Friday, August 31, 2007

Khusrau darya prem ka..

The edge of the storm by slack12
( see image information below)
.

Khusrau darya prem ka, ulti wa ki dhaar,
Jo utra so doob gaya, jo dooba so paar
.
[Oh Khusrau, the river of love Runs in strange directions.
One who jumps into it drowns, And one who drowns, gets across.]
.
-Amir Khusrau
.
About the Poet: Amir Khusro Dehlavi (1253-1325 AD) was a poet, musician, inventor, philosopher and linguist. Khusro was musician in the court of seven kings in Delhi Sultanat.He wrote poetry in Persian as well as what he called Hindvi ... a combination of local Bhojpuri and Persian, which later evolved into Hindi and Urdu languages.[1] Khusrau has been termed as the "father of qawwali" (the devotional music of the Sufis). He is also credited with enriching the Hindustani classical music by introducing Persian and Arabic elements in it, and was the originator of the tarana style of music. [2]
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Khusrau was a disciple of the Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya who was his spiritual mentor. There is a legend about Khusrau's first meeting with Nizamuddin Aulia [3] .It is said that Khusrau, at the age of eight years, was coerced by his mother to visit the saint's khaneqah (monastary) for the first time . When he reached there, he didn't enter at once - he wanted to test him out. He sat down at the gate and composed the following lines in his heart :

Tu aan shahi ke ber aiwan-e qasrat Kabutar gar nasheenad, baaz gardad
Ghareeb-e mustamand-e ber der aamedBe-yaayad andaroon, ya baaz gardad
.
(You are a king at the gate of whose palace / even a pigeon becomes a hawk. / A poor traveller has come to your gate, / should he enter, or should he return?)

It is said that Nizamuddin Aulia at once asked one of his servants to go out at the gate and narrate the following lines to a boy who is sitting there :
.
Be-yaayad andaroon mard-e haqeeqatKe ba ma yek nafas hamraaz gardad
Agar abla buvad aan mard-e naadanAzaan raah-e ke aamad baaz gardad
.
(Oh you the man of reality, come inside / so you become for a while my confidant /but if the one who enters is foolish / then he should return the way he came.)

Hearing this Khusrau decided that he has come to the right place and entered.
.
References :
[2] Read about Amir Khusrau on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amir_Khusro
[3] (a) A very informative and good source for Amir Khusrau's work http://www.alif-india.com/
[3] (b) For more legends about Amir Khusrau see : http://www.alif-india.com/legend.html
.
Image Information : This image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/slack12/1087014722/

It's all I have to bring today....

Yellowjackets in the Clover by CaptPiper
( See image information below)
.
It's all I have to bring today –
This, and my heart beside –
This, and my heart, and all the fields –
And all the meadows wide –
Be sure you count – should I forget
Some one the sum could tell –
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell
.

Emily Dickinson
.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm Nobody! Who Are You

Two birds by kjhads
( see image information below)
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I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us--don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Emily Dickinson
.
About the Poet : Emily Dickinson is one of most well regarded American poets of all times. As is the case with many a well known writers and artists, Emily was virtually unknown during her lifetime and published a handful of poems while she was alive. Today, Emily is known to have written more than 1700 poems in her lifetime!
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Resources:
2. Read about Emily on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_dickinson
3. Check out Dickinson electronic archive http://www.emilydickinson.org/
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Image Information : This image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/hadders/378725691/

Monday, August 20, 2007

(Phil-o)-Sophie's World ...

