Sunday, February 28, 2010

HABIB JALIB- A POET of ALL SEASONS

BY MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD

Remembering HABIB JALIB on his 82nd Birthday today (February 28, 2010)

Muhabbat golion sy bo rahay ho/ Watan ka chehra khoon' sy dho rahay ho/ Gumaan' tumko ky rasta katt raha hay/ Yakeen' mujhko ky manzil kho rahy ho

Habib Jalib (1928 - 1993) was one of the most renowned Pakistani revolutionary poet of 20th century. A left wing activist and politician. He was a staunch democrat who opposed martial law, authoritarianism and state oppression.

After Nazir Akbarabadi, Jalib is perhaps the finest poet labeled as poet of masses. Like Akbarabadi he is truly a man of the people — his way of life is like that of the common people. His style of loving, thinking and feeling is like that of the common people, and his aspirations are those of the common people. And he expresses the sadness, the pain, the voice and the desires of the common people in their language. And if thousands and hundreds of thousands love Jalib so much, and lose control over themselves on hearing his verses, then this love, this infatuation, is not without cause.

While reading his classic collection of poetry, 1 am missing his words badly, as it is a time ripe enough to a voice like of Jalib to filled the air of this country. Here are few extracts from his mas­ter pieces…….

Har Shakhs meray des ka karzay may hay jakra
Mehngai ki afriyyat nay logon ko hay pakra
Soobay bhi hain biphray huay markaz bhi hay akra

Allah he cbaJata hay meray des ka chakra.

His poetry was a true reflection of Awami (public) feelings and aspirations. Jalib, never failed to lose direct, vibrant and strong contact with the masses in any regime till the last drop of blood running through his veins.

Farzi mukaddamaat hain jhooti sha-hadatein
Hum phjrbni likh rahein hein junoo ki hikayatein
Mujrim ki abb nishaan-dahi kon kar saky
Abb tak hein band ahle kalam ki adalatein.


Pakistan ki gheirat kay rakhwalo!
Bheek na mango
Tor kay iss kashkole ko aadhi khalo
Bheek na mango
Dosto jag-hansaai na mango
Maot mango, rehaai na mango
Ghaasibon say bhalaai na mango
Maot mango, rehaai na mango


Unfortunately, today there's no such person alive in these critical juncture of affairs, who can fight against evil and insist on truth. None is willing to sacrifice his personality and poetry for the common good of the people in modern days.

Yeh dharti hay asl may piaray
mazduron dehkano ki
Iss dharti par chal na sakay gi
Marzi cand gharano ki


Today, everyone is afraid of the power and wealth of the oppressors; Habib Jalib was the one who unmasked veils of those who massacred at night. Today, we need such person like Jalib, who can put life in the fad­ing pulse of the nation.

Amreeka say maang na bheek
Matt kar logon ki tazkeek
Roke naa jamhoori tehreek
Chore na aazadi ki raah
Pakistan ka matlab kia
La Ilaha Illal Lah.


Sometimes I think, how did this earthly mendicant get his power to say ‘No’? What is this power that makes this gentle person fight against evil and insist on truth? In fact this power is due to the love of the people and the animal spring which lends bravery and enthusiasm to Jalib comes from the people. Habib Jalib has sacrificed his personality and his poetry for the common good of the people.

Deep jiska sirf mahellaat hi main jalay,

Chand logon ki khushyon ko lay ker chalay,
Wo jo saay main har maslihat kay palay;
Aisay dastoor ko, Subh e bay noor ko,
Main naheen maanta, Main naheen jaanta.

Main bhee kha’if naheen takhta e daar say,
Main bhee Mansoor hoon, keh do aghyaar say,
Kyun daraatay ho zindaan ki divar say,
Zulm ki baat ko, Jehel ki raat ko,
Main naheen maanta, Main naheen jaanta.

Phool shaakhon pay khilnay lagay tum kaho,
Jaam rindon ko milnay lagay tum kaho,
Chaak seenon kay silnay lagay tum kaho,
Iss khulay jhoot ko, Zehan ki loot ko,
Main naheen maanta, Main naheen jaanta.

