Jiya Jaye Re
Translation (by Tagore, 1915)
O my Love! come to my house
My body is in intense pain
While all say I am your spouse
I have the very doubts
So long your heart isn’t immersed in mine
What kind of love is that
I don’t relish food neither do I sleep
I feel discontent in my own home
Passionate is my Love
Like the thirsty longs for water
Will someone do me a favor
And narrate my predicament to my beloved
Kabir is now in total distress
Without seeing the beloved, he is going to die
My Understanding (by Rajendra Kishan)
A poem full of sublime love and mounting passions, Kabir in this verse picks up the pangs and pains of separation. As has invariably been the case, Kabir’s verses depict situations that occur naturally in everyday life.

In this particular verse, Kabir sounds like an average person. Given the literal meaning or translation of the verse, he establishes the pain of separation from one’s loved one. If the intensity of this pain can be understood, then one will realize how intense is the longing to realize the God – that inexpressible Self.

Imagine a tense atmosphere and the couple in the same bed sleeping in distress. There is no contact, no communion. What kind of agony it must be, all in the name of Love? Now view the same situation as a seeker of Truth and one will realize that it takes a very intense longing, an unshakable intent, an unbending desire to achieve one’s desired goals. Success is not easy, it takes a lot of patience, fortitude and endurance. Such is the path of Love.

Courtesy Rajendra Krishan’s blog on Boloji



Seeing the developments that occur in Tunisia, I notice that after having written about Bhutan, Tunisia appears to be yet another ‘tiny’ nation which puts some of the ‘BIG’ countires on the globe to shame. And this time it puts to shame the ARAB as well as MUSLIM countries.

A brief introduction to get a visual idea of how tiny this nation is:
Tunisia is a tiny country located at the northern border of the continent of Africa sandwiched between two giants Algeria and Libya. It has an area of 165,000 sq km coming at 89th in the world in size slightly larger than Nepal.( while Pakistan is 35th and almost 4 times as large as Tunisia in area) with about 10 million population ( half of the estimated population of Karachi and one-eighteenth of Pakistan’s population.). It is the smallest nation along the south of Mediterranean.

Having befriended a lot of Tunisians as colleagues and neighbours, I found them strikingly different from the rest of the Arabs. They are simple and poor like us, yet very secular and modern in their outlook. Tunisians have a beautiful blend of Islamic and Westernised life style mainly due to their French colonisation. And most of them strike a very neat balance between the two supposedly diametrically opposed cultures.

Here I do not repeat the glories of it’s Jasmine revolution or the way their youth fought on streets bravely to drive President Ben Ali out of not only power, but out of their continent. It is about a unique personal issue which we muslim countries are struggling at—namely the status of women, polygamy, divorce laws etc.

Thanks to a very dear friend of mine, Ali Boubakri, from whom I learned a lot about the Tunisian culture, and came to possess their beautiful handicrafts. But more than anything else what information really fascinated me was about the existence of THE CODE OF PERSONAL STATUS in Tunisia which is unique to TUNISIA in the whole of Arab and Muslim World. I could not, initially, believe the existence of this Law in a Muslim country and that too since 1956.
THE CODE OF PERSONAL STATUS in Tunisia remains one of the most progressive civil codes in the Middle East and the Muslim world which was enacted just five months after Tunisia gained its independence in 1956. The brain behind the code being their Independence leader and the first President Habib Bourguiba.
The code was meant to end GENDER INEQUALITY and update family law, to enable greater social and economic progress and make Tunisia a fully modern society. Highlight of the Law are and I copy the original text mostly in order to avoid distortions:

– the principle of the CONSENT of the two spouses as a requirement for the validity of all marriages.

– an obligatory MINIMUM AGE for marriages, fixed first at eighteen years(18) for men and fifteen (15) years for women, the precise text that: “Below this age marriage cannot be contracted, except by the special authorization of a judge who may not grant it, except for serious reasons and in the well understood interests of both spouses. In this same case, consent for the marriage of a minor must be given by the closest parent who must fulfil three conditions, namely being of sound mind, adult and masculine.” It has now been amended to 20 years for males and 17 years for females.

-POLYGAMY is FORBIDDEN , even if the second union is not “formal “. Whosoever being engaged in the bonds of matrimony shall contract another before the dissolution of the preceding shall be liable to A YEAR’S IMPRISONMENT t and to a FINE.” Bourguiba referred to a Sura of the Koran to justify this measure:
“We have abided by the spirit of the Holy Book… which indicates monogamy. Our decision in the matter contradicts no religious text and is found to be in agreement with mercy and justice and the equality of the sexes.”

-The code also prescribes that , “ Each of the two spouses must treat each other with kindness, live in good rapport, and avoid all prejudice,” thus ABOLISHING THE WIFE’S OBLIGATION TO OBEDIENCE to her husband.

-At the same time , the text obliged the wife who was in possession of goods to CONTRIBUTE to the family’s expenses, so that the husband not have the powers of administrationover the wife’s possessions.
– It expanded the right of mothers to have custody of their children. It made the registration of marriages and divorces mandatory, something that was not systematically the case earlier. It made adoption legally valid.

