Open up your mind and your potential reaches infinity…

Archive for July, 2011

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” ― Mahatma Gandhi


But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.”
~William Butler Yeats quotes (Irish Poet. Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. )

Cherish whatever makes you unique, ‘cuz you’re really a yawn if it goes. ~Better Midler


Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are?

We should say to each of them: “Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke


The favourites:

“I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every moment holy.
I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough
just to lie before you like a thing,
shrewd and secretive.
I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action;
and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times,
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.
I want to be a mirror for your whole body,
and I never want to be blind, or to be too old
to hold up your heavy and swaying picture.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
and I want my grasp of things to be
true before you. I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship
that carried me
through the wildest storm of all.”

“I can’t make every minute holy.
I don’t want to stand before you
like a thing, shrewd, secretive.
I want my own will, and I want
simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action.
And in the silent, sometimes hardly moving times,
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know
secret things or else alone.
I want to unfold.
I don’t want to be folded anywhere,
because where I am folded,
there I am a lie.”

“Extinguish my eyes, I’ll go on seeing you.
Seal my ears, I’ll go on hearing you.
And without feet I can make my way to you,
without a mouth I can swear your name.
Break off my arms, I’ll take hold of you
with my heart as with a hand.
Stop my heart, and my brain will start to beat.
And if you consume my brain with fire,
I’ll feel you burn in every drop of my blood.”

Author: Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), was a Bohemian–Austrian poet. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable: themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets.

Lal Peeli Ankhiyan~Rajasthani song



Jad jad dekhoon banari lal peeli ankhiyaan
Main ko ni dara sa , bhala hi kado ankhiyaan.

(Whenever I see you, your eyes are red with anger
I am least scared of you, no matter even if you pop out your eyes).

Jaipur sheher se dhola mharo chunri ni lyave
Main ko ni orha sa, bhala hi kado ankhiyan

(You donot get me the dyed dress from Jaipur
I am not going to wear the old one, no matter even if you pop out your eyes).

Amir Khusrau, the maestro of Tarana.


This blog is just an attempt to familiarise the lovers of Amir Khurau to a form of singing, called Tarana, the fascinating  fast paced rendition often intended  to attain trance ( haal),   is attributed to be invented by him. Needless to say his other inventions being Qawwali, seventeen taals, tabla and sitar.

All I get is that Tarana  uses sargams and vocables like na, ta, re, da, ni, odani, tanom, yalali, yalalom shuffled in a fast pace coordinated  by rhythmic percussion from Dhol or Tabla.

A legend says that Amir Khusrau discovered this genre of music by default when   Khusrau at a performance of raga Kadambak by Gopal Naik,  allegedly,  remembered the music but not text. So he created the tarana through a merging of bols from the tabla, the sitar or the mridang.

Since I am absolutely bankrupt in classical music so I would just quote what Ustad Amir Khan Sahib,  a master of Tarana says:

“It is generally believed that Tarana is a composition of meaningless syllables followed sometimes by the bols (words coined to denote the various sounds of instruments) of the tabla and sometimes by Persian poetry. This view is not true. As a matter of fact at the time of the Amir, the texts of the songs used to be in the languages of South India, which were not easily understood by the people of the North. The court language was Persian, which was evidently the language of the contemporary intelligentsia. The Amir naturally thought of composing the texts of songs in the language understood by the intelligentsia. Thus the Tarana was born. The various words used are Dartanaa, Dar Tan Aa, Yala an abbreviation for Ya Allah. Yali for Ya Ali, Dar Aa etc., which when translated would mean:

Yala – Ya Allah

Yali – Ya Ali

O Dani : He knows

Tu Dani : You know.

Tom : I am yours, I belong to you
or   
Main Tum Hun (I am you).

Na Dir Dani : You are the complete wisdom.

Dar – Bheetar, Aandar (inside)

Dara – Andar Aa (get in or come inside)

Dartan – Tanke Aandar (inside the body)

Tanan Dar Aa : Enter my body.

Tanandara – Tanke Aandar Aa (Come inside the body)

Nadirdani – Tu Sabse Adhik Janata Hai (You know more than anyone else)

Tandardani – Tanke Aandarka Jannewala (One who knows what is inside the body)

Another feature of Tarana as sung by many in India is the repetition of certain words at a great speed. The justification for this type is also not to be sought., It is not merely an exhibition of speed or virtuosity at pronouncing words, but the idea is that while in prayer a person goes into a trance, and that in that state of mind he just continues to repeat one word or one set of words.”