Tum nay loota hai sadyon hamara sakoon,
Ab na hum per chalay ga tumhara fasoon,
Charagar main tumhain kisttarah say kahoon?
Tum naheen charaagar, Koi maanay magar,
Main naheen maanta, Main naheen jaanta.

-Muhammad Mahtab Bashir
03335363248
Islamabad

Sunday, February 21, 2010

INTERNATIONAL MOTHER TONGUE DAY- A Tribute to the Greatness of Punjabi People

BY MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com

Language is the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongue serves not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

Though an Islooite’s by birth, my Mother Tongue is neither Urdu nor English or any other but Punjabi. My parents hailing from Lahore & Gujranwala, made me a built-in Punjabi- both in caste, and creed and obviously in a sense of transforming this Mother Language called ‘Punjabi’.

According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Punjabi is the most spoken language of Pakistan. It is spoken as first language by over 44.15% of Pakistanis. Punjabis comprise the largest ethnic group in the country. Punjabis are dominant in key institutions such as business, agriculture, industry, government, army, navy, air force, and police, which is why about 70% of Pakistanis can understand or speak Punjabi.

Today (February 21) is the International Mother Language Day- a day that was proclaimed by UNESCO's General Conference in November 1999. The International Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
On 16 May 2007, by resolution 61/266, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

Marking this day, I would love to share few of Punjabi lines written by few of my all time favorite poets. This wont be a bad idea to give gratitude to all Punjabi people for their sacrifices, and services they rendered over the centuries to make Punajbi a language of International repute. I’m also indebted to all Punjabi mothers for their contribution in nurturing their children for the welfare of society and country!

Rabba Sachiya tu tay Akhiya si
Ja Oye Bandiya Jug Da Shah hain Toon
Sadian Naimtan terian Doltan Nain
Sada Naib tay Alijah hain Toon
Aes Larey Tay Tor Kud Puchiya Iy
Kee Iss Nimanay tey bitiyan nayn
Kadi Saar wi layi O Rab Sayin
Teray Shah Nal Jag ki Kitiyan nayn
Kithay Dhons Polis Sarkar di ay
Kithay Dhandli Patwar Di ay
Enwain Huddan ich Kalpay Jan meri
Jeewan Phahi ich Koonj Kurlaondi Ay
Changa Shah Bnaya ei Rab Sayian
Polay khandiyan War na Ayondi ay
Mainu Shahi nai Chahidi Rab meray
Main tay Izzat da tukkar mangna han
Menu Tahng nai, mehlan mnarian di
Main tay Jeewan di Nukkar Mangna han
Meri Mannain tay tairian main mannan
Teri Sohn Jay ik wi gal moran
Jey Ayeh nai Pujdi tan Rabba fair
Main Jawan tay RAB Koi Hor loraan

-FAIZ AHMED FAIZ

Mera Tay Bus aina e kujh ay
Hissa Apnay Aap dy which
Jinna Raat day sunan walay da
Paar ay paer di chaap dy which

-MUNIR NIAZI

Jay tu chad ky tur jana si
Pyaar di khed rachai kio si
Dy ky kaol jy phir jana si
Dil di baazi lai kio si

Menu jisda dar si channa
Orak o gal ho kay rai
Paanway hun may moyaan wargi
Jeenwan gi par teray lai

Khoray meray ronday dil tay
Tenu taras kadi aa jaway
Khoray kich meri yadaan di
Tenu aithay kich liaway.
-AHMED RAHI


Charsi naal meil sharabi da, nahi ho sakda, nahi ho sakda
Koi Sunni yaar wahabi da, Nahi ho sakda, nahi ho sakda

Sao sabun bhaway wartan pay, kanwaan nay baglay nahi hona Tappar to laththa chabi da, nahi ho sakda, nahi ho sakda

Buriyan nay kaar bhalaai da- na karna aay, na honi aay
Bhaliyaan to kam kharaabi da, nahi ho sakda, nahi ho sakda

Gharian which koh mukanday nay, jo banday udham walay nay
Sustaan to pandh shataabi da- nahi ho sakda, naho ho sakda

O baal Obeira, rul janday, jinna diyan Maawan mar jawan
Maa warga saaya Bhabhi da- nahi ho sakda, nahi ho sakda.

