Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Historic Mosques Of Lahore

Historic Mosques Of Lahore,A must have book by Ihsan Nadiem.
(Sange Meel Publications 25, Shahrahe Pakistan (lower) Mall, Lahore, Pakistan.)

This book gives a beautiful introduction in detail, about some of the most reknowned mosques in Pakistan especially the Punjab area. The architectural beauty of mosques is a treasure of Muslim culture. In the subcontinent, South Asia, there are several mosques which show the architectural, art and motif detail of the periods of Muslim rule as most of the mosques were built by the rulers and rich persons of their era.

Punjab occupies a central place both in geographical terms and also in terms of the contribution to culture of the subcontinent.The book gives an insight into the makings of these beautiful mosques and takes the reader into a journey where actually he or she may feel the urge to see these magnificient structures themselves. The mosques of Punjab are present in areas in Pakistan which themselves have a magnificiently rich culture of their periods, like Bahawalpur, Peshawar, Lahore, Multan.
Mr. Nadiem writes in his preface ‘A mosque being the most favorite architectural expression with the Muslims, has frequented the face of the earth more than any other one type of structures.Lahore, since it’s first encounter with the faith,did not lag behind any other place.’ He further tells that as such records were not available, he took the task of compiling this record by the suggestion of his friend Chaudry Niaz Ahmed. This was encouraged by the endeavor under ‘Heritage Of Pakistan’ by titles such as ‘Moenjo Daro: Heritage Of Mankind’ , 'Rohtas:Formidable Fort Of Sher Shah’, and ‘Lahore: A Glorius Heritage’,being both approved by the scholars and the enthusiast readers alike. (196-Karim Block, Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore, Pakistan).
In the chapter ,Historic Mosques Of Pakistan : An Overview, he goes to explain how the early mosques are available as few excavated sites.For example he writes about ‘Deybal’ a place where the young general Mohammad Bin Qasim first arrived in subcontinent, a mound gives indication when excavated of the first mosque in Bhambore, near Karachi.
The other is Mansurah Jami Masjid which was excavated , and gives an indication of it being built in the early period as on the plan of the Damascus Mosque of the early Ummayad period. He further writes that the next two or three centuries did not witness any activity of mosque building. When Ghaznavi entered through the northern regions, also no evidence of mosques is found. Only in Swat , as a result of Italian excavations, a mosque structure proves their presence in first half of 11 th century.There is  a representative picture also showing this mosque.
In early mosques he writes about the dynastic rule of Ghiasuddin Tughlaq during which(1320) a new kind of architecture is seen.He lists the mosque built on the precincts of Mausoleum of Sheikh Alauddin, as one  such structure.Another mosque , that built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in Okara is representative of the same architecture.He then lists information about the mosques built in connection to sufi saints like Jalaluddin Surkh Bukhari, Safiuddin Gazruni, Jahaniyan Jahangasht, Rajan Qattal.He describes the beautiful mosques of Thatta such as Dabgran Mosque and Shahjahani Mosque.
Beautiful pictures are present throughout the book for the viewer to enjoy.

The next chapter is entitled ‘Mosques of Lahore’.Here he gives a beautiful description of the many mosques. He writes ‘ Lahore came under  the regular rule of Muslims with the conquest by Mehmood of Ghazna in 1025. It is recorded that after his conquest of Qannauj on return, he built a mosque and a tower in Lahore fort, to commemorate his success.’ Khishti (brick –built) Masjidin Arab Mohalla was one such structure.
The Data Darbar is a complex of the tomb and mosque structure built in early Ghaznavid period.The new mosque structure is not on the old mosque basis which is much smaller.

The Badshahi mosque, Marium Zamani Mosque,Nawab Wazir Khan Mosque are some magnificient structures still giving th visitor a glimpse into the glorious architectural past.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Badan Dareeda By Fehmida Riaz..On request!

Meherzaidi ...The Translation.
  Sasarane Do Zara Raat Ke is resham ko
Is mein malfoof  kisee ehd ki ek laash bhi hay

Raat jo jurm bhi hai jurm ki padaash bhi hai
Raat paani ki tarha sar se mere behtee hai
Mere ballon se tapaktee hui boondayn jesay
Mere shanoon se dhalaktee hui girtee jaeen
Band honey lagaeen aankhey woh nasha taree hai.

Haan dehan mein hai mere zaeqa un boson ka
Jin  ko chakhne se bhi inkaar kiya tha dil ne
Meree rag rag mein woh sayyal rawan hai abtak
Jis say bach jane pe israr kiya tha dil ne

Mere atraf patango ki tarha urtai hain
Mere bose woh mere jhoot se bojhal bose
Khoon ki cheentayn urraate huay ghayal bose
Kab ki woh kash makashe zehn o zabaan khatam hui
Ek tarap baaqi thee so dushmane jaan khatam hui
Ab to woh meri thakawat bhi mujhe chor chuki
Ek siyah lehr bahaye liye jaati hai mujhe
Khoon rawani Se badan chor raha ho jaisey
Neend hai, maut hai ya yeh koi be hoshi hai
Ab to har saans dam baaz paseen  lagti hai


Let me feel the night's silky ambience!
Engulfed in it is the period of my death!

