Saturday, November 28, 2009

Childhood Memoires – Part 2

Continued from Childhood Memoirs - Part I

~ There was a pond close to our house, and it had several plants, including trees, in and around it. During Autumn time, it’d be filled with all sorts of leaves, but in Spring time, it’d be all green, so green you couldn’t tell it’s a pond; it looked JUST like a “chaman,” all green and stuff. One day, my relatives were over from another village, and I took some of my cousins to the pond… and the scenery was breathtaking. The whoooooooole pond looked like it was all sheen kabal and you could sit and relax in it. So I told a cousin of mine to jump in it :D:D:D And, mind you, the pond was deep too :O He must have jumped in it because I remember laughing my head off. hah.

(Seriously, that was just cruel. I think they should have a sign there that says “Jawarey uba! Daa kabal na dey; da lobo da para na dey. Mehrabani wakai ao laree te osai!” or something like that.)

~ ALLLLLL the kanzal (profane words/phrases) I know today, I learned from a group of boys who used to play tikaan/marbles near my aunt’s house in this area we called kandar.

~ This one is REALLY bad, and I feel horrible about it today and have repented numerous times and have even repaid the family, but the guilt won't go away: You see, I hated the poor children in my neighborhood because my mother would sometimes take my most favorite clothes and shoes and other stuff and give them to the kids! I’d cry and beg for them to remain mine, and mom would say, “Daa maa manalee dee. Wass ye za da Khwdey na sanga wapas rawakhlam, lewanai.” And I’d cry for hours and hours and hours… and take my anger out on the children who’d then wear those clothes!! One of the girls, I used to pinch her like hell. Like this one time, she was trying to close the door to this house, and I was standing behind the door and as I saw her hand on it while the door was closing, I held her hand and pinched it soooooo hard. She started crying but silently so that no one heard. Her mom had climbed the wall of her house and was seeing me do this. She said, “Zrra de khwashala sho?”

I showed absolutely NO remorse at that time :S (And, Gosh! That family loved me so much. When that woman got a daughter, she said to me, “I was going to name her after you but then I thought your family might mind.” I was about 10 years old, and I thought, “But why would they mind it? It’s not like I’m the only person with this name, or that this name belongs only to me.”
And I still don’t know why some people should take it as an offense if someone’s named after them. Why is it considered a bad thing? . . .)


~ Umm… I hate doing khatmuna and stuff for anyone for any reason! :S On Fridays, the first 30 minutes of our Quran class would be spent doing khatmuna because some family would always send a request to our teacher to make us do khatam on their behalf! So our teacher would use us for it (I was the littlest and youngest student in this group of girls, whose ages ranged from maybe 15 to maybe 35; we were the “advanced” group learning translation, not recitation, of the Quran. And so we were supposed to be able to handle khatmuna pretty much every Friday while the other students didn't have to.). So!!! You know what I’d do?! To resist it, I’d either go like rrrrrrreally late, or then once I’d reach there and start the khatam, I’d cheat soo much… Oh man, how I cheated! I’d pretend to be reading it, but in reality, I’d just be moving my lips really fast and turning pages every now and then and rocking my body back and forth. God. It was totally normal.

Whaaaaaaat!! I was a KID! NO ONE should torture little children with so much burden as having them finish a whole sipaara of the Quran in one setting! Or reading Surah Yaseen ten times in one setting – not when they’re like seven or eight years old, kha huo! So unfair. I actually used to feel really bad cheating, and I’d worry that if the person’s wish didn’t come true, it must be my fault. So to compensate for it, I’d cry to God to fulfill the purpose of the khatam even though I’d cheated on it because I don’t wanna go to hell for it (Oh! The pressures they put on sweet innocent children! May they be forgiven for it!)

I now wonder if anyone else did/does the same! I’m SO never asking anyone to do khatmuna for me. Never. Please, let me ask my God myself what I need from Him.