-OBEIR ABUZARI

Ajj da Din wi awaien e langiyaa, koi wi kam na hoya
Purab wallon’ chariya Suraj, Pachchim aan khaloya
Naa milya may khalqat nu, na yaad Khuda nu keeta
Naa may parhi Namaz tay naa may Jaam Sharaab da peeta
Khushi naa gham- koi kol na aya, naa hasya, naa royaa
Ajj da Din wi awaien e langiyaa, koi wi kam na hoya

-MUNIR NIAZI





MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
0333 5363 248

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A PILL TO FALL IN OR OUT OF LOVE!

After the passion of Valentine’s Day, here is some sobering news for lovers. Pop a love pill, and you are on. And pop an anti-love pill, you are done - without any lingering emotions.

Scientists say it will soon be possible to fall in and out of love at whim - just like hopping into a bus and then getting off two stops later.


They say that since falling in love is merely a chemical reaction in the human brain, a love pill may be invented soon to trigger this chemical reaction to make people in love.

And then there could be an anti-love pill to make people fall out of love.

According to an American neuro-scientist, researchers may soon find the right kind of chemical mixture to help people fall in and out of love.

Larry Young of Atlanta 's Emory University School of Medicine told a television network at the weekend that researchers may soon be able to show that emotions such as love are directly triggered by biochemical events in the human brain.

He said his research into prairie voles - which are short-tailed, mouse-like animals found in the prairies (fertile plains) of the US and Canada - has shown that sexual bonding can be triggered and blocked by the addition or subtraction of certain chemicals to the brain.

“(The voles) are monogamous. That is, they form a life-long bond with a partner. We have been studying the chemistry behind that,'' he said.
But when Young injected the chemical (hormone) oxytocin into the brain of a female prairie vole, she quickly abandoned her monogamy and fell for the nearest male. But when the chemical hormone to her brain was stopped, her bonding with the new mate was over.

According to Young, “The hormone interacts with the reward and reinforcement system driven by the neurotransmitter dopamine - the same circuitry that drugs such as nicotine, cocaine and heroine act on in humans to produce euphoria and addiction.''

The happy news, said Young, is that his research has shown that ``there is an overlap between the brain areas involved in vole bonding and those associated with human love.

“What's more, the chemical oxytocin, which was observed to trigger bonding in voles, also changes human behaviour.

“People who inhale oxytocin become more trusting ... They engage in more eye contact ... (It) tunes them into the social world. Dopamine gives us a reward, so you feel good.''

Creating a cocktail of these two chemicals (oxytocin and dopamine) in the form of a love pill could create an attraction between two people, he said.

But if attraction could be chemically induced, he added, the opposite was also possible in the form of anti-love pills.

“You could block those chemicals when you're around this person. All drugs are just mimicking or blocking our own natural brain chemistry,'' Young said.

He said these chemical cocktails could help countless couples who spend huge amounts of money on marital therapy in future.
IANS

WOMEN TAKE MORE TIME TO UNDERSTAND JOKES

Women take little extra time to understand jokes but they derive more pleasure from a good punchline compared to their male counterparts, according to a new study.

The study conducted at Stanford University in California found that women use more parts of the brain than men to process jokes and have less expectation that they willfind them funny.

The research, which was aimed at unravelling the mystery of how our sense of humour works, suggested that women preferred more sophisticated humour and used more complex brain functions to process it, The Sunday Times reported.

"Our findings fit the stereotype of how men and women react to humour," said lead researcher Prof Allan Reiss, director of the university`s Interdisciplinary Brain SciencesResearch Center.

"We found greater activity in the prefrontal cortex in women, indicating women are processing stimuli that involve language areas of the brain. The interpretation of that finding is that women tend to respond more to word play and narrative than slapstick."

For the study, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology to monitor how men and women respond to humour differently by observing their brain activity.

In one of the experiments, 10 women and 10 men were placed in an fMRI scanner and shown 70 black-and-white cartoons on a screen. They pressed buttons to indicate howamusing they found each joke.
The scanner measured the subjects` brain activity as they viewed both funny and unfunny cartoons, as well as timing how long it took them to respond to a joke.

The experiments found that women displayed more intense activity than men in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which controls language interpretation and in-depthanalytical processes.

