There are no Flying Carpets in Baghdad anymore

In the story The Thief of Baghdad, Prince Ahmad’s friend Abu steals a flying carpet to help his friend escape from the clutches of the evil vizier Jaffar. For most people of Iraq, however, there are no flying carpets to escape from the clutches of a mindless war that has unleashed too many evil jinns seemingly impossible to put back in the bottle. After five years of the invasion, the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussain seems preferable even to some of its critics.

Aljazeera reporter Rageh Omaar returns to Iraq after five years and reports the state of the country and its people. Just the scale of the humanitarian crisis unleashed by the war is revolting, just as its barbarism is. A very touching piece of reportage.

Watch Part 2 and Part 3 too. The last one covers the stories of the refugees from Iraq- that number 1.5 million into Syria alone.

Sudarshan Faakir

Sudarshan Faakir, poet and lyricist whose ghazals and some nazms were sung by Begum Akhtar in her last phase and Jagjit Singh in his early phase in the 1970s and 1980s died on 19 Feb in Jalandhar. He will be remembered as one of the significant though minor poets of the language. In context of the language issue, it needs to be remarked that he belonged to the small and diminishing tribe of non- Muslim Urdu poets from East Punjab. Krishna Adeeb, who passed away couple of years back and Joginder Lal (known by his nome de plume Naqsh Lyallpuri) are others that come to mind. His compositions may not have been prolific, but each is remarkable for its profundity and perfection.

Pretty much a recluse, this is one of the very few interviews that one can find on the internet. I have heard that he was associated with the left- progressive circle around NK Joshi in the early 1970s in Jalandhar.
Newsreport about his passing away
One of my own favourites is a film song by Faakir
Zindagi main jab tumhare gham nahin the.  Another is the one by Begum Akhtar below.

Another ghazal sung by Mohammad Rafi:

This is a popular Jagjit Singh item Kagaz ki Kashti:

You can listen to a good collection here too.

Romanized text of some of Faakir’s poetry at Urdupoetry.

Don Quixote for the 21st Century

Don Quixote for the 21st Century is incarnated as Donkey Xote in this animation movie to be released next week in Spain. Do all great literary characters, like all great historical events, have to end the first time in a tragedy, and the second time in a farce? One will have to wait to see the movie but the trailer seems to indicate that this is indeed so.

Donkey Xote features stars of film, TV and radio as the voices of the eponymous hero, his faithful sidekick, Sancho Panza, and assorted animal companions as they set off to fight a duel in Barcelona over Don Quixote’s beloved Dulcinea del Toboso.

The adventures of Don Quixote may take up hundreds of pages in Cervantes’ classic, but the film’s producers have by necessity played fast and loose with the story in their adaptation. Squeezing the novel into 80 minutes, it gives starring roles to Don Quixote’s trusty steed, Rocinante, and Sancho Panza’s donkey, Rucio – who bears a striking resemblance to the donkey from the successful Shrek series, voiced by Eddie Murphy. (Guardian report)

Youtube link

Related Posts

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Michael Moore Uncensored

Michael Moore takes on the CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the Iraq war and his movie on the US healthcare system, Sicko.

 A transcript from the report:

Rudy Giuliani: “The free market principles are the only things that reduce cost and improve quality. Socialised medicine will ruin medicine in the United States”.

Moore: “…We have one of the largest socialised system called medicare … even though it is under funded and too much control has been handed over to private companies…”

A longer video on the topic in which the CNN’s “reality check” preceeds Michael Moore’s response.

Michael Moore website

Thanks to HD for the link to the video.


Technorati Tags: , , ,