Kalam e Amir Khusrau…Zehal-e miskin makun taghaful

An excellent Qawwali from Amir Khusrau depicting how persian and Indian culture intermingled in the mughal era.First part of each verse is in Farsi and the second part is in Awadhi.

Zehal-e miskin makun taghaful,
baraye naina banaye batiyan;
ki taab-e hijran nadaram ay jaan,
na leho kaahe lagaye chhatiyan.

Do not overlook my misery by blandishing your eyes,
and weaving tales; My patience has over-brimmed,
O sweetheart, why do you not take me to your bosom.

Shaban-e hijran daraz chun zulf
wa roz-e waslat cho umr kotah;
Sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhun
to kaise kaatun andheri ratiyan.

Long like curls in the night of separation,
short like life on the day of our union;
My dear, how will I pass the dark dungeon night
without your face before.

Yakayak az dil do chashm-e jadoo
basad farebam baburd taskin;
Kise pari hai jo jaa sunaave
piyare pi ko hamaari batiyan.

Suddenly, using a thousand tricks,
the enchanting eyes robbed me
of my tranquil mind;
Who would care to go and report this matter to my darling?
Cho sham’a sozan cho zarra hairan
hamesha giryan be ishq aan meh;
Na neend naina na ang chaina
na aap aaven na bhejen patiyan.
Tossed and bewildered, like a flickering candle,
I roam about in the fire of love;
Sleepless eyes, restless body,
neither comes she, nor any message.
Bahaqq-e roz-e wisal-e dilbar
ki daad mara ghareeb Khusrau;
Sapet man ke waraaye raakhun
jo jaaye paaon piya ke khatiyan.
In honour of the day I meet my beloved
who has lured me so long, O Khusrau;
I shall keep my heart suppressed,
if ever I get a chance to get to her trick.
The Qawwali Version from Bharat Ek Khoj…
From Muzaffar Ali’s Husn e Jana …
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ये लखनऊ की सर ज़मी….

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CaMd28eEDlU“>

Ye Lucknow ki sarzameen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen
ye rang-roop kaa chaman
ye husn-o-ishq kaa watan
yahi to wo muqaam hai
jahaan Awadh ki shaam hai
jawaan-jawaan haseen-haseen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen

 

shabaab-o-sher kaa ye ghar
ye ahl-e-ilm kaa nagar
hai manzilon ki god mein
yahaan har ek rah-guzar
ye shahar laaladaar hai
yahaan dilon mein pyaar hai
jidhar nazar uthaaiye
bahaar hi bahaar hai
kali-kali hai naazneen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen

 

yahaan ki sab rawaayaten
adab ki shaahkaar hain
ameer ahl-e-dil yahaan
ghareeb jaan-nisaar hain
har ek shaakh par yahaan
hain bulbulon ke chahchahen
gali-gali mein zindagi
kadam-kadam pe kahkahen
har ik nazaaraa hai dilnasheen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen
ye Lucknow ki sarzameen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am not Anna Hazare…I am just me

Although I seldom watch TV, the events of last 3 days have forced me to switch on the Box so I can witness what Anna calls the ‘2nd movement to free India”. The congress has proved to the country that they are nothing but a bunch of good for nothing morons who double up as thieves when the opportunity arrives. I have maintained this belief always campaigning for the BJP in all the elections. My simple principle is that spineless people are no good as friends or enemies.

Media today is no different than sensationalism at its best not reporting the facts but what gives them the TRP’s. So if it’s good to make Anna a hero today they will do it and if tomorrow the tide turns they will end up making him a villain as well. With all my patriotic emotions bursting at the seams I was forced to do some soul searching, the prime driver being that whether I am qualified to support a movement against corruption. The answer sadly was a NO I am not Anna Hazare. How can I say something I really don’t believe in – Have I not paid a bribe ever ? I have. For some clicking a ‘like’ button is just something that makes them look good in the eyes of others but for me I will fall from grace in my own eyes if I did something like that.

But then I thought that perhaps I was being too hard on myself. I had paid a bribe but why did I do it. Am I a victim or a abettor of the crime. Well to set the record straight I have tried my best to avoid paying up wherever and whenever the system allowed me to but then there have been times when there was nothing I could do. I have to work to make the money to pay the government its ‘hafta’ and to keep myself afloat. I am not wired to quit my job and go around circling the of government offices living in a state of poverty. And who is it that I will be proving a point – to the 3 monkeys ?? Another consideration is that with no money the question of paying or not paying a bribe will itself wither away.

I have realized that for me paying a bribe has more to do with convenience than with morality or ethics. The concerns of my conscience are far larger than currency notes.

Going into the total recall mode I remembered how I used to keep a 50 Rs note handy so I can roll it as soon as a traffic cop approached asking me to go to the Police station with him or to take my driving license away only to be retrieved after appearing in front of the magistrate. But now with Bangalore Traffic cops having Blackberrys with printers I have graciously admitted my guilt each time I am on the wrong side of law, paid 100 bucks and happily walked away with a receipt. In fact I have some 5 of them with me as a symbol of a hidden pride in an efficient system that lets the citizens as well as the authorities do their duty with efficiency and honesty. To me the BBry traffic receipts are a symbol of a ‘free and fair’ India.

Let’s try and understand the concept and how things have changed for me. In the first instance when I was paying a bribe I justified that the penalty of wasting a day at the court and paying the fine as well was not commensurate with the offence of jumping a red light when it was almost orange. The law in this case was on the wrong side itself. But with the bbry I knew my sin, the penalty was just and I could absolve me and my soul by paying up and getting a receipt as a souvenir. And  what is at the heart of this – transparency and ease of operation that drives compliance with convenience.

I have been canvassing about the wonderful experience I had with the Bangalore passport office. I paid up extra for the ‘tatkal’  but I got a receipt and my passport was delivered within the 2 working days as promised. I spent half a day at the passport office where everything was well organized and all of us understood that the delay is only because of the numbers getting serviced. That was not too bad either as it just took me 2-3 hours for the whole process sitting in a clean and comfortable air conditioned environment.

However for certain other cases I will continue to pay bribes. I cannot change the law which says that I should pay the government a property tax which is 15 % + some other taxes of the rental income even when I am already paying a 30 % income tax on my rental income itself on a house that I bought after paying all my income tax..And why the hell should I pay the property tax anyways when there are no roads or water in lieu of the registration and stamp duty already paid. The funniest thing is that we pay exorbitant amount as BWSSB charges not to get a drop of municipal water ! The guy at the property tax office wants a cut for looking the other way and I will do what’s best for me. Don’t you think that the options are pretty straight forward for a sane mind ? The system created a monster and I am just dodging it and moving on…I can fight it when there is an equal chance of winning but would not sacrifice my life for nothing.

In the book Shantaram Bhai Abdul Khader says – I don’t see how much crime is in the sin but I see how much sin is in the crime. That’s my guiding light when it comes to paying bribes. End of the day I care about myself and my family and not the Congress and its corruption brigade which garbs itself as the government.

I sincerely request all of you who read this post to keep a hand on your heart and dig deeper into your soul before wearing a Gandhian cap or a fancy T shirt. The fact is that the power we give in the hands of those who are supposed to serve  will drive us again and again to the brink of Pay up or else ………