Researchers said that women participants of the study took slightly longer to react to jokes that were funny, but enjoyed the punchlines more. They, however, said the timedifference was marginal."

The scans also indicate that women have a lower expectation that they will find jokes funny but when they do, they experience a greater degree of reward," said Reiss."

Men have the opposite response. They show more activation of nucleus accumbens (the part of the brain involved in reward and pleasure), indicating they expect to get the joke but when they don’t they get more depressed."

Reiss is now conducting similar tests on children to determine whether gender differences in humour are biological and genetic or nurtured through experience.
Agencies

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

OF SYMPATHY

By Adam Smith

How selfish so ever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion which we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrow of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous and humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it.

As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation. Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did, and never can, carry us beyond our own person, and it is by the imagination only that we can form any conception of what are his sensations. Neither can that faculty help us to this any other way, than by representing to us what would be our own, if we were in his case. It is the impressions of our own senses only, not those of his, which our imaginations copy. By the imagination we place ourselves in his situation, we conceive ourselves enduring all the same torments, we enter as it were into his body, and become in some measure the same person with him, and thence form some idea of his sensations, and even feel something which, though weaker in degree, is not altogether unlike them. His agonies, when they are thus brought home to ourselves, when we have thus adopted and made them our own, begin at last to affect us, and we then tremble and shudder at the thought of what he feels. For as to be in pain or distress of any kind excites the most excessive sorrow, so to conceive or to imagine that we are in it, excites some degree of the same emotion, in proportion to the vivacity or dullness of the conception.

That this is the source of our fellow-feeling for the misery of others, that it is by changing places in fancy with the sufferer, that we come either to conceive or to be affected by what he feels, may be demonstrated by many obvious observations, if it should not be thought sufficiently evident of itself. When we see a stroke aimed and just ready to fall upon the leg or arm of another person, we naturally shrink and draw back our own leg or our own arm; and when it does fall, we feel it in some measure, and are hurt by it as well as the sufferer. The mob, when they are gazing at a dancer on the slack rope, naturally writhe and twist and balance their own bodies, as they see him do, and as they feel that they themselves must do if in his situation. Persons of delicate fibres and a weak constitution of body complain, that in looking on the sores and ulcers which are exposed by beggars in the streets, they are apt to feel an itching or uneasy sensation in the correspondent part of their own bodies. The horror which they conceive at the misery of those wretches affects that particular part in themselves more than any other; because that horror arises from conceiving what they themselves would suffer, if they really were the wretches whom they are looking upon, and if that particular part in themselves was actually affected in the same miserable manner. The very force of this conception is sufficient, in their feeble frames, to produce that itching or uneasy sensation complained of. Men of the most robust make, observe that in looking upon sore eyes they often feel a very sensible soreness in their own, which proceeds from the same reason; that organ being in the strongest man more delicate, than any other part of the body is in the weakest.

Neither is it those circumstances only, which create pain or sorrow, that call forth our fellow-feeling. Whatever is the passion which arises from any object in the person principally concerned, an analogous emotion springs up, at the thought of his situation, in the breast of every attentive spectator. Our joy for the deliverance of those heroes of tragedy or romance, who interest us, is as sincere as our grief for their distress, and our fellow-feeling with their misery is not more real than that with their happiness. We enter into their gratitude towards those faithful friends who did not desert them in their difficulties; and we heartily go along with their resentment against those perfidious traitors who injured, abandoned, or deceived them. In every passion of which the mind of man is susceptible, the emotions of the bystander always correspond to that, by bringing the case home to himself, he imagines should be the sentiments of the sufferer.

Pity and compassion are words appropriated to signify our fellow-feeling with the sorrow of others. Sympathy, though its meaning was, perhaps, originally the same, may now, however, without much impropriety, be made use of to denote our fellow-feeling with any passion whatever.

(The extract is taken from The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith)

Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economics. He is also the author of The Wealth of Nations, which is considered the first modern work of economics.
Courtesy DAIL TIMES Feb 01, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

YOU'RE THE AIR THAT I BREATHE ...