Image: Rodin's " Thinker"
( see Image Information below)
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"The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder."
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Sophie's World
.
Finished reading Jostein Gaarder's " Sophie's World" and what a journey it has been - intriguing, magical and full of loads and loads of food for thought! Trying to compress thousands and thousands of years of human thought in few hundred pages is a daunting task for sure and Jostein Gaarder has done a wonderful job ....
.
Sophie Amundsen is a fourteen year old girl living in Norway and is busy living her regular teenager life when one day she receives a letter from a mysterious person asking " Who are you? " " Where does the World come from? " . Not easy questions to answer by any means. Nevertheless, these are questions which are as old as the humankind itself. These are the questions that have been asked by great thinkers , ascetics as well as by regular worldly people like you and me at certain point in our lives!
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If you've looked at the brilliant star studded night sky with a childlike curiosity and wondered where it all came from ? If you have studied about the Big Bang and asked yourself well so there was a big a bang but what happened before that? Was there an invisible hand which created this world? If you've ever wondered about lives of great many men and women who dared to ask questions which crowds don't dare to ask for fear of being outcasts , questions which challenge the status quo, questions which go on roads not taken and answers which are sometimes so very obvious and sometimes so fuzzy that you can learn and learn and be back to square one...well..here is a book for you!
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The book traces history of philosophy from great philosophers of ages gone by to the great era's of development of human learning and understanding of the universe , the enigma of human mind as well as mystery in Sophie's own world! There is so much in pages of this book that I'm overwhelmed simply thinking of all that it has covered. So am trying to make my very own Kaleidoscope of "Sophie's World" and as a starting point here is a timeline of thinkers who have shaped the world of philosophy. The list is by no way complete but hey we've gotta start somewhere!
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phi·los·o·pher [fi-los-uh-fer]
.
Cogito, ergo sum : I think, therefore I am



Click to Enlarge

Did you know?!

  • Sophie means Wisdom
  • In Greek Mythology Female side of God is called Sophia
  • Sophist means a wise and informed person
  • Sophists were a group of teachers and philosophers in times of Socrates . In Athens, Sophists made a living out of teaching the citizens!

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Image Information : One of most widely recognized pieces of sculptures in the world, The Thinker was made by French artist Auguste Rodin . The sculpture showing a man in deep thought was originally meant to depict Dante from " The Divine Comedy" .

Friday, August 17, 2007

Aah ko Chaahiye....

Source: Evening fire by lynnieb
( See image information below)


aah ko chaahiye ek umr asar hone tak
kaun jeetaa hai teri zulf ke sar hone tak
.
daam har mauj mein hai halqaa-e-sad _kaam-e-nahang
dekhen kyaa guzare hai qatare pe gauhar hone tak
.
aashiqi sabr-talab aur tamanna betaab
dil kaa kyaa rang karun Khuun-e-jigar hone tak
.
ham ne manaa ke taGaaful na karoge lekin
Khaak ho jaayenge hum tum ko Khabar hone tak
.
partav-e-Khuur se hai shabanam ko fanaa kii taaliim
main bhii hoon ek inaayat kii nazar hone tak
.
yak nazar besh nahii.n fursat-e-hastii Gaafil
garmi-e-bazm hai ik raqs-e-sharar hone tak
.
Gam-e-hastii kaa 'Asad' kis se ho juz marg ilaaj
shammaa har rang mein jalati hai sahar hone tak
.

Mirza Ghalib


Key to Urdu Words: aah = a sign of cry/ grief / yearning , daam = net/trap; mauj = wave; halqaa = ring/circle, sad = hundred; nahang = crocodile; sad_kaam-e-nahang = crocodile with hundred jaws, gauhar = pearl, sabr-talab=patient,partav-e-Khuur = sun's rays; shabanam=dew,fanaa = perish; inaayat = favour, tagaaful=neglect/ignore, yak = one , besh = excess; Gaafil = ignorant, raqs = dance; sharar = flash/fire, juz = other than; marg = death
.
References:

1) For a good collection of Ghalib's poetry see http://www.urdupoetry.com/
2) For reading Ghalib's poetry in Hindi font see Ghalib at Kavita Kosh
3) Listen to Begum Akhtar singing "Aah koo chaahiye ek umra " at YouTube http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ih6BTkJ1Ujc
4) Listen to Jagjit Singh singing " Aah ko chaahiye ek umra.." at YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUlyOEhnGg4
5) Read the meaning of lines from"Aah ko chahiye.." at ebazm..http://www.ebazm.com/discus/messages/6/2035.html?1115823378
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Image Information: This image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynnieb/1129684204/

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Where the mind is without fear....

Source: Bird of Paradise by Audi speed
( See image information below)
.
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WHERE the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
.

Rabindranath Tagore
.
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Image Information : This image is from http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=446730983&size=m

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cavafy's Ithaca....