This night ,oh this night!
That is my crime and how it punishes me!
This night which slips away like water from my head, fleeting, only fleeting!
Like drops of water falling from my tresses,
thence to my shoulders falling ,thence down!
My eyes are closing in stupor!

I can feel the agony of the kisses in my mouth
Those kisses whose taste my heart refused!
My entire body feels the flowing lava till now
The touch of whom, my heart had forbidden.

Oh how they fly like moths all around me!
My kisses, my false kisses!
Blood soaked, lying, pretending!
The eternal fight between the mind and the tongue finishes!
The flicker of light extinguishes!
The tiring weight of existence, leaves me.
A dark, dark wave takes me away!
Just like the blood of life leaves me surely, quickly, steadfastly.
Is this eternal slumber?
Is this death?
Is this stupor?
Oh How every breath that I take appears the last breath!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fehmida Riaz, The True Godess Of Undauntable Spirit And Everlasting Truth!

The quest for truth is the eternal search for all living souls. There are billions of us humans who just pass through life in a daze. We neither think  nor look for answers and life just passes by quickly uneventfully. Such people are ordinary, nameless, face less in the vast sea of humanity. Then there are a few, who are alive , thinking, questioning. These people struggle, sacrifice, stand up to fight for the underdog, the supressed , the 'mazloom'.Such are the great souls that stand tall above all .
Fehmida Riaz  is one such great , fighter and tall "devi' in poetry and spirit. She stood up for the supressed, poets in Sindh and all of Pakistan. She fought the injustices, she spoke the truth, under the sword. She was supposedly punished. But was this punishment or a slap on the faces of those who were the tyrants, the evaders of truth, the hiders of truth, the 'mujrims'?
Her eternal quest for truth, her thirst for the right way to the truth led her restless and bold self to face endless challenges. She stands tall both in the literary world in her work and also in the quest of truth and human rights in Pakistan. The verse by another poet ,
 'Mein Kis Ke Haath Pe Apna Lahoo Talaash Karoon,
Tamam Shehr Ne Pehne Huwe Hain Dastane.',

 so aptly represents her feelings as she rightly questions the state of affairs in the current political context. In  a festival ' Shanaakht ' in Karachi , a person was glorifying the association with a violent group proudly in Afghanistan in the past. She could have just listened and not questioned as she was invited to speak in another discussion. But the agony of the untruth tormented her honest soul so much that she seemed pained and mentioned this seemingly negligible behaviour in the forum she was to read from her favorite author. I was so impressed by the honesty of her feelings. She is a rare breed an asset for Pakistan.
Translation of verse mentioned ; On whose soiled hands do I find the stains of blood, my death? Alas the whole city is in collusion, gloved!

"Rijm" (stonong to death), (from her collection, Badan Dareeda);

Pagal Tan Mein Kyun Basti Hai
Yeh Wahshi Tareek Aarzoo
Buhat Qadeem Udaas Aarzoo
Taareeke Mein Chup Jaane Ke
 Ek Lamhe Ko
Ek Lamhe Ko
Rabbe Qahar Yeh Kiya Mojeza Hai
Tera Khalq Kiya Hua Adam
Lazzat e Sang Ka Kyun Khuwahan Hai
Us Ke Sehar Zada Cheekhon Mein
Yeh Kis Barzakh Ka Naghma Hai
Kya Thi Badan Ke Zakhm Ki Lazzat
Betaabi Se Yun Raqsaan Hai
Har Bune Mun Se Surkh Wa Siyah Lahoo Ka Darya Ubal Para Hai!

Translation By Meherzaidi:

Oh how this dark lust, this agitation resides
In my crazy soul,
Ancient,Sad, Desire!
To hide away in the darkness,
Only for a moment, temporary,passing,
Oh, punishing, nurturing God,
Is this a miracle,
This adam, your creation?
Why Does the stoning
Gives him satisfaction, sadistic!
Her screams are a song
Of another world in his ears.
Oh, how a fleeting pleasure of the flesh
Is dancing in the agony of punishment,
While Black And Red blood Flows Through all the pores of her body
Once filled With Pleasure!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Scream, I Say! Are You Listening?

Is your hearing impaired? Damaged? Are you listening? Ah , yes I am an ordinary worker, toiling in your kitchen, washing your dirty dishes, after you have gluttoned away incessantly the whole day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner! Washed your fat, pudgy fingers,  cleaning on a dry towel.Burping out of your ugly mouth. I am still hungry, of two kind words, a small kind glance from you. But then you are so blind and deaf! Are you listening to the screams of the people around you. Still seekling some redressal of the wrongs done unto them. Are you hearing anything bieng said by the people who need justice? But how can you! You are so engrossed in your unfulfilled, utterly useless quest for satisfaction, superficial and shallow!
Life for me is so dark, and and bleak! no future, no way!
I stand alone on a cliff, barely and blindly clutching to the weak twig, lest I fall !
What if I fall, and fall I will. No hope, no future.
That is how I will end screaming, and you will not hear, you deaf people!