Author Archives: shakilakhtar

About shakilakhtar

I am a simple person eager to follow wise people and hope to learn from them. A retired teacher, I wish to share with every one the experience gained over the years. Love reading , gardening and travelling.


The other day I was watching a documentary of BBC on History of Africa and they started with Morocco. Mentioned that the men there wear blue robes so much so their bodies are blue as they do not wear any thing else under. They cover faces and head except eyes with a blue scarf not to hide faces from strangers’ eyes as the women do, but to keep sand and sun and heat away. It is not hijab as such. They manufacture these robes from fabric that is obtained from a tree called ‘nila’ found in sub Sahara regions.
I was amazed to learn that. We in north India have the word nila for blue! (And dear Kanha is also called ‘neelkanth?) because He drank poison? and poison is blue (like nila thotha (chemically copper sulphate) is a poison and is blue. In school, when glue was not so freely available and we were taught book binding in technical class. We were boiling some white flour (maida) till it becomes sticky. mixed a little thotha for the sake of book worms dying if ever they try to eat our bound books!!!!!!.
Also in north India we used to mix a little neel (blue powder) with some maidah in water and soak in it pre washed white cotton clothes. It gave a fine very subtle blue glow that enhanced whiteness and the starch (kalaf) when dried would give a stiffness texture to the garment. 
Image result for blue robes of morocco
It will be wrong to say all Arabs wear blue robes called abaya. I have never been to Morocco and so have not seen these blue robes, but in Saudi Arabia and in the UAE, 99% men wear stark gleaming white abayas and red checkered head scarf with a black ring on the head; yes when in the desert they cover the faces and head except eyes like any desert dweller.
Image result for dubai men clothing
 Omani men wear unique abaya  generally light coloured but always a unique cap or head gear and a pair of sandals.
Image result for omani mens clothing
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Uncategorized




Chaahat mein kya duniya daari, ishq mein kaisi majboori
Logon ka kyaa samjhane do, un ki apni majboori

Main ne dil ki baat rakhi aur too ne duniya walon ki
Meri araz bhi majboori thi, Unka hukm bhi majboori

Rok sako to pehali baarish ki boondo ko tum roko
Kachhi mitti to mehake gi, hai mitti ki majboori

Jab tak hansta gaata maosam apna hai, sab apne hain
Waqt pade to yaad aa jaati hai musnooi majboori

Ek aawara baadal se kyon main ne saaya manga tha

Meri bhi yeh majboori thi, uski bhi thi majboori

Muddat guzari ek waade par, aaj bhi qaayam hain Mohsin
Humne saari umra nibhaai, apni pehali majboori


Love is above worldly norms, there are no excuses in true love

Let people make arguments, the heart cannot but do what it has to do, love.


I put fore ward the case of my heart and you were worried what the people would say

I had no choice in my love and so did the people have no choice but to talk.


Stop if you can the drops of the first rain

The bare earth is bound to, as it must, give out its unique odder.


Everyone is happily around me as long as the clime is good

When bad times arrive, everyone remembers silly excuses.


Why did I ever ask for some shade from a free floating cloud

I had no choice as it were and so he too had no choice.


So much time has gone, I am still true to the promise I made, O Mohsin

I am happy to admit I stuck to my first ever love all my life.


Posted by on August 3, 2017 in adab and literature, Urdu Poetry, videos


ham ahl e dil

Poet Unknown

hum ahl e dil,

hum ahl e khasta dil;

tere kooche mei guzaar denge

fikr apni,

umr apni..

tum rok nahi paogay

iss junoo ki taaseerien

hum tod denge

ridaa apni,

anaa apni..  ,,,

hum ahl e dil

hum ahl e khasta dil..

ye meri mohabbat,

ye mera ishq;

ye mere khwabon ki taaberien jo hain,

ye kehkashaan mein oad’he

saadhe tere ikraam hi tou hain..

mehavv hai tere naam mein jaanii

baat apni

zaat apni..

hum ahl e dil

hum ahl e khasta dil..

teri yaad hai aatash e dozakh ……

aur hai baad e saba bhi shayad ….

mein likh na dun afsaanon mei kahin, ..

wafaa apni

sadaa apni..

jafaa apni

nidaa apni.. ..

hum ahl e dil

hum ahl e khasta dil; …

tere kooche mei guzaar denge

fikr apni

umr apni..