The Lighthouse of Alexandria
( see image information below)

Constantin Cavafy is one of the most prominent Greek Poets. Cavafy was born to Greek parents on April 29, 1863 and died on the same day in Alexandria, Egypt .His father was a prosperous importer-exporter who had lived in England in earlier years and acquired British nationality. After his father died in 1870, Cavafy and his family settled, for a while, in liverpool, UK ; he moved back to Alexandria in 1877 after the financial problems the family had faced in the crash of 1876. [1] Subsequently, due to problems in Alexandria , the family moved to Constantinople in 1882 . It was here that young Cavafy met his Greek relatives and became acquainted with the legendary Queen City of the Greeks, the seat and capital of Greekness. [2] In 1885 Cavafy moved back to Alexandria where he spent rest of his life. He first worked as a journalist and then as a civil servant.
.

Cavafy's poetry [1][2] : In his poetry , Cavafy drew inspiration from his own experiences as well as from his tremendous knowledge of history.Cavafy was unique in his method for publishing the poems he wrote. He never published a collection in book form, and refused at least two such offers (one for a Greek edition and one for an English). He opted to publish his poems in newspapers, periodicals and annuals, then printing them privately in broadsheets, which he would collate in makeshift collections for any interested party.
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My Ithaca : One of my all time favorite poems is Cavafy's Ithaca.The poem , written in 1911 , is based on the voyage to return to the famous island that was depicted in Homer's Odyssey. To me Ithaca is symbolic for life itself .Its central theme is the importance of relishing the journey over the destination and exploring the beauty and priceless wisdom this journey has to offer. Here is to Ithaca...mine, your's , anybodies...
.
Ithaca
.
When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty,
if a fine emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.
*
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many,
when,with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.
*
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
*
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
*
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.
.
Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

Resources :

1. For more about the life and times of Cavafy see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_P._Cavafy

2.The official website of Cavafy Archive : http://www.cavafy.com/

3.One of my favorite resources for Cavafy's work : http://users.hol.gr/~barbanis/cavafy/

4. Read about Cavafy Museum in Alexandria : http://www.greece.org/alexandria/cavafy/cavafy2.htm
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Image Information : This image is of lighthouse of Alexandria. Sometimes called the "Pharos of Alexandria" (Pharos or Φάρος in Greek means lighthouse), the Lighthouse of Alexandria was built in the 3rd century BC and is traditionally considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. To read more about the lighthouse see http://fixedreference.org/2006-Wikipedia-CD-Selection/wp/l/Lighthouse_of_Alexandria.htm

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam...



Rubaiyat , written by Omar Khayyam , is one of the masterpieces of Persian poetry and has been translated into several languages. Omar Khayyam lived from approximately 1048 to 1131 AD. Khayyam means tentmaker and Omar was famous in his lifetime as an astronomer and mathematician. He lived under Turkish rule but his language and culture were Persian. [1]Rubaiyat" (derived from the Arabic root word for 4) means "Quatrains": verses of four lines. One of the most famous translations of the Rubaiyat from Farsi into English was undertaken in 1859 by Edward J. Fitzgerald". I am putting together few of my favorite rubai's in their literal / Fitzgerald versions ..... [2]

*

(Literal )

I resolve daily that at dusk I shall repent
For a night with a cup full of wine spent.
In the presence of flowers, my resolve simply went
In such company, I only regret that I ever resolved to repent.

*
(Literal)

The secrets eternal neither you know nor I
And answers to the riddle neither you know nor I
Behind the veil there is much talk about us, why
When the veil falls, neither you remain nor I.

*
(Literal)

Some in deep thought spirit seek
Some lost in awe, of doubt reek
I fear the voice, hidden but not weak
Cry out "awake! Both ways are oblique.

*
( Fitzgerald's Translation)

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

*
( Literal)

The grass that grows by every stream
Like angelic smiles faintly gleam
Step gently, cause it not to scream
For it has grown from a lover’s dream.

*
( Fitzgerald's Translation)

And strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried--
"Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?"

*

References :
[2] I have taken these lines from Rubaiyat from http://www.okonlife.com/poems/index.htm - a wonderful collection of rubaiyat that are almost universally believed to be authentic: in Persian, accompanied by several translations into English as well as German.
[3]Read more about Omar Khayyam at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khayyam
[5] Another good source for Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is : http://www.omar-khayyam.org/

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hazaaron Khwahishen ....

