Heer Waris Shah by Taimur Afghani

A chance search on youtube led to this superb rendition of the Heer Waris Shah by Taimur Afghani, a name I never heard before and don’t find any more information on google except what appears in the accompanying text at youtube:

Taimur Afghani, a budding singer, makes a very special rendition of singing Heer Waris Shah at the historical Hirn Minar, Shaikhupura, Pakistan.

Taimurji is resident of Jandiala Sher Khan. Jandiala Sher was probably settled by Pir Waris Shah’s father, Syed Sher Gul Khan, a migrant from afghanistan. Taimur is working very hard on establishing Pir Waris Shah academy in Jandiala. He is also an organizer and coordinator for Heer singing gathering at the Darbar on 14th moon night of each month. He is happily married and is a father of a beautiful young son.

Part 2, Part 3 (distracting conversations in the latter half somewhat mar the last one)

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Begum Nawazish Ali

 

The talk show host making waves in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (and  apparently Kashmir) is purportedly a stylish, middle-aged, socialite widow of an army colonel. Her monologues are often laced with sexual innuendo, she flirts openly with her guests, and sometimes embarrasses them with probing questions about their private lives. Her guests include some of Pakistan’s most well-known personalities: the urban elite, film and television stars and even some top politicians. Most are nevertheless thrilled to be invited to appear on a program millions are watching.Viewers are obviously fascinated too. Dinner party conversations here in Karachi are often peppered with anecdotes about her risqué banter and sly digs at Pakistani politics. Women call the television station to inquire about the tailoring of her sequined blouses and where to buy her glamorous saris.

The thing is, Begum Nawazish Ali is actually a man. Ali Saleem, the 28-year-old man who dons lipstick, mascara and a wig to Begum Nawazish Ali, has managed to break many taboos in conservative Pakistan through the character.(more)

More than Begum Nawazish Ali, I found Etiraz Hussain’s responses fascinating. Hussain, a parliamentarian and lawyer, is one the invitees to the show along with the Pakistani actress, Nirma in this episode. Besides the delectable Urdu couplets, his passing remarks on Pakistani politics and society delivered with well tempered flamboyance are matched by those delivered somewhat more gregariously by the ‘Begum’. This comes out more in part II below.

Youtube Link Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Link via 3Quark

Inventing India

Arvind N Das, who died seven years ago at a tragically young age at 52, nevertheless packed a lot in his intense life. A product of the “Spring Thunder over India” in the late 1960s, he was part of the brilliant team at the Times of India in the late 1980s which is when one became acquainted with his insightful writings.

Trained as a historian, he moved, first to print journalism and then to the medium of TV setting up Asia Pacific Communications to produce a nuanced documentary on the history of India. In the documentary, as in his writings, he showed himself as a student of DD Kosambi to whom he dedicated the documentary that appeared in 13 parts on Doordarshan. He remained an engaged social historian in the tradition of DD Kosambi and EP Thompson.

In his book “India Invented”, he made the observation that India is not something waiting to be discovered, as Jawaharlal Nehru had treated it in his Discovery of India, but something that is to be constantly invented in the process of understanding it- that was his statement of praxis.

The first part of the documentary is now available at google videos. It is also available from Asia Pacific Communications and can be ordered, I believe, from the address given at the google videos site.

Link to Google Videos

Needless to say, it is a very ennobling, and educative experience to be able to watch this documentary once again. One of the best in the series is the one where Das delves into the emergence and decadence of Buddhism (part 5), though this one doesn’t seem to be available online as yet. DD Kosambi had himself written very insightfully on the decline of Buddhism in India in his collection of essays Exasperating Essays.

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"We locked away Gandhi on Feb 28"

“Terror was unleashed at Godhra Station because this country follows Gandhi, we locked away Gandhi on Feb 28 (2002), reform yourselves or we will forget Gandhi. Till we follow Gandhi’s policies of non- violence … kneeling before Muslims, terrorism cannot be eliminated. Brothers we have to abandon Gandhi.”

– Praveen Togadia (quoted from his speech in the video)

A heart wrenching documentary Final Solution on the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 and subsequent elections in the Hindutva laboratory.

Link to google videos

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