—–we the people of the wounded soul

will spend in your realm our thoughts, our life


you can’t prevent the effects flowing from our love, our passion

we will smash our honour, our pride

we the people of the wounded soul


My love,

my passion,

and my dreams that have materialised,

all these are nothing but stars representing my reverence of you,   

O my love, the very name of you embodies in it

my show, my story

we the people of wounded soul


remembering you is like hell fire,

but also perhaps a cool breeze


.. Might as well I write in a fiction story

..our faithfulness, our pleas, your unfaithfulness, your whines


we the people of wounded soul

will spend in your realm our thoughts and entire life

Note: Suggestions for improvement of my translation will be most welcome.


jo thak ke baith jaata ho manzil ke saamne

With thanks to


Hasrat ye us musafir-e-bekas ko roiye
jo thak ke baith jaata ho manzil ke saamne
- Sheikh Ghulam Hamdani Mas’hafi

Hasrat ye us musafir-e-bekas ko roiye

Hasrat ye us musafir-e-bekas ko roiye
jo thak ke baith jaata ho manzil ke saamne
– Sheikh Ghulam Hamdani Mas’hafi

हसरत ये उस मुसाफिर ए- बेक़स को रोइये
जो थक के बैठ जाता हो मंज़िल के सामने
– शेख़ ग़ुलाम हमदानी मुस हाफी

حسرت یہ اس مسافرِ بیکس کو روئیے
جو تھک کے بیٹھ جاتا ہو منزل کے سامنے
– شیخ غلام ہمدانی مصحافی

Meaning of:

Hasrat, हसरत, حسرت: इच्छा, Desire
Musafir-e-Bekas , मुसाफ़िर-ए-बेक़स, مسافرِ بیکس: मजबूर यात्री, Helpless traveller

Hasrat ye us musafir-e-bekas ko roiye
jo thak ke baith jaata ho manzil ke saamne
– Sheikh Ghulam Hamdani Mas’hafi

(I) Desire that you spare your tears for the plight of that helpless traveler
Who tired by the travels sits by the road at the sight of his destination.

Shaikh Ghulam Hamdani (1750-1824) is considered to be one of the masters of classical Urdu ghazal. He was born in Akbarpur in Amroha district in the year 1750. He studied in Delhi where he began his poetry but later on migrated to Lucknow in 1783 having gained the patronage of Mirza Sulaiman Shikoh. He died in Lucknow. Before his time Urdu was known as Hindu, Hindoi, Dakni or Rekhta, Mashafi was the first person to simply call this language Urdu. He migrated to Lucknow during the reign of Asaf-ud-Daula; he was a prolific writer whose ghazals are full of pathos. Source: Wikipedia


Posted by on June 9, 2017 in Uncategorized



with thanks to “All Things Pakistani”

Dr. Rauf Parekh

Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi, one of the most celebrated humorists of the Urdu language, said in an interview early in his literary career that he had decided to quit writing humour. Reason? He thought it was useless to write humour if one could not write it the way Shafeeq-ur-Rahman did. (Though, luckily enough, Yousufi Sahib later decided that he could write humour the way he himself did.)

Such was the influence of Shafeeq-ur-Rahman, a humorist who ruled the world of Urdu humour for about 60 years, and is still doing so.

Shafeeq-ur-Rahman began writing and established himself in the pre-independence era like his contemporaries, such as Ibrahim Jalees, K.L. Kapoor, Krishan Chandr, Shaukat Thanvi and Rasheed Ahmed Siddiqi.

His first book ‘Kirnen’ (1942) was a collection of quasi-romantic and quasi-humorous short stories. His early stories did not show any signs of a great humorist. But in his second book, ‘Shagoofe’ (1943), romanticism gave way to humour and it was his later books, ‘Lehren’ (1944) and ‘Parwaz’ (1945), which established him as a pure humorist. ‘Himaqaten’ (1947) and ‘Mazeed Himaqaten’ (1948) earned him more accolades but the flow of his books shrank to a trickle of articles and then for almost 25 years he wrote nothing.

Zameer Jafri, in one of his columns titled ‘Kuchh na likhne ki silver jubilee’, ‘commemorated’ in his peculiar style Shafeeq’s literary hibernation.

Some believe that for writers it is a must to keep on writing or run the risk of being forgotten and that the adage ‘publish or perish’ is not true of publishers alone, but of writers as well. (In my personal opinion, most of the writers of our times ‘publish and perish’.)

Strangely enough, despite having not written for such a long time, Shafeeq-ur-Rahman did not fade out and new editions of his books were published every few years. The copies of his books that I preserve like a treasure were published mostly in the early 1970s.

So, what are the factors that have kept him very much ‘in’ for such a long time? First, his humour has such a vigour and freshness that it has not wilted even today. Some of his essays in his early books are timeless. His wit and repartee put him way ahead of some of his contemporaries who, for example Shaukat Thanvi, depended more on playfulness or situational comedy.

Azeem Baig Chughtai (though hardly his contemporary, as he died in 1941), like Shaukat Thanvi, relished pranks and his humour consists largely of cheery boisterousness.

