Thursday, April 09, 2009

Jin pey takia tha

baaghbaan ne aag di jab aashiyaanay ko mere
jin pe takiya tha vohi pattay hawa dene lagay

-saaqib lakhnavi

There have been three constants in my life in diaspora. Articulated for some years in the form of three political cartoons. At the moment they occupy pride of place on my kitchen wall. They go a long way to tell visitors about "what defines me".

One has been my love hate relationship with cricket. Let me declare at the onset that I am not a cricket fan. But cricket, in fact one day cricket has played a big role in mapping out my "life trajectory"; when all else failed I would use the outcome of a one day match as an "oracle". Veeru et Jai had their coin, I had the results of a couple of one dayers. And fingers crossed, this oracle of the fall of wickets has treated me well. So when the terrorists came a calling one Lahore morning, I feared tempting the gods of cricket when I would steer my friends towards the framed Akhter Shah of a cricket player offering funeral prayers at the graveside of cricket.

The other two are a Vaiell of BB and a Feica of an exchange between two stalwarts of the ANP.

What can I say about my relationship with the Prodigal Daughter, and towards the end her personal fiefdom the PPP? I admit that in spite of all that had happened, the trials and tribulations of the party would still me.I would always wonder about what kind of self-destructive love was it that the party still had its hold on me. Albeit, in the days of the Merry Widower and his coterie of pseudo-jiyalas it was becoming increasingly easy to snap out of my trance. And this week as the (allegedly) great supporter of arts in Pakistan jackbooted down a Karachi gallery, the love affair was sadly finally over.

However, the cruelest cut of all has been ANP's betrayal of its non-violent and secular spirit. My Feica has Badshah Khan chastising a repentant Wali Khan (for the party's alliance with an army backed party)...that act dwindles to insignificance when we witness their political decisions of the past month. My head hangs in shame as I pass the kitchen wall every morning.

Do you remember the Shia Muslim sect Qarmatians who’s particular world view was one that every phenomena has and will repeat itself in cycles, so that each incident is replayed over and over again. But to witness the ANP and PPP step so willingly into the shoes of Messrs Zia and his cronies? Did you every expect this? To witness the 80s and the murder of human rights and freedom of speech but this time it is the ANP and PPP that has turned executioner?

I am sorely tempted to take down my three pillars and petition the artist behind the ill fated installation at the Shanakht festival, to send me his artwork to replace them. Can someone help me?

The ANP in Pukhtunkhwa and PPP in the Center, it seemed like a golden morning...Faiz says its best:
We are told
Your new dawn is already here;
Your tired feet need journey no more.....
But there is yet no relief in the darkness of the Night;
No liberation yet of our souls and our minds
So let us keep marching, my friends:
We have yet to find our Elusive Dawn.

P.S: Apologies for the quality of the phone sey bus itna hi
P.P.S: Reference the Lakhnavi, somebody tell Urdu Maám that I might have been dozing but I did retain everything.

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