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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

As we strive to alter our National Identity yet again ...

I have been sent the following modified National Anthem by a well-wisher who thinks that, by adopting this, we will at least take one positive step forward - that of shunning Hypocrisy.

Khayt, Ghar, Zameen - Shaad Baad;
Car behtareen - Shaad Baad;
Pag∂iyaañ, Vizaaratayñ, Makaan,
Koathiyaañ, Imaaratayñ, Dükaan,
Loot-maar, Chheen - Shaad Baad!

Bayvaqoof loag haeñ Avaam;
Rah gaé Ghulaam kay Ghulaam.
Kürsi, Ohdah, Saltanat,
Paaéndah Taabindah Baad;
Leadaroañ ki Manzilé Muraad!

Har taraf Sifaarishoañ ka Jaal;
Sarnegooñ Taraqqi-o-Kamaal.
Paak Sarzameen mayñ Halaal
Rishvat aur Dhaandhli ka Maal?
Laa'naté Khudaé Zuljalaal!


There's no point in merely being critical of our country, though. For we are it. I am often reminded of a legend that my father told me when I was 8 (just a year after Partition):
King Akbar once proclaimed that all his Subjects were honest and sincere. Beerbal, the wise one, said, "Your Majesty, do not rely on assumptions. Let us test this hypothesis." 
The test Beerbal proposed was that everyone be asked to bring a tumbler full of milk in the dark of night and pour it into the large royal bathing pool. The King was puzzled, but had great faith in Beerbal's wondrous ways; so the order was issued. 
The next morning the pool was found to be full of water. Everyone had assumed that the others were going to bring milk ... so if he saved his portion - and poured in water, instead - no one would be able to notice.
And my father wrote in my little scrapbook:

Doosray gar laaéñ paani, ünn ko bhee samjhaao tüm 
Ünn ko samjhaanay se pahlay doodh khüd to lao tüm!
[BTW, a few weeks later he wrote a longer poem of which the above story became part. While no poetical masterpiece - my own emotional attachment aside - reading it, today, I am amazed to note that strains of ethnicity and dishonesty were visible among our people even then. Anyone who wanted to face the truth saw coming whatever is happening today.]

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5 Comments:

Blogger sabizak said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 December, 2005 15:48

 
Blogger Zakintosh said...

Of course, Sabizak, these traits are not unique to us. They are fairly universal. But there's no justification for building a nation or a state on a foundation that is made up by sweeping these underneath.

Certainly no one has the right or the power to condemn another forever. But freedom does allow one to choose to remain condemned.

Hopefully, instead of being so old-world and 'waiting' for a leader to emerge, the new generation will 'become' the leader. It happened in the USA in the 60s --- but the youth had limited power and the dark forces of the Establishment prevailed. Today the youth have much economic and communication power among them, the world over. And the battle is no longer of one country's youth alone. They are all on the same side ... I can feel the rumblings and it makes me very hopeful.

The anthem parody is, without doubt, no laughing matter ... and was not meant to be one. I thought a great deal before posting it but finally decided to do so, for if even a few are thinking this way, we all need to act to change this ugly reality. Do your bit!

27 December, 2005 17:28

 
Blogger BeanZ said...

The parody, as a piece of writing, is funny and I have no qualms about saying that it made me laugh. The truth hurts but we can't always be deathly serious about everything.

Of course that doesn't mean we should sit on our bums and do nothing to change the sorry state of this nation. In certain situations, in addition to evaluating a VW Beetle, it helps to "think small" and do little things that make a difference. And while we are off doing all this stuff, big or small, let's learn to laugh at ourselves once in a while - it's very therapeutic.

28 December, 2005 16:44

 
Blogger insiya said...

I sent out an email with the parody of the anthem attached and ofcourse my usual laughs in my personal message! And suddenly there were all these people throwing cyber stones at me! Uff, there are so many people in my 'always-able-to-piss-me-off' list.

Something needs to be done and I am all for it. Just tell me where and when. I'd be there! :)

29 December, 2005 09:54

 
Blogger Zakintosh said...

just an update: 7 supportive emails. 4 angry or critical ones. And my favourite --- sent, bravely, from a no-reply address that says: it is gays like you who are screweing pakistan. why dont you leve our country if you dont like it.

gays? oh well.

29 December, 2005 12:33

 

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