– The Code, to the contrary, instituted a DIVORCE procedure that “COULD NOT TAKE PLACE EXCEPT BEFORE A COURT” which decided “the dissolution of the marriage.”

– It is also stated that: “material harm would be RECOMPENSATED (to the woman) in the form of a MONTHLY ALIMONY payment… to the level of life to which she was accustomed during married life, here including residence”. Once more, Bourguiba justified himself by the decree of the Koran.

-The Code also instituted the principle of the equality of men and women in relation to CITIZENSHIP. Moreover, if a child did not possess his own goods, the necessary costs of his upbringing were PREDICATED on those of the FATHER.


And after my firsthand interaction with my Tunisian friends, I can say with confidence that this is not just a law that exists in the books only, but is actually been practiced. A colleague of mine who had divorced his first wife for some personal reasons still paid her the monthly alimony.

It is important to note that their leader Habib Bourgeba had this vision in 1956 and the law is enforced since then. Unfortunately we in 2011, and calling ourselves the leaders of Islam and Muslim countries, possess nuclear weapons, but still struggle with the extremist mindset at the general level.

Hope we too get at least one BOURGUIBA amongst us now in 2011, from the 180 million who rises above the *talking mode* and does something concrete, when one could be born in Tunisia from just 10 millions almost 45 years ago in 1956.

Only time will tell.

But the hope remains…

15 Jan 2011


Words are soft, words are loud
Words express humility, words show proud
Words are refined, words get uncouth
Words sound different from different mouths.

Smile taunts, smile praises
Smile lets down, smile raises.
Smile with perfect teeth, smile with braces
Smile appears different on different faces.

Love is silly, love is smart
Love strengthens, love tears apart.
Love stays selfless, love is selfish from the start
Love feels different in different hearts.

Mind remembers, mind forgets
Mind takes pride, mind regrets
Mind thinks active, mind lays dead
Mind works different in different heads.

Life lives, life dies
Life laughs, life cries
Life gives up, life tries
Life looks different through different eyes.

Ilmana Fasih

18 December 2010

(Completing an old incomplete one).


Q.What is the memory span of our leadership or establishment?
Pakistan flood crisis raises fears of country’s collapse,
( August 10, 2010)
By Saeed Shah and Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Newspapers
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The humanitarian and economic disaster caused by the worst floods in Pakistan’s history could spark political unrest that could destabilize the government, dealing a major blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to fight violent Islamic extremism.
The government’s shambling response to floods that have affected a third of the country has some analysts saying that President Asif Ali Zardari could be forced from office, possibly by the military, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half its 63-year history.
Other experts caution that the state itself could collapse, as hunger and destitution trigger explosions of popular anger that was already seething over massive unemployment, high fuel prices, widespread power outages, corruption, and a bloody insurgency by extremists allied with al Qaida.
Read more:
U.N. appeals for Pakistan aid as flood threat continues
(August 12, 2010)
By Saeed Shah | McClatchy Newspapers
SUKKUR, Pakistan — The United Nations appealed Wednesday for $459 million in emergency aid for Pakistan as fresh monsoon rains raised fears that new flooding could drive more people from their homes, deepening the humanitarian catastrophe.
Read more:
UN To Launch Pakistan Fund Drive To Help Flood Victims
(November 8, 2010)
A soldier in an army helicopter hands out emergency food packages to stranded families in Punjab Province.
Last updated (GMT/UTC): 11.08.2010 10:24
The United Nations has launched an appeal for hundreds of millions of dollars in international relief for flood-hit Pakistan.
Around 1,600 people have died and the UN estimates that 14 million people — 6 million of them children — have been affected by the worst floods in Pakistan’s history.
Initially, the UN says, aid will be directed toward the 6 million people who are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance to survive.
According to UN estimates, 290,000 homes have been destroyed by floods, leaving around 2 million people homeless.
The UN secretary-general’s special envoy for assistance to Pakistan, Jean-Maurice Ripert, said that as relief and rebuilding efforts continued, more aid would be needed.
“We know that the area affected and the scale of the disaster are such that hundreds of millions of dollars will be needed to address the urgent humanitarian needs and billions of dollars will be required for rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure and livelihoods,” Ripert said.

Pakistan test fires Ghauri Hatf V missile
RAWALPINDI – (21st December 2010)
By Umair Anwar
Pakistan on Tuesday successfully test Ghauri Hatf V missile, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
According to ISPR, the missile is capable of carrying every kind of warheads and can hit the target in a range of 1300 kilometer.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Chairman Joint Cheifs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shahmeem Wyne, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Khalid Ahmed Kidwai (Retired) and other senior military officers and scientists witnessed the launching of Missile.
President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani felicitated nation on successfully testing the mid-range missile.
Q;How much money did it cost?
Q: How many hungry mouths could that money have fed?
Q; Does it all make sense?
Q; How do we feel?
Q:Who are they kidding?
Ilmana Fasih
23 December 2010.

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