Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jeevay Pakistan

Two words, “jeevay” (live) and “Pakistan” repeated four times make a complete couplet in one of the most profound poems in Urdu:
Jeevay, jeevay, jeevay Pakistan
Pakistan, Pakistan, jeevay Pakistan

The poet Jameeluddin Aali is one of the greatest living authorities on Urdu language and literature, and wrote forewords on scores of rare classics reprinted under his supervision at Anjuman Taraqi-i-Urdu which he headed at one time. Anthem of OIC (mentioned in a previous post) displays his superb command over Arabicized Urdu but his national songs, such as 'Jeevay Pakistan' are written in simple words and without explicit reference to Islam because Pakistan is not only for Muslims.

'Jeevay Pakistan' can be called the song of Simorgh, the concept presented by great Sufi poet Fariduddin Attar (13th Century): birds pass through seven valleys in search of their unseen king Simorgh, and the thirty survivors find thirty mirrors placed before them – “si” means “thirty” and “morgh” means “bird” in Persian. Each bird seeing its individuality at the same time with others is Simorgh or the collective ego. “I am all of you but still I am more than all of you,” says Simorgh and the voice comes from every bird.

  • Stanza 1
What diverse melodies are scattered when the bird of heart flaps its wings. Listeners, when they listen, are lilted with a single tune: Pakistan! Pakistan, Pakistan, Jeevay…
  • Stanza 2
It brought the scattered ones, the separated ones to a common centre. Among so many stars it appeared like a sun: Pakistan! Pakistan, Pakistan, Jeevay…
  • Stanza 3
Those who suffered, suffered; now it is up to us. One shall we keep our name, one it will remain and one it is: Pakistan! Pakistan, Pakistan, Jeevay…
Music, brilliantly composed by Sohail Rana, brings out a sense of movement and search (Rana once told me that he tried to present all connotations of the phrase “Jeevay Pakistan” separately in the composition: it is prayer as well as determination and journey. Read my interview with Sohail Rana).



    After a long and eager wait chapter seven of Rashid Minhas biography is worthy of the delay, a premium post, lengthier and decorated with a classic photograph of Rashid Minhas with father and brothers.

    The photograph saying thousand words, Rashid's father and younger sibling starring into camera oblivious of what great heights their loved one is going to achieve in no distant too a future, but Rashid, I am sure even at that moment looking beyond that camera far and away to a horizon where his destiny is writ large and clear.

    I cannot even imagine anything else as every word and every action associated with him over here which I have read leads to one road and a single destination- I AM the TRUTH. The seed was there, the soil was there, the nurturing environment was there, so when the moment arrived, like Mansur and Jesus he stood tall and paid the price of knowing, which is unknown to those who don't know the self and are not awakened.


    How we can show our gratitude to you Khurram Sahib, for bringing such master pieces from our literature but with a new and altered dimension. Gone are the days when it was believed that we live in a three dimensional world and TIME is the fourth dimension.

    Aalijee's this gem we cannot forget sung by Shahnaz Begum in those gloomy days when we were physically and morally down on cession of East Pakistan and this song alone elevated our morals and spirits. Your translation is very good and radiates in mind all images connected to this.

  2. Pleasantly surprised to discover this!
    These are my guesses about the valleys and the couplets they relate to . If wrong, please tell.
    من پنچھی جب پنکھ ہلاے کیا کیا سر بکھراے
    سننے والے سنیں تو ان میں ایک ہی دھن لہراے
    The Valley of Longing (Talab): Here, the travellers were required to overcome all feelings except the longing for the ideal.
    بکھرے ہواں کو بچھڑے ہواں کو اک مرکز پہ لایا
    اتنے ستاروں کے جھرمٹ میں سورج بن کے آیا
    Faqr-o-Fana (Chosen Poverty & Annihilation): A single ray of the sun lit the atmosphere and long-lasting shadows disappeared. Memories were restored and everything changed.
    جھیل گے دکھ جھیلنے والے اب ہے کام ہمارا
    ایک رہیں گے، ایک رہے گا، ایک ہے نام ہمارا
    The Valley of Unity (Tauheed): The sun of selfhood dawned here. The travellers could see how they were organically connected to each other. Dos and don’ts didn’t apply in this valley.