~ My other favoritest memory: When this ghwaai/bull took my younger sister in its khkaraan/horns and lifted her into the sky and dropped her to the ground. :D I think she hit an apple tree, though something tells me she was stuck in the tree until my grandpa rescued her. But I’m not sure.
So, yeah :D That was fun :D (But at that time, my mom wasn’t present, so I was really, REALLY sad for my sister and even cried with her for her pain. But now … yeah, we laugh about it :D)

~ My Quran teacher had a niece named … Mumlikat? Malkiyat? One of these. (‘s been ten years since I last heard or used these names. My God.) I think it was Malkiyat. Anyway, so she was my friend. Now, I hated and still hate fighting people, but sometimes … people just compel you, you see!! This Malkiyat girl and I started a fight while in the (Quran) class one day, and since I had a rrrrreally good reputation there, I couldn’t ruin it by fighting with the teacher’s niece, kana. So I told her to let’s continue it once class is over at such and such place (the place I told her was, um, far from her house, of course, so that her aunt would never come to know about it, lol). Daaaaamn, man, I tell you! When we had that fight, it was good. I pulled her hair SO hard some strands literally came off, and I punched her eye so hard she cried. And when she started crying, I ran away and went home. The next day, Thursday, we didn’t have class, so on Friday, I was scared to death, thinking that she must have told her family and all and I’ll be punished for it. No one seemed to have known about it :D

P.S. I still do this to people who fight with me. Just a little warning. ;) Men’s/boys’ short hair makes it all the more not only fun but painful as well!

Ahhhh!! Such sweetness from childhood! There are many more, of course, but I should stop here, no? :) There were bad ones, too, though ~cries loudly~ Like that time when my 1st and 2nd grades teacher had me and this classmate of mine (my opponent) slap each other while he just sat there and enjoyed it :S I have no bloody idea why he bloody had us do such a bloody thing like that!! He apparently got pleasure from it! It wasn’t rare that he’d force us to slap each other for hours until we’d start crying and just fall to the floor, begging him to let us stop! When we’d cry, he’d say, “What?!? hahahahha! You’re scared of each other! Such cowards you are!” When we’d stop, he’d say, “Do you want ME to hit you? No, I’m sure you don’t because you know I won’t spare you. Then don’t stop.” When we’d take a break, he’d say, “HURRY! HURRY! Shaabase! No taking breaks, you chickens!” And so we’d continue until we just couldn’t anymore, changing hands every now and then!

This teacher’s name was Asadullah, and I THINK he was from Sirsinrai! Someone, please make him suffer for what he did!!! :@ Or then I hope he was BUTCHERED by the Taliban!!!! Unless he sincerely regretted what he did and spent his life begging God to forgive him for it!!!

The classmate’s name was/is Ayaz Ahmad, and he was/is from Dadahara. One brilliant guy he was. His father and I were SUCH good friends! :D He adored me for no apparent reason. Once took me, my sister, and my brother along with Ayaz and his siblings and cousins to the riverside, near their house (Dadahara has so much water, nazara na shee), and we had this awesome picnic there. We swam and fished and ate and talked and enjoyed – until it was time for my Quran class. The teacher used to take money from you if you ever missed a day, and so I didn’t wanna miss any!


~ Ohhh wait! :D Lemme add how this one time ... :D:D:D I fell off this swing :O (I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE swinging.) My father had, um, tied(?) it. I don't know the English word for it, but in Pukhto, it'd be "taal zaangawal," I think. And it was there for several years until it fell off at last! Then after that, we sisters and cousins would try to "tie" it to the ceiling ourselves, and it was never as stable as it oriignally had been. One day, I was swinging on it, and my sisters were pushing me. I was going SO high that I could see my cousins and aunts faaaaaar below my house. We were on the second floor, and they were far away and on the first floor. And my cousins had all come out to see me swinging so high and I was being all brave and stuff and was waving at them. And then ... BOOM!! I fell!!!!! After a few seconds when they didn't see me anymore, they all ran to my house and said, "DID SHE FALL? DID SHE FALL???" hahahahha ... and I was hiding in the room, lol. I swear I got lucky, man, because I tell you, I could've so easily fallen down to the first floor and broken every bone in my body. But I didn't -- da khwdey loy shukar dey!

