Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Comrade Jingle

A gallon of tea,
Stash of pot,
A bundle of hash,
Party all the best,
Marx on the table,
Engels on the chest,
Some friends in Cuba, Quebec
Oh the best were Bolsheviks,
Nostalgia of times you never spent,
Glories you never shared,
Ideas out of date,

A pen, a book, a literary fest,
Get a wrench,
Fix a thing or two before you brag,
Oh comrade,
Gimme a break,
I live in Asia,
Not a Czech,
My father worked on a broken deck,
Rode a bike that was second hand,
Life is harsh you tell me that?

I lived it all,
And lost him too,
Through the system,
You think works true,
Viva la democracy you say,
Trae en la revolución I dare!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How was Lahore?

The Institute of Architects Pakistan, Lahore Chapter held the IAPEX 2013 along with Student Jamboree on February 8th, 9th and 10th. This was the second time for me to be supervising students for a Student Jamboree, last one was during the ARCASIA Congress in Bali, Indonesia.

Expo center extension inspired resembling Louis Kahn's work
Entrance to the extension

Interior scattered with posters about Engro Annual Sales Conference
The program started with a long, and excruciatingly slow train journey starting February 6th and ending 8 o'clock in the morning on February 7th, at least 7 hours late than expected arrival time.

Engine developed within 2 hrs of leaving of Karachi, 5 hr delay
Hyderabad train station if am not mistaken

Stall to charge cell, while hawkers also sold solar/disposable cellphone chargers
If I had to say how was Lahore? In short, Lahore was dusty. The new metrobus idea is stupid to say the least. The new food street is too expensive and I wish I could just bring all the historical buildings to Karachi. Not to say the buildings would be safe here, but I won't have to go to Lahore to visit and document at least.

Near the Badshahi Mosque
Badshahi Mosque, built by Aurangzeb during 1670s
Extreme right dome Gurdwara Dera Sahib Panjvin Patshahi built by Ranjit Singh 
This is the mosque and the dome you see on right is of Gurdwara Dera Sahib Panjvin Patshahi built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who is also buried here. Right next to the Mosque is the red light district of old Lahore.
Fort entrance facing the mosuq
Apparently the Mughals kept their observation decks made in such a way that they could keep an eye on the activities going on at the mosque, where they feared conspiracies to overthrow them might be cooked by the mullahs.

Door exiting right onto the red light area
The new and very expensive food street
This food street was originally the commercial street of the red light district where vendors used to sell musical instruments etc. All in all the trip to Lahore wasn't bad. Including the return journey by train without any delays.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Rumi - Na Man Behuda Girde

I do not understand Persian, but the first time I listened to this poetry I fell in love. Beautifully sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, this is one of my most favorite Sufi kalam by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī or Rumi. Came across this poetry while searching for qawwalis on youtube, but hail the ban, I lost the song and could not find an mp3 either. Today of all days I decided to download hotspotshield just to listen to this song and luckily the new realplayer update allowed me to not only download the song, but make an mp3. Here is a very basic translation I could come up with, for what was already out there doesn't seem very appealing.

نه من بيهوده گرد کوچه و بازار می گردم
Na man behuda gird-e-koocha-o-bazar me gardam
My roaming on streets & bazaars is not pointless

مذاق عاشقی دارم پی ديدار می گردم
Mazaq-e-aashiq-e-daram ba-deedar me gardam
I seek thee, beloved

خدايا رحم کن بر من پريشان وار می گردم
Khudaya rehm kun barman, pareshan waar me gardam
Have mercy on me, for I am anxious

خطا کارم گناه کارم به حال زار می گردم
Khata karam gunah garam ba-haal-e-zar me gardam
I have sinned; wandering, troubled

شراب شوق می نوشم به گرد يار می گردم
Sharab-e-shoq me nosham, ba-gird-e-yaar me gardam
Intoxicated by desire I seek thee and roam

سخن مستانه می گويم ولی هوشيار می گردم
Sukhan mastana me goyam, walay hushyaar me gardam
Not drunk but alert as I search

گهی خندم گهی گريم گهی افتم گهی خيزم
Gahe khundam, gahe giryum, gahe ufftum, gahay khezum
Every now and then laughing, crying, falling, rising

مسيحا در دلم پيدا و من بيمار می گردم
Maseeha dar dilum paida, o-man beemar me gardam
Roving sick as the messiah knocks at my heart's door

بالبم رسیده جانم تو بیاں که زنده مانم
Ba labam raseeda jaanam utu biya ke zinda manam
Death is round the corner, please come so I shall live

پس اذ آں کے من نه مانم بہ چھکار خواہی آمد
Pas az aan ke man na manam ba chih kar khaahi aamad
If you come when I am no more what use will it be

جدا ماسکی رسم آشنای است
Juda maskaye rasm-e-aashnaye ast
As the familiar mask is drawn

بیا که مرا تا قطعی جدای است
Baya kay marata qataye-judaye ast
And arrives the time of deliverance

بیا جانا عنایت کن تو مولانای رومی را
Baya jana inayat kunto Maulana Rumi Ra
Beloved! Come, aid your Maulana Rumi

غلام شمس تبریزم قلندروار می گردم
Ghulam-e-Shams-e-Tabraizi, Qalandar-war me gardam
Wanderer, slave of Qalandar Shams Tabraizi

For those who can access youtube: