Thursday, September 20, 2007

My First ghazal to a 12 year old kiddo....

Tawalat-e-shabe-gham badhati rahogi?
Mujeh kab talak aazmati rahogi?

Abhi to nahi baad marne ke mere…
Tum Aansoo Hamesha Bahaati Rahogi

Kabhi Gham Banegaa Husul-e-Tabassum
Kahaan Tak Bhala Muskurati Rahogi?

Guzar Jayegi ye Jawaani ki Sarhad…
Baharon ke Tum Geet Gaati Rahogi!

Sajenge Mere baad Palkon Pe Moti
Ye Zehmat Hamesha Uthathi Rahogi

Safeh-e-Hasti se Hum Uth Gaye phir
Naa Aayenge – Wapas Bulati Rahogi!

Hai Shahid Ke Sheron main Darde Zamana
Inhen Tum Sadaa Gungunati Rahogi!
(C) Shahid Sayed

I can explain.

Well, I too was a kiddo and was studying in class VIII at that time. The subject of my ghazal was of my age and was a visitor from a “neighboring” country.

She was cute - very cute with expressive eyes and lambi palken and beautiful hands which were always used to be covered with chudiyan. She was a die-hard fan of Imran Khan. For me, apna "Haryana Hurricane" was a superman as India had made it to the World Cup finals with some amazing cricketing display by Kapil Dev.

I remember my first argument with her was on the very same topic: Who is the greatest? Kapil or Imran. One time during an argument I got so irritated that I tore apart the picture of Imran Khan she was carrying....

Next day we were playing cricket and she was watching it from the neighbor’s house. I asked my friend ke " yaar easy ball dal na".... well, the next ball was easy and I treated it appropriately for a six. The ball landed near her so I went to get it. Upon my return I was given out as we had a rule that whoever hits a six would be out. I did lose my innings but had won her attention and something else....

From then onwards for about a month she became a center of my attention. Before that episode, mother’s face used to be last face I'd see before leaving for school and it would be mom that is the first person I see upon my return. No one noticed how this girl got inserted in between mom and me and how I used to rush back from school hoping to see her. I used to find her at 3:30 - 4:00 pm waiting for me by my neighbor’s door...

Month flew in the air and she was going back. I could not skip school on the day she was leaving. I was returning from school and saw the horse buggy in front of our building my heart sank. I could not go with neighbors to see her off, as there was no room in "ghoda gaadi" for an additional person. I did not get a chance to see her alone for the last time, to say something say good bye...... She saw me and waved. She was looking pale and stressed.......

I walked behind the ghoda gaadi as far as traffic allowed me, then I found a bus station and stood on its railing to get last glimpse of her. The waving of her hands...those hands with Chudiyan, the rainbow colors of which I will never forget...

I wrote this ghazal a few months or weeks after that day. I added a new name behind my name and called it my takhallus (Pen name). I wrote my first ghazal as Shahid Tanveer. An Urdu newspaper published my first ghazal. My school principal posted at our school bulletin board. I remember all the adulation that came with this work of art. In those days saying ghazal was a sign of intelligence, intellect and sharafat.

However, a girl who made me write my first poetry is not even aware of this ghazal - no body in my family knows of its origins. I never met her again. Never heard of again... she became part of my imagination and will remain so.

Soon after that, Life’s 1000 lbs gorilla showed up to fight and I obliged. It’s been so many years now. The fighting has ended in a ceasefire and I think, barring a couple of deep scars I did not do that bad either. Now, I am free to pursue her, to find out more about her, to talk to her one more time. But I think she must be a married woman with grown up kids and a loving hubbby...

I am not even sure if she is still alive or dead. I don’t know whether those suicide bombings campaigns of "right wingers" of her country shredded her body into pieces. I don’t know if she survived the bombing campaigns from F-16s that have been going on recently in that part of the world.

When my friends from the "right side of the aisle" express a desire to "wipe out those terrorists", "nuke them into oblivion" and "kick some Muslim butts", my mind brings back those pictures from the past. I shudder at the possibility of a nuke dropping on her city evaporating her, those beautiful eyes, hands and those rainbow color chudiyan....