Childhood Memoires – Part 1

I started writing my childhood memories, and they got so many I figured I should submit them in two parts :O

I grew up in a village in Swat. A famous village the name of which is now all over Youtube because, thanks to our recent/current war, it has been one of the most-affected ones. It now lies in utter annihilation. Khwdey de ubakhee …
When my mother visited Swat a few months ago, she was telling me how much it has changed, and I don’t and won’t believe it until I see it all for myself. I dream of going to Swat – or any Pashtun region, really – and I imagine that the moment I reach there, I’ll get out of the car and literally kiss my soil. I will prostrate there and open my arms to God and shout my thanks to Him for reuniting me with my land. I tell you, I will not care if people watch with open mouths or laugh at me; I won’t mind if my family/relative who will be with me mock me and feel embarrassed by what I’ll be doing. It’s a dream … and I will make sure it happens whether anyone likes it or not, ka khairee.

As you all know, I’ve been longing for Swat these past few months – rather, since the end of 2007. What is keeping me from visiting/going, you ask? Well, nothing, to be honest. I have absolutely no excuse not to go . . . :S I guess maybe the fear that seeing Swat this destroyed will kill me. I guess I’d rather enjoy remembering everything the way they were ten years ago than to go there and be haunted for the rest of my life…

Khair, lemme share some precious childhood memories here.
~ My most favoritest one: How my friends/cousins and I would pick up chewed gums from the ground and eat them like it was nothing. No one ever stopped us – yeah, we never did it in front elders because we knew they’d beat the hell out of us. hah.

~ In the morning, when my sister and I would be walking to school, we’d come across a lot of butcher shops, you see. They’d have these butchered animals lying on the floor, in different positions, waiting to be chopped into pieces and then sold. One morning, this one cow was lying on her back and her tummy was huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge. Sama parrsedalee wa and stuff, like a humongous bubble. So I thought it’d be absolutely COOL if I just stepped on it to make all the fluids inside it pop out :S I lifted my leg and came THIS close to bursting that bubble ... I was only showing my sister how I’d do it, and then I saw this teacher of mine who was standing there (he had been my teacher some year before that time), watching me and was about to burst into laughter and then I was tooooo embarrassed to do it! So I didn’t… and we continued walking to school in the usual boring way, nothing exciting other than wishing I’d be able to pop the tummy of the next cow I see. Never happened.

~ I loved, loved, LOVED Wednesdays because I didn’t have sabaq (Quran classes) on Thursdays. One Wednesday, I’d just gotten out of the house of the lady who taught us Quran and was running home. It was just a few minutes before evening prayer, and I was crossing the Mosque. Now, I wasn’t just running but shouting really loudly as well (hey, it was my way of celebrating no-class the next day, all right?) :S This rrrrrreally, REALLY old man, who had just … umm… I shouldn’t say, but basically he was getting ready for prayer. He saw and heard me, and apparently, I musta scared him half to death or something because he cursed me so bad ~cries bitterly~ He said, “ITA KHWDEY DE RRANDA KA!!!” :S And I started crying because I hadn’t done anything to deserve his such evil khairey! Those khairey stuck with me for years because I used to cry that one day, I’ll go blind because an old man wished it so, and old people’s prayers/wishes/requests come true, I was taught (I don’t anymore believe that khairey come true! No one deserves them, k! I was hardly maybe seven years old, and he wished such evil upon an innocent, harmless little girl who hadn’t done anything to him!! HOW CRUEL!!! ~cries harder~)

~ My aunt (tandaar) sews. Often, she’d ask me to buy her nache/threads, and often, I’d return with them. There would come times, though, when I’d just … go to the bazaar and buy me a rupai-waal cake with the money she’d given me for a nacha! (WHAAAAAAAAT! Those cakes were SO GOOD! Do they still exist? I remember how much I longed for them allllllll the time. Each time I won a rupai, that’s all I got me :D) I’d come back home hours later and avoid my aunt for as long as I could, until when she’d ask me herself where her nacha is and I’d say, “What nacha?” I’m not sure how I ever got away with lying, lol.

~ There was a cemetery right next to my house. In it was a huge olive tree, large enough to have several children climb it and stay in it for a long time and tell stories and jokes and stuff. My cousin and I would climb it and spit on people below us :O We ruled the neighborhood; no one could ever hurt us, lol.

