Sunday, January 17, 2010

Modern Art Feast ...Pakistan.

The Three Graces.Sophiya Khwaja.Immigration In An Envelope.

The Viewers' Joy!

The feast of modern art abstract  paintings by Sophiya Khwaja at the 'Peace Niche Art Gallery' on the T2 F (  shows the excellent expressionism adopted by the Pakistani painter. From painting to painting, from etching, gouache, collage, to mixed media, the artist uses very well defined, concepts and lines, cubes, coloured spaces, interjecting with pastels, nuetrals, to express the sentiments of "the social biengs, humans" in a strong and clear social comment. The male and female figures, falling, climbing, standing, looking and dancing come alive, almost as if on a live television screen. One is left with no choice but to interact and feel, be inside the subject's mind and  be totally 'affected'.
should this expression be used as a therapy into the soul, or a mere experience in the social milue it is describing I do not know, but the effect on the viewer is profound. figurative work by the artist is very delicate, well defined, outlined and the movement as if walking, climbing, jumping , falling and dancing is almost real and realtime. The artist makes you aware of the  urban, modern dwellers dilemma. It is almost as if one is experiencing the day to day mundanities and yet the excitement of modern urban living with it's taboos, dilemmas, 'Forced Gridlock' as the artist labels her exhibition. The relationships in between humans, individual and society, small communities or larger social groups , men and women is 'Expressioned" in a most charming way. I feel the artist is a great painter from Pakistan but 'Universal' and 'Global' in her  reach.
Gustav Klint, A modern Master par excellence.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Thought Process.. Faraz And Ali Wasif !

Faraz Writes :

Raateein Hain Udaas Din Karde Hain
Aye Dil tere Hausle Bare Hain!

Aye Yaade Habib Saath Dena
Kuch Marhale Sakht Aapare Hain !

Rukna Ho Agar Tau Sau Bahane
Janaa Ho Tau Raaste Bare Hain!

Ab Kaise Bataen Wajhe Girya
Jab Aap Bhi Saath Ro Pare Hain!

Ab Jane Kahan Naseeb Le Jaen
Ghar Se Tau Faraz Chal Pare Hain!


Oh, how does my heart endure
These sad nights' pain,
These tough days' toil?

Only the  passion of my beloved's love
Gives me the strength to face with fortitude
The tough and undesired decisions!

Stay and find a hundred reasons
Go away if you want
The door is open!

My laments have lost it's meaning
Whence we both weep together!

Let's see where our destiny takes us
Now that I have abandoned my home!

Sukoot- e  Sham-e Khizaan Hai Qareeb Aajao
Bara Udaas Samaa Hai Qareeb Aajao!

Na Tum Ko Khud Pe Bharosa Na Hum Ko Zome Wafa
Na Eitabare Jahan Hai Qareeb Aajao!

Rahe Talab Mein Kisee Ko Kisee Ka Dhiyan Naheen
Hujoome Hamsafaran Hai Qareeb Aajao!

Jo Dashte Ishq Mein Bichre Woh Umr Bhar Na Mile
Yahan Dhuan Hi Dhuan Hai Qareeb Aajao!

Yeh Aandhiyan Hain Tau Shehre Wafa Ki Khair Naheen
Zamaana Khaak fishan Hai Qareeb Aajao!

Faqeehe Shehr Ki Majlis Naheen Ke Door Raho
Yeh Bazme Pire Mughan Hai Qareeb Aajao!

Faraz Door Ke Suraj Ghuroob Samjhe Gaye
Yeh Daure Kam Nazaran Hai Qareeb Aajao!


The night is still, sad evening engulfs
Come near to me! For solace!

I do not pledge my love, neither you trust yourself
Nor do we trust this world,
Come near to me! For trust!

In this worldy selfishness no one cares for nobody
Every one is but a fellow traveller,
 Come near to me! for companionship!

All the beloveds lost in love's way
Never found!
All is but a lost memory, hazy
Come near to me! In memories!

My  lovable, loving city is not immune to disaster
Till such time that this destructive wind blows
These spread only dust!
Come near to me! For comfort!

This is not a place for the sermon giver
Come near to me,
This is but a lamenter's abode!

O, these times are but of darkness eternal
All the  Sun's of knowledge set!
Come near to me ! For sight!

Syed Ali  Wasif presented some pensive paintings in his 'Pakistanis are not terrorists ' Series.When I see his paintings I thought of these poems of Faraz.
Self Portrait.
An aged face of a woman.
Meherzaidi, translator.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ahmed Faraz....Rahnawarde Shauq!

Ahmed Faraz, a poet par excellence!

On this birth anniversary of the great contemporary poet of Pakistan,  my eyes are tearful. He was so popular amongst women and especially the expat community of Pakistanis in the Middle East and Gulf states. My first memory of Faraz is from his well sung ghazal " Ranjish hi sahee, Dil he dukhane ke liye aa"!, so beautifully and originally sung by Habib Wali Muhammad. His many ghazals became popular after bieng sung by the good artists at the time. His poetry is simple with a style that is both modern, contemporary yet gives the finesse and taste of mastery in  Urdu poetry like Ghalib and Shauq. People started loving his style which was full of romance, a hidden, desirable sexuality representing the unfulfilled, quiet love of lovers in the East.  This newer expression which became so popular with the educated generation, especially the Pakistani expats was what was noticed by the television and art promoters in Pakistan and abroad. As art also thrives by patonage, the "Mushairas" or poetry sittings started featuring the great poet more and more. Then Faraz is also such an expressive and prolific writer. He is also "Doston Ka Dost", so loving and sincere! This "Waalehana" (unbridled) expression of love and sincerity is reflected, eloquently in his poetry.His poetry is lyrical, so sungable! May we enjoy and honor all our great poets.