My mind shuts off beyond this point......

I hope you survived all the madness in this world and that you are alive today. I wish you a full life and I pray that happiness remains your constant companion Tanveer,---wherever you are…..

BTW I did apologize to her the next day for tearing apart Imran Khan's picture and gave her a 25 paise ki cadbury by saying " sorry haan...galti ho gayee!"....

This is how it is in the life lane...

Tawalat - Length, Shab-e-Gham - Night of sorrow, Husule-Tabassum - result of smiles
Zehmat - inconvenience, Saf-e-Hasti - Life

Thursday, September 13, 2007

...and then comes along a woman!

...and just when you feel disheartened with the "state of affairs" in men / women relations, comes along a woman who sets the record straight. Check this story out. Trust me, it is better than Laila-Majnu, Shireen-Farhaad and all other jebronis...

Where are the Writers/Directors from Bombay to tell this great story to the love less world?

(This story brought to you by our Friend "Indescribe"who has a link in the link bar.Thanks Bud)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Jung ke Faisle...

Jung Ke Faisle Maidan main Kahan Hote hain?
Jab Talak Haafze Baaki hain Alam Baki Hai.....

There are some images from the Iraqi genocide that will haunt me forever. This is one of them. I always used to look back at history and wonder how the hell those folks in the past allowed atrocities on fellow human being to happen? What Germans were doing when Holocaust happened? What were Mongols doing at the time of Chengez Khan's invasion and occupations of foreign lands? Why no one stood up against religious bigots who continued killing innocents in the name of religion? What people of those times were doing?

Now I know........ I am one of them......

ps: What are the chances of this innocent living a "normal" life after this particualr moment? What are the prospect of her becoming a contributing member of the world family? Would she be able to feel pain ever again? Would she know what humanity and love is all about? What was her fault? Why other people's children crying for candy and games whereas she is crying by the corpse of her parents? Would she be able to forget all this and lead a normal and healthy life?

And most importantly would she be able to forgive us, the bystanders for destroying her life before she even understood what it means?

I doubt it as Nida Fazli says "Jab talak Haafze Baaki hain Alam Baki hai....."

(Haafze: Memories, Alam: Flag/Pain)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Abeer - Fragnance of Flower

I wrote about Abeer, an Iraqi teenager who was raped and burned by US soliders six months ago.

Well, that innocent kiddo and her horrible story moved a Hollywood director to make a film and it is called " Redacted". Brian DePalma ( Scarface, The black Dahlia) says he made this film as he believes that only pictures can stop the war. Redacted was shown in Venice film festival last week and it should be out very soon.

Surprisingly Google search is not bringing as many articles as I had hope for, as Brian DePalma is no small fry when it comes to getting media attention to whatever he does. TIME ran a story two days ago but I can not find it now.

"The film's title refers to how, according to De Palma, mainstream American newspapers and television channels are failing to tell the true story of the war by keeping the most graphic images of the conflict away from public opinion.

"When I went out to find the pictures, I said (to the media) give me the pictures you can't publish," he said, adding that because of legal dangers he too had to "edit" the material.

"Everything that is in the movie is based on something I found that actually happened. But once I had put it in the script I would get a note from a lawyer saying you can't use that because it's real and we may get sued," De Palma said.

"So I was forced to fictionalize things that were actually real."

The film, shot in Jordan with a little known cast, ends with a series of photographs of Iraqi civilians killed and their faces blacked out for legal reasons." - AOL article dated 8/31/07

Artistes are considered to be the mirror of any society. Society and its leaders can take any course of action but an artist always chooses the path of truth and justice - otherwise he / she is a bania and does need to be called an artist.

ps: The picture above is NOT from the film but a real one. So those boots that you see are real and so are those tears, the cry and the blood. The question is where is her mother? I suspect she was dead by the time this picture was taken, as every mother would fight tooth and nail with any opposition to get to her daughter in that situation....

This is how it is a in War Zone....