~ There used to be this crazy and weird man in our village; we used to pass his house on our way to school and the chawk. We’d stop by his house, and his door had this big creek in it, enough for us to see what the house looked like, what weird things he had inside it, which trees he had, etc. EVERYTHING was ALWAYS in the EXACT same position; never did he seem to change things around, to change the location of his shoes – which were ALWAYS placed right next to the door on this platform-like area near the door – his beds/katuna (those beds you put in the veranda/courtyard), or anything else. And his door was always locked. He was known to be a crazy man, and we told each other and everyone else that “Never open your mouth when he’s around because he might count your teeth. When he counts your teeth, you’re going to die. Everyone knows this.” So poor man, when he would be near us, we’d press our lips tightly together and stare at him, as if to challenge, “hahhahahaha! You can’t count my teeth now!” But, really, he WOULD stop there in front of us and, without uttering a word, he’d point to our teeth and open his mouth, showing his own teeth, indirectly asking us to show ours as well! So that’s why we were scared, you see!

This same man would visit the cemetery each Sunday at 9:00. He’d sit by this small grave that was right beneath the olive tree and pray. Then he’d leave a few rupees on the grave and get up to swing on this big branch of the olive tree for a while. All us kids would be watching him from a distance, and once he’d leave and be out of sight, we’d all rush to the grave to get the money he’d left :O

Up Next: Childhood Memoirs - Part II

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Would You Permit Me?"

I think this poem is a perfectly perfect representation of what Islam has come to mean, especially today and especially with the type of people who are accepted and authorized as our leaders and scholars.
It is written by Nizar Qabbani, a Syrian poet who died in 1998. His other poetry can be found at this link. God bless humanity as long as we have men like him existing and doing what they believe is a productive means for the liberation of every silenced heart, mind, and tongue.

In a country where thinkers are assassinated,
And writers are considered infidels
And books are burnt,
in societies that refuse the other,
and force silence on mouths and thoughts forbidden,
and to question is a sin,
I must beg your pardon, would you permit me?

Would you permit me to bring up my children as I want,
and not to [let you] dictate on me your whims and orders?

Would you permit me to teach my children
that the religion is first to God,
and not for religious leaders or scholars or people?

Would you permit me to teach my little one
that religion is about good manners,
good behaviour, good conduct, honesty and truthfulness,
before I teach her with which foot to enter the bathroom
or with which hand she should eat?

Would you permit me to teach my daughter
That God is about love, and she can dialogue with Him
And ask Him anything she wants,
Far away from the teachings of anyone?

Would you permit me not to mention the torture of the grave
to my children, who do not know about death yet?

Would you permit me to teach my daughter
The tenets of the religion and its culture and manners,
Before I force on her the ‘Hijab’?

Would you permit me to tell my young son that hurting people
And degrading them because of their nationality, colour or religion
Is considered a big sin by God?

Would you permit me to tell my daughter that
Revising her homework and paying attention to her learning
Is considered by God as more useful and important
Than learning by heart Ayahs from the Quran
Without knowing their meaning?

Would you permit me to teach my son
That following the footsteps of the Honourable Prophet
Begins with his honesty, loyalty and truthfulness,
Before his beard or how short his thobe (long shirt/dress) is?

Would you permit me to tell my daughter
That her Christian friend is not an infidel,
And ask her not to cry fearing her friend will go to Hell?

Would you permit me to argue
That God did not authorize anyone on earth after the Prophet
To speak in His name nor did He vest any powers in anyone
To issue ‘deeds of forgiveness’ to people?

Would you permit me to say
That God has forbidden killing the human spirit
And who kills wrongly a human being is as if he killed all of humankind,
And no Muslim has the right to frighten another Muslim?

Would you permit me to teach my children
That God is greater, more just, and more merciful
Than all the (religious) scholars on earth combined?
And that His standards are different
From the standards of those trading the religion,
And that His accountability is kinder and more merciful?

Would you permit me?

*Nizar Qabbani*
*Born: 21 March 1923, Damascus, Syria*
*Died: 30 April 1998, London, England*
*Occupation:diplomat, poet, writer, publisher*
*Nationality: Syrian*

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gup Shup

Kha, warho ... ache baare lag gup owahu. I'm sorry for my previous long and painful post! hahaha. I should've prepared y'all for it, kana? Kha, za, bya ba na kom.
Zai ... lag okhandai wass, lol.