Says he;
Zakhm Ko Phool Sar Sar Ko Saba Kehte Hain
Jaane Kiya Daur Hai Kiya, Kiya Log Hain Kiya Kehte Hain!

Kiya Qiyamat Hai Ke Jin Ke Liye Ruk Ruk Ke Chale
Ab Wohi Log Hamen Aabla Pa Kehte Hain!

Koi Batlao Ke Ek Umr Ka Bichra Mehboob
Ittefaqan Kaheen Miljaye To Kiya Kehte Hain!

Yeh Bhi Andaze Sukhan Hai Ke Jafa Ko Teri
Ghamza Wa Ishwa Wa Andaaz Wa Ada Kehte Hain!

Jab Talak Dur Hai To Teri Parastish Karlen
Ham Jise Choo Na Saken Us Ko Khuda Kehte Hain!

Kiya Ta'ajub Hai Ke Hum Ahle Tammana Ko Faraz
Woh Jo Mehrum -E Tamanna Hain Bura Kehte Hain!

Translation :

Ah, Lament those who call my wounds in the path of love, a wound!
Oh, these crazy times, these strange people! Know they not!

I feel devastated,
Tehe same companions for whom I paced slowly, caringly treaded
The path of love!
Those same beloved companions call me disabled, wasted!

Oh, tell me, please tell me
What do I say when my most beloved  sees me after I had lost all hope of
Meeting him ever!

Oh, How do I describe thine beautiful heart reaching style,
Like a look of the eye,  Curve of your sweet mouth, style of the way you turn your head away
 From  mine  , O beloved!

Let me worship thee in all abandon,
Till such time I cannot touch,
Lest I touch and' No longer you are divine, untouchable,
Like  a god!

Well, Why are you surprised O Faraz ?
Whence  the unfulfilled in desire and the way of love call you a lover!

Yeh Aalam Shauq Ka Dekha Na Jaye
Woh But Hai Ya Khuda
Dekha Na Jaye!

Yeh Kin Nazron Se Toone Aaj Dekha?
Keh Tera Dekhna, Dekha Na Jaye!

Hamesha Ke Liye Mujh Se Bichar Ja,
Yeh Manzar Barha Dekha Na Jaye!

Ghalat Hai Jo Suna Par Aazma Kar
Tujhe Ai Be Wafa Dekha Na Jaye!

Yeh Mehrumi Naheen Paas-E Wafa Hai
Koyee Tere siwa Dekha Na Jai!

Yehi To Aashna Bante Hain Aakhir
Koi Na Aashna Dekha Na Jaye!

Faraz Apne Siwa Hai Kaun Tera
Tujhe Tujh Se Juda Dekha Na Jaye!


Oh the intensity of passion,
My eyes cannot bear to look
At your celestial bieng!
Nor my heart  touch thine divine beauty!
But in a dream!

O, my beloved how do you see towards me
I cannot bear the intensity of thine eyes!

Please, please leave my heart forever
 I cannot but bear your parting once!

I cannot believe the false tales they spread
I cannot test you and find you unfaithful!

I am but eternally faithful to you
This is, my unbound, faithful love!

O my beloved is eternally jealous
If I find any new glance!

O Faraz ,
Who is your best friend but yourself!

Meherzaidi, translator.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mosques Of Punjab...Sequel To Mosques Of Lahore.

Maryam Zamani Masjid (Lahore).

This is also known as Masjid Begum Shahi. This was built in the year 1023 A.H. by emperor Jehangir for his mother maryam Zamani , who was the daughter of Raja Behari Mal and was married to emperor Akbar (Aieen-e Akbari).
It is located close to the eastern gate of the Lahore Fort, opposite the Eastern Wall. This gate was originally known as Masiti gate,meaning masjid gate, but is now falsely known as Masti gate.
This mosque has three domes. The central dome is the larger one. There are heavy arches which represent the Pathan architectural style.
It's gateways, the balconies and the flanking rooms are built in the Mughal architectural style.
' Built in bare brick using mortar, the building carries five double domes, the central one bieng supported by a 2.75m high neck. all the four corners of the building have square burj surmounted by cupolas, in place of usual minarets. They rise  to the height of about 4.5 m, though lower than the pinnacle of the central dome."
 the mosque is built in the square style of the Jami masjid.there is a  rectangular  courtyard, with a central ablution tank.
There were three entrances to the mosque, two of which have been blocked to provide room accomodation.
The interior.
The third gate  is on the eastern side and is still open to provide entrance.

The mosque   was converted by Ranjit Singh into a gun powder factory but was restored to a mosque  by muslims in 1850. It is also, therefore known as  a Barud Khana Wali  Masjid.
The work of fine filigree on Dome .

The magnificient domes.
(Reference; Historic Mosques Of Lahore; Ihsan H. Nadiem, Google Images).