By Mahtab Bashir
mahtabbashir@gmail.com
Islamabad

I’m not a perfect person. There are many things I wish I didn’t do but I continue learning. I never meant to do those things to you. And so I have to say before I go further- that I want you to know.

Today is Valentine’s Day- a day supposedly dedicated to love, lovers & romanticism. On this day, I’ve found a reason to change what I used to be. I want to start my life all over again for a reason- and that reason is you!!! This day I want to dedicate a song to my dear one- the song I’ve selected is one of my all time favourite and down the memory lane, it was perhaps the only song I understand, rather learnt by heart during my college days.

With so many beautiful emotional songs, it's hard to pick just one, but one current song I really love is, “ALL THAT I NEED” from BoyZone- an all boys band of whom I was (am) a die hard fan. The song really depicts different situations, but for me it describes a relationship between a man and a woman. As the character sings I get the feeling that he is very sorry for things he's done in the past, and although he cannot change them he understands that his mind is made up, and he has no other choice but to "hang around" and see what happens next.

‘All that I need’ – Quite a meaningful song, shows that you don't have to "be someone else" all your life and that you should be you. You should respect yourself and the things you have accomplished. It’s all for you dear…. & you know who you are! … And I want to thank you, lady!!! Here’s for you…….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mlD6nEgyE8

I was lost and alone
Trying to grow making my way down that long winding road
Had no reason no rhyme
Like a song out of time
And there you were standing in front of my eyes

How could I be such a fool
To let go of love and break all the rules
Girl when you walked down that door
Left a hole in my heart
And now I know for sure

You're the air that I breathe
Girl you're all that I need
And I wanna thank you, lady
You're the words that I read
You're the light that I see
And your love is all that I need

I was searching in vain
Playing a game Had no-one else but myself left to blame
You came into my world
No diamonds or pearls Just like a castle of sand
Girl, I almost let love slip right out of my hands
And just like a flower needs rain
I will stand by your side through the joy and the pain

You're all that I need, girl
You're the air that I breathe, yeah
And I want to thank you
(And I want to thank you, lady)

You're the words that I read, girl
You're love is all I need, yeah
And I want to thank you
(And I want to thank you, lady)

You're all that I need, girl
You're the air that I breathe, yeah
And I want to thank you .......

Muhammad Mahtab Bashir
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com
03335363248
Islamabad

Friday, February 12, 2010

NICE MEN MORE ATTRACTIVE

When it comes to the dating game, nice guys are the winners, says Scientists.

Research shows that although good looks are still important, it is a kind heart that makes a girl go weak at the knees. Psychologists discovered that women are much more likely to fall for the man who shows generosity and a willingness to help other people.

In a series of tests, men who had "altruistic interests", such as working for a charity, were regarded as "significantly more desirable." Although being devoted to good causes will not make a man more physically appealing, it does make him a better candidate for a marriage or simply a one-night stand, the study revealed.

The findings came after experiments involving 150 female undergraduates at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. They were shown a set of fictional dating adverts, each including a man's photo and a brief description.

Researchers changed the wording so that some women saw an "altruistic" version, while others got a "neutral" one. For example, one group was shown a man who played guitar in a children's hospital, while a second group was shown the same photo but told he simply performed "in a local establishment".

Results revealed that the women found the "nice guy" more attractive.

Dr Pat Barclay, who led the study, said: "In some of the profiles we gave hints to indicate kind, altruistic interests such as 'I enjoy helping people' and 'I volunteer at the food bank'. We found that women showed a strong preference for relationships with altruistic men, even though the clues to altruistic traits were fairly subtle. This suggests that women are attuned to generosity, and that altruism serves a purpose in mate selection.

"Folk wisdom apparently argues that 'nice guys finish last' and that they are less attractive than 'bad boys'. However, this is often an unfair comparison."

Other research has suggested that women are drawn to macho males regarded as "heroic risk takers".

Dr Barclay said: "Public generosity is a way to signal good character to potential mates. Altruism is a costly behaviour that seems to bring no obvious or immediate benefit to the altruist. However, as we have seen in this study, it seems to serve an important purpose in mate choice.
"If a man is kind and generous towards others - even strangers - then there's a good chance that he'd make a good and generous parent."


The report is published in the British Journal of Psychology.
Courtesy Telegraph