( source: http://caferisko.ca/ak/tarana.html)
Yar-e-man bia bia Tarana sung by Konkana Bannerjee.

Main melody:
Yar-e-man bia bia.
Dar Tan tadim,
Ta-nan Ta na dim, Tom Ta Na Na Na
Antara:
Ba labam raseeda jaanum
Fu bia ke zinda maanum
Pas azari ki man na maanum,
Ba cheh kar khahi amud.

which means:

O love, come soon, come at once.
Come and enter my body,
for I am yours, come
Antara:
My life hangs on my lips,
Come thou that I may live again
for if thou shall come when I am no more,
to what avail shall it be.

Also see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarana
http://www.indiaheritage.org/perform/music/h-v-t.htm

Poems by Attiya Dawood


Picture by Abro Khuda Bux

Here’s a translation of some poems by a Sindhi feminist poet Attiya Dawood

A strange woman in the mirror

The strange woman in the mirror, what is she thinking?
I ask her: what is it? She avoids me.
I paint my lips red, she begins to sob.
When I look her in the eyes, she asks me questions
which are even more strange.
Home, husband, children….. I have all that makes up happiness
But I don’t know what she wants.

If Only I knew Nothing

The experienced mind understands everything.
If I keep all my thoughts with me
And put them under lock and key,
Clever eyes come to know everything.
I should put the glasses of ignorance on them.
My sensitive heart
I should refuse ever to consider
All the observations and experiences of the past
Inscribed on my mind
I should wipe it away.
My intelligence becomes a curse for me…
If only I knew nothing.
Holding your hand
I would have continued walking in a dream.
Whatever stories you told me
I would have listened on like a child.
Taking my mind as your kite
You could have given me any direction, any wind
And I would have obeyed.
My intelligence becomes a curse for me…
If only I knew nothing.

A bone-weary truth

Truth is the basis of my creation.
No matter how many times in the name of truth
My being was chopped and cut,
Each time like the amoebae,
Every piece of the portioned-off being
Has become a being by itself.
Whenever I was put on the scaffold in the name of truth
Each time I have taken a new birth,
But this dying and being born every minute
Has made me bone-weary.
I want you, my friend
To take away my being from the cross.
Come in front of me,
Whisper sweet nothings in my ears,
Turn the shackles of hypocrisy
into bangles for my hands,
Love me with such a crushing deceit
That my soul not be able to bear it
And free itself
From my tired being.

About the author:
Attiya Dawood is a voice from the goths and villages of rural Sindh. It is a voice of pain and harrowing anguish. As a rural Sindhi woman she finds deprivation everywhere: she faces oppression piled on oppression. As a woman, oppression of women by men, as a Third World woman, oppression and exploitation by the advanced capitalist countries. As a rural woman she is marginalised in favour of the voice of the first person singular – I, but they are not autobiographical the events written about are not necessarilly drawn from her own life. The poems may be considered a form of dramatic monologue in which she assumes the voice and persona of a suffering woman and articulates the anguish arising out of some concrete situation.
English translations are by Asif Aslam

Source: Courtesy Abro Khuda Bux
http://attiyadawood.com/

The Paradox of Our Time ~Dr Bob Moorehead


A beautiful piece of  ‘food for thought’  which has served for years as a constant reminder to me to introspect my life and values. Whenever I feel I begin to digress from my purpose of life, I look back at this writing. Not sure if I have really found myself steadfast on it.

Finally, I decided to post it in my blog and share with others.

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; big men and small character; steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce; fancier houses but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember,
*spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

*to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

*to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

*to say “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

*to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Author:  Dr. Bob Moorehead is former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church. He retired in 1998 after 29 years in that post. The essay appeared in ‘Words Aptly Spoken,’  Dr. Moorehead’s 1995 collection of prayers, homilies, and monologues used in his sermons and radio broadcasts.
However, it has many a times attributed in e-rumours to be written by George Carlin, a stand up comedian known for his foul mouth and four-lettered words. He himeslf denied having written this.