Though Shafeeq Sahib’s humour is not shy of practical jokes, he uses it sparingly and his playfulness stops just in time to save the humour from becoming tragedy, which sometimes is the case with Chughtai. Secondly, Shafeeq is the master of parody.

Hardly any humorist in Urdu can match his satire and bubbling wit when it comes to parodies. His five parodies — ‘Qissa-i-chahaar dervesh’, ‘Qissa-i-Hatim Tai bai tasweer’, ‘Qissa Professor Ali Baba ka’, ‘Tuzk-i-Nadri urf Siyahat nama-i-Hind’ and ‘Safar nama Jahazbad Sindhi ka’ — are fine satires on our history and culture.

For instance, in his ‘Tuzk-i-Nadri’, probably the most successful of all parodies in Urdu, he not only mocks the kings and their ‘tuzks’ (memoirs), but our political system is also his target when he writes (in the words of Nadir Shah) that:

‘In those days Delhi was in the grip of election fever. Ulloo Shanaas submitted that I had become so popular in Delhi that I could win election from any constituency, no matter on whose ticket I contest it…Out of my seven opponents, two withdrew when they were presented with large amounts of cash, the third was coerced into withdrawal, the fourth had to be made an ambassador to a country, two turned out to be a bit too obstinate and one of them had to be beaten black and blue and the other died in mysterious circumstances. When polling began, the entire population of the city was invited for a feast and presented with money and valuables. And if there happened to be any impudent voter who did not admit to my popularity, he was made to accept it with the help of a stick.’ (Mazeed himaqaten, p37).

Another factor that contributed a lot to Shafeeq Sahib’s public acclaim was his popularity among the adolescent. The main character in most of his humorous short stories is a young and witty college boy who is fond of cricket and movies.

Also, Shafeeq often portrays infatuations. This gives the youth a vicarious feeling. And his characters appear kind of flirtatious, too. His most famous character, Rufi alias Shaitaan, once quips:

‘Sonny! Don’t be sulky if you miss a bus or a girl, another one will be just round the corner.’ (Himaqaten, p121).

Then he often philosophises about joys and sorrows, sweeping the young readers with the bouts of optimism and pessimism, giving semi-philosophical, semi-romantic explanations to the queries that haunt the youth.

In addition, his many essays are nothing but a collection of jokes and the essay itself is only the thread that binds them together. His characters, novel and funny, such as Rufi or Shaitaan, Maqsood Ghora, Hukoomat Aapa and Buddy, make reading joyful.

All this put together is enough to hook young readers. I don’t know exactly which way the wind is blowing these days, but in my late teens and early twenties, I had read each and every book by Shafeeq-ur-Rahman many times over.

Shafeeq-ur-Rahman was born on Nov 9, 1920, in a small town near Rohtak. He was educated at Bahawalpur, as described by Muhammad Khalid Akhter, Shafeeq’s classmate at Sadiq Dean High School and a humorist in his own right.

Shafeeq-ur-Rahman did his MBBS in 1942 from Lahore’s King Edward Medical College. Having joined the Indian Medical Service as a lieutenant, Shafeeq-ur-Rahman was posted, according to Khalid Akhter, at different war fronts during the Second World War.

He then joined Edinburgh University and London University to further his education. It certainly broadened his perspective. But both Shafeeq-ur-Rahman and Khalid Akhter were already immersed in English literature and it had definitely influenced their writings.

On Shafeeq’s style one can trace the influence of western humorists such as Stephen Leacock and Mark Twain, but he is among those writers of Urdu who are well-grounded in their own literature and culture and have a peculiar style of their own.

After independence, Shafeeq-ur-Rahman held high positions in the Pakistan Army and Navy and in December 1980 was made chairman of the Pakistan Academy of Letters, a post he held till December 1986. His other books include ‘Madd-o-jazar’ (1946), ‘Pachhtawe’ (1948), ‘Dajla’ (1980) and ‘Dareeche’ (1989).

The irreplaceable and inimitable Shafeeq-ur-Rahman died in Rawalpindi on March 19, 2000.

Note: This article also appeared in the Daily Dawn of Tuesday, 24 Mar, 2009. Posted here with author’s permission.