Source: Wikimedia Commons (See image information below)
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Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dum nikle
bahot nikle mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle
.
Daray kyon mera qaatil? kya rahega us ki gardan par?
Voh khoon, jo chashm-e-tar se umr bhar yoon dam-ba-dam nikle
.
Nikalna khuld se aadam ka soonte aaye hain
lekinBahot be-aabru hokar tere kooche se hum nikle
.
Bharam khul jaaye zaalim! teri qaamat ki daraazi ka
Agar is tarahe par pech-o-kham ka pech-o-kham nikle
.
Magar likhvaaye koi usko khat, to hum se likhvaaye
Hui subaha, aur ghar se kaan par rakh kar qalam nikle
.
Hui is daur mein mansoob mujh se baada aashaami
Phir aaya voh zamaana, jo jahaan mein jaam-e-jaam nikle
.
Hui jin se tavaqqa khastagi ki daad paane ki
Voh ham se bhi zyaada khasta e tegh e sitam nikle
.
Mohabbat mein nahin hai farq jeenay aur marnay ka
Usi ko dekh kar jeetay hain, jis kaafir pe dam nikle
.
Zara kar jor seene par ki teer-e-pur sitam nikle
jo wo nikle to dil nikle, jo dil nikle to dam nikle
.
Khuda ke waaste parda na kaabe se uthaa zaalim
Kaheen aisa na ho yaan bhi wahi kaafir sanam nikle
.
Kahaan maikhane ka darwaaza Ghalib aur kahaan vaaiz
Par itna jaantay hain kal voh jaata tha ke ham nikle
.
Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle
Bohat niklay mere armaan, lekin phir bhi kam nikle...

Mirza Ghalib
*****
Key to Urdu Words: chashm=eye; tar=wet; dam ba dam=continously; Khuld=Paradise; be-aabaruu=disgrace; kuuchaa=street,qaamat=stature; daraazii=delay; turra=ornamental tassel worn in the turban, pech-o-Kham=curls in the hair, mansoob=association, baada aashaami=related to drinking, tavaqqa=expectation; Khastagi=injury, daad=justice,Khasta=broken/injured, tegh=sword, sitam=cruelity , vaaiz = preacher
About the poet : Well what does one say about Ghalib! He is one of the most celebrated Urdu poets of all times. Watch this space for I am gonna write more about him!
References:
1) For comprehensive information on Ghalib see http://www.ghalib.org/
2) Read about Ghalib on wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghalib
3) For a good English translation of Hazaaron Khwahishen see : http://www.cedcc.psu.edu/khanjan/Hazaaron.htm
Image Information: This image was selected picture of the day on July 25, 2006 for Wikimedia commons. It was captioned as "old boat near the panoramic terrace of the Vauban passage, in the "Petite France" district in Strasbourg". For more information see http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Strasbourg-RemiLeblond-Barque2.jpg

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Agneepath ...

Red Vineyard by Gogh ( see image information below)


Vriksh ho bhale khade, ( even if the tree stands tall)
Ho ghane, ho bade, ( even if it is dense and big)
Ek patra chaa bhi, ( shade of a single leaf)
Mang maat, mang maat, mang maat ( don't ask, don't ask, don't ask)
Agnipath, Agnipath, Agnipath ({on this} path of fire, path of fire, path of fire)

Tu na thakega kabhi, ( you will not get tired ever)
Tu na thamega kabhi, ( you will not stop ever)
Tu na mudega kabhi, ( you will not turn back ever)
Kar shapath, kar shapath, kar shapath ( take this oath, take this oath, take this oath)
Agnipath, Agnipath, Agnipath ( {on this} path of fire, path of fire, path of fire)

Yeh maahan drishya hai, ( this is a great vision)
Chal raha manushya hai, ( man walks on)
Ashru, shwet, rakth se, ( with tears, sweat and blood)
Lathpat, lathpat, lathpat ( he is soaked, he is soaked, he is soaked)
Agnipath, Agnipath, Agnipath ( {on this} path of fire, path of fire, path of fire)
.
- Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan
**
About the poem: Agneepath ( meaning path of fire) is one of the most inspirational poem written by Shri.Harivansh Rai Bachchan. The poem is about struggle we as humans face, it is about persistence and never giving up in face of adversity. The poem was used as title of Amitabh Bachchan's 1990 film for which he won a national award. Amitabh Bachchan's character Vijay Dinanath Chauhan narrates the poem through out the movie.