P.S. OMG! This is the SHORTEST post ever! :o

Monday, November 9, 2009

On Feminism

Pre-script: This may not be your favorite topic to discuss or read about, but bear with me. I have a point somewhere in here, I promise!

We all know that feminism is looked down upon, so much that many people are intimidated by the mere mention of it, and anyone who is up for the “rights” of women is labeled a feminist. Whether feminism is a good thing or not depends on those who are carving the label on “feminists” and those who are receiving the label.
People have this negative view of feminism, as if it is the idea that women want to take over the world and rid it of men – or that feminists hate men and spread hatred of men all over the world. Perhaps that’s true for some extremist feminists, but it’s certainly not true for most. Some people also think that feminism means letting a woman go half (or all) naked in public and having her abandon her family (husband and kids and parents) for selfish reasons that have to do with her desire to be free. This is what a lot of people are basically indicating when they call you a feminist in an insulting manner. (Note: I don’t think it’s an insult to be called a feminist at all; I see it as an honor, and I’ll explain below.)

Nonetheless, if women have been treated worse than animals throughout history, should we really blame many of them for the negative attitude they hold towards men? I can't.
Feminism is just the notion that women are just as human as men are, or – as other feminists say – it’s the radical notion that women are people. (No, seriously. Believe it or not, but there have been major historical debates over the argument that women are people! You'll be surprised to know how many people (scholars, in fact :P lol) DON'T think women are humans!... but anyway). That's all it is. But many people misunderstand it and due to this sad misunderstanding hold a negative attitude towards those who label themselves feminists, as though it is a sin to be one. This is not true if one really studies the concept of feminism.

My sister interviewed some women, here in the U.S., for a class about their thoughts of women in the 70s, 80s, etc. and their opinions on the basic rights of women. Every single one was all for women's rights (e.g., rights to education, vote, divorce, marry, and so on), but when my sister asked them in the end, "Would you classify yourself as a feminist?" at least 90% said, "Oh God no! Never! I'm certainly not a feminist!"
I thought it was amusing because on the one hand, they say exactly what the feminists say, but on the other hand, they hold a very negative notion of the group. Interesting, no? Maybe it's the label. We don't wanna be associated with a group if it's got an overall really bad reputation.

I say that because I really don’t know what people think feminism is. If you believe that women are just as important as their male counterparts in a society that they run together and that women should not be treated as lesser humans than men are just because they’re not men, then – oh my God! Believe it or not but – you are a feminist! (I hate placing labels on people, especially the label of feminist, so I should make it clear that I'm making only a general statement here and nothing personal at all.) Oh, and I should mention that feminists aren’t just females; there exist many, many male feminists as well.

What’s more, feminists don’t just focus on women all their lives; they focus on humanity. To be a feminist is to recognize and react (or simply respond) to injustice in any society against any individual or any group of people. Thus, feminism acknowledges the oppression and sufferings of all people, not just women’s. I’m a part of this Women’s Group at my university called “Feminists in Action” (FIA)), and I tell you! These feminists have to be the best group of people on earth. Their openness to differences amazes me, their attitude towards those who don’t believe their way (be they anti-feminists!) relieves me, and their knowledge in different fields impresses me. In our last week’s discussion on feminism and women, one of the members said, “You know it’s natural for women to stay at home and cook, clean, take care of her babies and all because she was born that way. And it’s natural for men to be the breadwinners of the family and to be outside the home more often.” Now, to be perfectly honest, I was shocked to hear a member of the FIA say that out loud, but then I remembered that this group is all about listening, understanding, and respecting: they are not the type to attack or abuse anyone just because they disagree with the majority of feminists might say. And you know how everyone responded to her? With such decency that I’ve never seen before! The first person to express disagreement raised her hand (yeah, we raise our hands before we speak, and each of us lets the other speak before we speak ourselves) and said, “It’s interesting that you should say that because I don’t see anything natural about a woman’s ability to cook and clean and being inside the home all the time. I think society has made us see it that way, that the man belongs outside the home and the woman inside...” and she went on to finish her response. A male member raised his hand to express his view, and other members expressed theirs, and so on.