Chronology of Shafiq-ur-Rehman’s Books:

1. kirnen, 1942
2. shagoofay, 1943
3. lehren, 1944
4. parwaaz, 1945
5. madd-o-jazar, 1946
6. hamaqaten, 1947
7. mazeed hamaqaten, 1948
8. pachtaawe, 1948
9. dajla, 1980
10. dareeche, 1989
11. insaani tamasha

ATP’s Other Post on Shafiq-ur-Rehman: billi – an excerpt from lehreN.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 7, 2017 in Uncategorized




ओ रे बिधाता बिनती करूं, तोहे पयियां परूँ बारम बार
अगले जनम मोहे बिटिया न कीजो, चाहे नरक दीजो डार


 O re bidhaata binti karuN, tohe payiya paRuN baaram baar
agle janam mohe bitiya na kijo, chaahe narak dijo daar.
O my Lord, listen to my prayer, I am reaching to your feet many times,
Come next birth, do not make me a girl,better you might throw me to hell.
This couplet is known to me (I might have missed some words here or there) since I do not know when.
I found the following beautiful song from the film Umrao Jan. my readers might like it

हमरे सजनवा हमरा दिल अइसा तोरिन

ऊ घर बसाईन हम का रस्ता मा छोड़िन

जइसे कि लल्ला कोई खिलौना जो पावे

दुई चार दिन तो खेले फिर भूल जावे

लोभी न पावे अइसी गुड़िया न कीजो

अगले जनम मोहे बिटिया न कीजो

अगले जनम मोहे बिटिया न कीजो

जो अब किये हो दाता अइसा न कीजो

अगले जनम मोहे बिटिया न कीजो

अइसी बिदाई बोलो देखी कहीं है

मइया न बाबुल भईया कौनो नहीं है

आंसू के गहने हैं और दुःख की है डोली

बंद किवड़िया मेरे घर की यह बोली

इस ओर सपनों में भी आया न कीजो

इस ओर सपनों में भी आया न कीजो

अगले जनम मोहे बिटिया न कीजो

जो अब किये हो दाता अइसा न कीजो

अगले जनम मोहे बिटिया न कीजो

अगले जनम मोहे बिटिया न कीजो


hamre sajanwa hamra dil ayisa torin

Oo ghar basaayin ham ka rasta ma chhorin

Jayise ki lalla koi khilaona jo pawe

Dui chaar din to khele phir bhool jawe.

Lobhi na pawe aisi guRiya na kijo

Agle janam mohe bitiya na kijo

Jo ab kiye ho Daata ayisa na kiho

Agle janam mohe bitiya na kijo

Ayisi bidaayi bolo dekhi kahiN hai

mayiya na babul bhayiya kaunu nahin hai

Aansu ke gahne hain dukh ki hai doli

Band kiwaRiya mere ghar ki yeh boli

Is Or sapnoN mein bhi na aaya kijo

Is Or sapnoN mein bhi na aaya kijo

Agle janam mohe bitiya na kijo

Jo ab kiye ho Daata ayisa na kiho

Agle janam mohe bitiya na kijo


My lover broke my heart

he took another and dumped me on the road

Like a child gets a toy

He plays with it, forgets it in a few days

Do not make me such a doll which a greedy man grabs

Do not make me a girl come next birth.

Do not do again what You did this time

Do not make me a girl come next birth.

Did you ever see such a wedding

where no father, brother or mother took part?

My tears are my ornaments, I am riding the carriage of sadness

The window of my house says

Do not come hither even in dreams


Leave a comment

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in videos


Aamaye bhashaieli re, Fariha Parvez, Alamgir

music, melody, beauty.

This melodious song features two wonderful singers, each giving wonderful musical number. Alamgir and fariha Pervez.

Alamgir starts with a song in Bangla and then sings the Urdu translation of the first two lines. The rest of the Bangla song remains unexplained.

Fariha sings in simple Urdu / Bhojpuri and a sort of translation is included.



Amaye bhashaili re …………….

Chahe aandhi aye re chahe megha chhaye re hamen tu us paar le ke jaana majhi re


Aaaaaaaaaaa  aaaaaaaaaa  aaa aaa aaaaaaa  aaaa  aaaaaaaaa aaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaa aaaaaaa

Na main maangun sonaa chaandi, maangun to se preet

Na main maangun sonaa chaaaandi, maangun to se preeet

Balma maika chhoR gaye, ye hi jagat ki reet.


sayyaN bina, sayyaN bina, sayyan bina ghar soona

yaad tehaari, yaad tehari jiyaraa jalaye mora, aaaaaaaaaaa

o raja chain jiya naahiN aaye

chain jiya nahiN aaye

chain jiya nahiN aaye

sanwaria na aaye

sayyan bina ghar soona

ghar soooona,

amaye bhashaili re ………….



Aamaye bhashaili re……………………….

Even if there is a dust storm, or there are clouds stretched end to end on the sky, you, O my boat man, have to take me to the other shore.



No, I do not ask for gold or silver, all I ask for is your love.

My lover has left me. This is the tradition of this world.

The home is desolate without the lover

Your remembering makes my heart burn

O my Prince,

And leaves me without peace

My beloved did not return

Without him my home is desolate


Amaye bhashili re………………………………….

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 9, 2017 in videos