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Monthly Archives: April 2011

LET THERE BE LIGHT

 

GREAT MOMENTS IN LIFE

 

 

 

A friend of my friend says

 

 

 

It is quite cold and I am carrying a lump packet of hukka tobacco weighing 2 kg. I am going down in the countryside to a local shop to deliver it, collect money which was 1 rupee, get back to the shop in the main bazar where I was working as a chhota and hand over the money. On the way I notice a group of children playing in a clearing in the dim light of the fast fading day. I linger there for a while watching them play even though the packet is heavy for my little hands and needs to be got rid off as quickly as possible.I hardly ever have time to play. I also notice a man carrying a ladder on his shoulder with a tin can of kerosine in his hand. Every hundred yards or so, he will find a local council lantern fixed on a pole or to a wall. He will climb to it, open the glass pane of the lantern, replenish the lamp with a measured quantity of kerosine, light it, close the pane and climb down and walk to the next lamp. I pass him and then allow him to pass me so that I can watch him do his duty again. By the time I will return it is dark and I find my way in the dim light of these lamps. The pot holes and the boulders would be highlighted with their dim illumination and soft shadows. The narrow open drains (naalees) will have turned in to winding luminous lines.

The council had provided for the lighting of these lamps, but there was no arangement for turning them off. The amount of the kerosine poured in each lamp was calculated to last about three hours, after which it will go off autometically due to lack of fuel. After which time the lanes will plunge into total darkness. Every body was indoors by then and only the thieves and homeless dogs will rule the streets.The council had no intention to light the streets for such.

For this and similar odd jobs, done after school, I was paid a pittance of 2 paisas normally, an anna occasionally (like Sundays) and 4-6 annas on special days like Deewali when the business was brisk.

The year is 1957-8-9 and I was 11-12.

One day I was minding the shop alone.The owner would roultinely leave it all to me for the most hot 3-4 hours of the day in summer, went home for lunch, rested and reappeared on the shop in the cool of the evening. An old man with a long beard asked for something for which I had to go inside the shop. As I returned in the front of the shop I noticed he had already succeded in collecting a handful of hukka tobacco and was on his way. I caught him quickly within yards and got him to release the stolen tobacco back in to my little hands, to which he complied and did not resist. I related this incidence to the owner and he praised me.

BUT, now I think I shouild have let the old man go with it, because I now know what it means when you have the urge and you have no money. But how would I know then?

The owner was kind to me and never scolded me and always considered me as a little brother. The only loss I caused him ever was 8 annas and even then he just kept quite and remained stern for the evening. What happened was that one of his friends sent him a letter without stamps. The dakiya (postman) came to me when I was alone, in the afternoon.He said that the letter was “bairang” and I must pay him 8 annas as a pelnalty. I paid. I should have told him to deliver the letter when the owner was around. The letter it turned out contained a cartoon (April fool). His friend came in the evening and taunted him that he made him a fool. He was foolish not to realise that he played on my gullibilirty. To this day I have not forgiven him.

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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in LIFE'S GREAT MOMENTS

 

HANIF SHAHJAHANPURI

 

 MOHAMMAD HANIF SHAHJAHANPURI

 Mohammad Hanif Shahjahan puri was born in Shahjahan pur in the Nineteen twenties or thirties. He is my Mamoun. He left for Pakistan in 1950 or so and is now located in Naushera, Pakistan. This picture of his he sent me in the seventies when I was in Tanzania.

Below I have the honour to present some of his kalaam from his Majmuae Kalam “Gham-e-NeelgooN”

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Mohammad Hanif Shahjahanpuri

 

PAAK SAR ZAMEEN SHAAD BAAD

Pakistan’s National Anthem was written by Hafeez Jalandhari,

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This is the story of National Anthem of Pakistan in his own words. (Taken from “Naqoosh, Lahore, 1969”)

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2011 in adab and literature

 

Bhar gaya ji Hanif Ji Ji kar

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 15, 2011 in Mohammad Hanif Shahjahanpuri

 

KAJ ADAAYI

            

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2011 in Urdu Poetry

 

YESHAM NA VIDYA NA TAPO

This Sanskrit Shlok ( quartet?) has been on my mind since at least 1958, when I was taught Sanskrit in 8th class by respected Pdt. Mukta Prasad in A.Z. Khan Junior High School, Jalal Nagar, Shahjahan Pur, U.P. India. It is about people who are devoid of education…

येषां न विद्द्या न तपो न दानं 
ज्ञानं न शीलं न गुडों न धर्मः 
ते मर्त् लोके भुवि भार् भूतः 
मनुष्य रूपेड् म्र्ग्याश चरन्ति 

YESHAAM NA VIDYA NA TAPO NA DANAM

GYANAM NA SHEELAM NA GUNDON NA DHARMAH

TEY MART LOKEY BHUVI BHAAR BOOTAH

MANUSHYA ROOPEND MRGYASH CHARANTI

It will probably translate to this

” Those who do not have education, nor have experience, nor have a giving heart,

Lack knowledge, have no patience, do not have any qualities nor have religion,

Such people, in this mortal world, are but a burden on Earth

They are like animals (antelop) grazing in the form of Humans.”

Please if you know Sanskrit better than me and find any mistake in my above translation, forgive me and correct me please. 

We will do well if only we could try our best to avoid being a mere burden on the face of Earth.

 

 

 

 
21 Comments

Posted by on April 13, 2011 in adab and literature

 

Qateel Shifayee ki ek ghazal

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Urdu Poetry