I am totally respected for saying that although I believe every woman should have the right to work if she wants to, even if it calls for her leaving her home, I would prefer to be with my kids all day long because I don’t trust people around me to raise them the way I think they should be raised. (BUT!! If I'm FORCED to be at home and clothe and feed and raise the kids myself while the hubby darling wanders off wherever and for however long he wants and *I* am expected to cook and clean and all, then we're gonna have some problems - BIG problems. In that case, I'll purposely resist in my own ways. Yeah, I expect Hubby Jaan to share domestic responsibilities with me :D I sure as heck am NOT doing all the cooking/cleaning/etc. I know, I know, I pity him more than you do.) But anyway, so yeah, these people are not the type of feminists who will say, “What kind of a feminist are you then?! How can you call yourself a feminist and prefer children to work?!” They understand that every feminist is different and has his/her own preferences.

The reason these people aren’t like that is that they know what feminism really is about: choice. We believe the woman should be allowed to do what she *knows* (or even believes) to be best for her and others around her, and no one has any right to disrespect her for her choice.

In the same group, I’m part of the “’Zine” committee (I found out only a couple of weeks ago that “zine” is like a tiny magazine), and when the other members and I were planning how it’ll be run during the school year, we decided that we’re going to cover a lot of issues, not just the issues that have been and are haunting women. Sure, we’ll feature stories that deal with injustices and discrimination against women, but we’ll also deal with war victims, children, intersex people (those who are born with both male and female reproductive organs; they’re commonly referred to as “hermaphrodites” but since this term has been used in a rather debasing manner for a few centuries, they prefer to be called intersex), physically/mentally disabled folks, and others who are mistreated only because they are either born a certain way or choose a certain lifestyle that society disrespects them for.

As for my view ... well, I think feminism is good for humanity because it acknowledges the sufferings of all people, especially women, and actually does something about it. It doesn’t let people just complain about what’s wrong in society and how much people are suffering and leave it to God to rescue us from our miseries but actually says, “Okay, now that we realize what’s wrong, let’s unite and fight these injustices.” It’s not easy being a feminist. In the U.S. even until a few decades ago, feminists were imprisoned, if not killed, for openly fighting for their basic rights – especially to vote. Feminism is the reason that women in the west can now earn PhD’s, vote (and even run for office), speak freely in the media, and so on. And forced marriages are certainly not heard of anymore because of feminism.
Of course, nothing comes without a price, and – Alas! - feminism doesn’t seem to be an exception to that universal rule! So it’s got its ups and downs, and perhaps it has ruined the west in many ways, but its positive consequences have outweighed its negative consequences.

So I don't think feminism should be feared at all, nor should anyone be intimidated by feminists. They happen to be among the most misunderstood groups of people on earth, and I understand what has brought about that misunderstanding. But I want people to realize that not all feminists are man-haters or wanna dominate men or wanna leave their children behind and be free outside their homes and dress however they want and do whatever they want even if doing so will mean breaking society apart. Believe it or not, but there exist feminists who would very so enthusiastically spend their lives worshiping (not literally) their husbands, ONLY IF the husbands are just that good to them. Why not? It is a relief to feminists to see that there are actual male humans on earth who would respect and appreciate a woman for who she is rather than for what she is expected to be by society.

It should also be noted that, in general, women instead of men are the main reason that the position of women is low in many societies; it is women who abuse and insult each other more than a man ever abuses/insults other women. (I'm not referring to domestic abuse here.) What I mean is that feminists realize that the strongest enemy of feminism is generally the woman, not the man. While society has a large say in how women are treated, women often bring it upon themselves by not standing up for themselves. They're a very powerful breed of people IF only they would let their power come out for once. If only they spoke up for themselves on their behalf and stood up against the abuses (especially physical abuses) against them . . . This goes for every society, including the western.