Image Information : The image is painting "Red Vineyard " by Vincent Van Gogh. It was the only piece sold by the Van Gogh while he was alive. Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Vineyard

Recital : Here is a nice recital

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Madhushaala..


Madiralay jaane ko ghar se chaltaa hai peenewaala
kis path se jaaoon asmanjas mein hai wo bhola bhaala
alag alag path batalatey sab par main ye batlata hoon
raah pakad tu ek chalaa-chal paa jaayega madhushaala
*
Sun kal-kal chal-chal madhu-ghat se girti pyalon mein haala
sun run Jhun-Jhun chal witran karti madhusa ki baala
bas aa pahunche door nahin kuch chaar kadam aur chalna hai
chahak rahe sun peene waale mehak rahi le madhushaala
*
Naal sura kee dhaar lapat see keh na dena ise jwaala
madira hai math isko keh dena urr ka chaala
dard nasha hai is madira ka wigat smritiyan saaqi hain
peeda mein anand jise ho aaye meri madhushaala
*
Sumukhi tumhara sundar mukh hi mujh ko kanchan kaa pyaalaa
chhalak rahi hai jisme manik roop madhur maadak haalaa
maiN hi saaqi banta main hi peene waala banta hoon
jahan kahin mil baithe hum tum wahin gaee ho madhushaala
*
Girti jatee hai pratidin pranyani prano kee haala
magn hua jaata din-pratidin subhge mera tan pyaala
rooth raha hai mujhse roop si din-din yauwan ka saaqi
sookh rahi hai din-din sundari meri jeewan madhushaala
*
Chote se jeewan mein kitna pyaar karoon peeloon haala
aane ke hee saath jagat mein kehlaaya jaane-waala
swaagat ke hee saath wida ki hothi dekhi tayyaari
band lagi hone khulte hee meri jeewan madhushaala
*

About the Poet: Madhushala is one of Shri. Harivansh Rai Bachchan's most famous compositions. When it was first published in 1935, Dr. Bachchan became famous overnight. The poem has total of 135 verses. Each verse is called a rubaai . All the rubaai's end in the word Madhushala ( which means wine house).Madhushala and haala (wine) serve as the basic metaphors in the poem and are used to symbolize life and all it's constituents - love, beauty, pain ,joys and hope.
*****
Mitti ka tann, mastee ka mann,
kshan bhar jeevan mera parichay
- Harivansh Rai Bachchan
*****
References:
1. For English translation of Mashushala see http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/72.html
2.For Complete Hindi text of Madhushala see : http://manaskriti.com/kaavyaalaya/mdhshla.stm
3. For more Madhushala couplets written in English see: http://members.tripod.com/~ghazal/madhusala.html
4. For Biography of Harivansh Rai Bachchan and his other works see : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harivansh_Rai_Bachchan



Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sitaron ke aage ....


Sitaron se aage jahan aur bhi hain
Abhi Ishq ke imtehan aur bhi hain

Tahi zindagi se nahin yeh fazayen
Yahan sankaron karwaan aur bhi hain

Qana'at na kar aalim e rang o boo par
Chaman aur bhi, aashian aur bhi hain

Agar kho gaya ek nasheman to kya gham
Mukamat e aah o faghan aur bhi hain

Tu shaheen hai, parwaz hai kaam tera
Tere saamne aasman aur bhi hain

Isi roz o shab mein ulajh kar na reh jaa
Ke tere zaman o makan aur bhi hain

Gaye din ke tanha tha main anjuman mein
Yahan ab mere raazdan aur bhi hain


Key to urdu words : Jahan - worlds , imtehan - test , anjuman - assembly/ society , shaheen-an eagle ,parwaz - flight, nasheman - home , makan - destination, , raazdan - confidante
About the poet : These lovely urdu lines were written by Allama Iqbal - A great poet-philosopher and active political leader, who was born at Sialkot, Punjab, in 1877. According to some , as a poet Iqbal represented in perhaps the most sensitive manner, the collective consciousness of his people during a certain period of their history. He was able to do so because he maintained a constant and direct contact with his audience at all levels. ( Source: http://www.urdulove.com/poet_intros_english/Allama_Iqbal.html)
Translation: I like this translation http://tinyurl.com/4opdswe
Image Information : The painting is " Night Sky" by one of my favorite painters Van Gogh . It has been taken from Wikimedia commons.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

And I'm back!!