Anyway, I can go on and on about why things are wrong in every society and what women and men need do - both as individuals and as each other's sisters/brothers - to move towards a healthier, more secure, and friendly-towards-both-men-and-women society.
But let's not get there right now. You know what I find very interesting? ... When Muslims stand against feminism WHILE talking about how Islam has liberated women!! lol. I mean, Islam really IS the only religion that’s over 300 years old and actually gives women quite a few rights: women are free to be educated (in fact, they must be), they can vote, they can reject and accept marriage proposals as they wish (and forced marriages are NOT recognized by Islam, though they’re the norm in many societies with majority Muslim populations), initiate a divorce (though the process is rather difficult, not at all as simple as it is for the man), have custody of her children in case of divorce when the kids are young, and so on. If these aren’t women’s rights, then what ARE they? If this isn’t feminism, then what IS? Just because the word “feminism” didn’t exist until some decades (or centuries?) ago doesn’t mean it’s a new thing. The concept has ALWAYS existed; just the term for it is new.

So I’m interested to hear how you guys define the following terms: feminism/feminists, oppression, and liberation. It'll be interesting to see what you think it means to respect women as well. Perhaps other people's understanding of respecting females is different from mine (it actually is, lol). Yeah.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Forbidden Thoughts: "Lord My Beloved" by Ghani Baba

Ahhhhhhhh!!! The forbidden thoughts and fantasies verbalized! That Ghani would do that, wouldn't he :D
This poem is simply too good for words! Sam zrra me khushala shee che da Ghani Baba leek wenam. Sharam hum raazi lag lag, LOL! How can one ever get such strength, such boldness to speak his thoughts this openly?! May he rest in peace and be blessed with the "eternal youth" the concept of which raised a million questions in his beautiful Ghani-like mind (if he changes his mind about not wanting it, that is ;)! lol).
Pukhtuns should never forget him. He was a hero! May he live forever, aameen.

More of his poetry can be found at this link. (EDIT - July 2012: This poem is a rough English translation, albeit done very beautifully!) of Ghani's Pashto poem "Che masti we ao zwani," which can be heard here.)

Lord My Beloved!

Would there be elation and youth, the beloved and a chalice full;
Several flowers and a few friends in a mellow evening.
Passion be light and fire, and the heart a flaming tandoor;
I would gladly give up your heavens to embrace such a life.

I’d far prefer this gain because no color is at rest;
Each moment, each hue of life, is your time’s helpless slave;
And the mullah says, in paradise, time would be my slave –
If he were somehow undone, all my troubles would end.

If I find eternal youth, it would become a curse;
I cherish it now as its beauty is soon consumed.
An eternally full moon, an eternal sweet sixteen,
Eternal youth, a river of wine, is it a reward or hell?
I’d weep after this world, and yearn for the night’s crescent,
And remember everyday, the thin mist of eventide.

Sick of faithful houris, I’d seek a fickle beloved;
Man is a hunter by nature, and revels in hunting.
I would fast on revelry’s riverside,
And sulk after the cupbearer’s half-full chalice.

Anything eternal becomes a curse and a catastrophe;
It suits only you, this eternal beginning and end.
Man seeks in each new palace a new beloved;
Seeks red flowers in a wasteland, seeks lighting at night;
He is the child of change and cannot stay the same.
If you took him to heaven, this nature and this being,
He’ll soon be searing and weeping with sore eyes.

lord of great bestowal, turn this world into heaven!
The formula is simple, comprising these three things –
As I’ve said before, a beloved, youth, and a chalice,
So that my silly head is amused from time to time;
And after this worldly death, endow me to the Mullah,
If the wretch would be appeased by mere dreams of houris.

Give me a houri here – lively, full, and fair –
A loving white candle, which burns and flames
In her glance myriad colors; in her nature myriad moods;
With manners such as spring – now sunshine, now rain;
Would she be under one skin, a harem of women;
Now brimming and vivacious, now quiet and retiring;
And in my tired heart, kindle restive flames,
Blazing like fire and dancing like a rill,
And with one impatient glance, intoxicate me so
As to leave everyone amazed and the cupbearer envious.

In place of those thousands give me one here;
Turn my eternal youth to a few years’ rejoicing;
If you cannot do this, lord, keep your fat houris;
I neither need them there nor miss them here.

Those fat and fair ones who yield without entreaty;
Wide and hungry eyes, wallowing in malmal.
Lord! My beloved lord! Just grant this one prayer,
Or else, your Ghani would pine away in love.

- Ghani Khan

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