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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Abode of Love

The blog entry titled 'Abode of Love' that I have linked to here, describes the rich cultural and architectural heritage of, as well as the present state of affairs at the town of Malka Hans in Pakistani Punjab, where Waris Shah (the legendary Sufi saint and Punjabi poet) is said to have composed his magnum opus i.e. his version of the immortal love tragedy Heer-Ranjha, in 1766.

His version is widely regarded as being the most popular, among some 76 known ones. As the poet Mohammad Ilyas has rightly said:

Khabar pal tey naa ik saah di ey
Ajab kheyD us beparwaah di ey
Heer Ranjhyaa teri naa ho saki,
Heer ho gayi Waris Shah di ey

(It is a strange, Divine play that no one is definite about the next moment in life. O Ranjha, instead of you, Heer has been named after Waris Shah.)

During the trip to Pakistan in April, I had the good fortune of being able to buy, at Hasan Abdal, a set of books containing selected verses by famous Sufi saints including Waris Shah, Bulleh Shah, Sultan Bahu, Mian Mohammad Baksh, Baba Farid and Shah Hussain.

Not only do I find Punjabi poetry by the Sufis to be a very engrossing read, but I am very often also able to connect it with my experiences in daily life.

The author of the books is Professor Saeed Ahmad Farani, who, I believe, also writes a regular column that is published at the website of the Academy of the Punjab in North America (a non-religious and non-political organisation that is making a highly commendable effort towards promoting Punjabi language, literature and culture.).

A remarkable coincidence was that the good professor was present at the book-stall at Hasan Abdal, while I was making the purchase and my father was able to exchange a few words with him. He came across as a very humble man who does not seek fame or fortune, but only to serve his mother tongue to the best of his abilities. May the Almighty bless him with a long life!

As Waris Shah has declared:

Waris Shah oh sadaa ee jewNdey neyN
JehnaaN keetiyaaN neyk kamaaiyaaN nee

(Waris Shah! Those who perform good deeds shall receive eternal life.)


Sidhusaaheb said...

At last i can comment … wonderful post … BTW i wonder and as obvious you can read Urdu or Punjabi … you can ??? how come??

and I liked the ending part – THE most

“”Waris Shah oh sadaa ee jewNdey neyN – JehnaaN keetiyaaN neyk kamaaiyaaN nee”"

Speaking it out in punjabi is really fun and nice feel …!
Asma | Homepage | 11.01.06 – 4:53 pm | #


Good to have you here…

I can read Punjabi (my mother tongue, which I can read in both Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi scripts), English, Hindi and Urdu.

I learnt the first three languages at school and Urdu I learnt for a few months from the Maulvi saaheb of a nearby mosque, because I like Urdu poetry and also because both my grandfathers knew the language and so I wanted to learn it too (especially because I never learnt it from them during their lifetimes). This also enabled me to read Punjabi written in the Shahmukhi script.

I speak Punjabi only at home and, of course, Sufiana qalaam is so beautiful!
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 11.01.06 – 8:28 pm | #


Thanks for this great post and many thanks for the plugin.
shirazi | Homepage | 11.02.06 – 10:19 am | #


You are always welcome, Shirazi Sa’ab!
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 11.02.06 – 12:12 pm | #


Thats great
Asma | Homepage | 11.03.06 – 9:54 am | #


Loved this post! I am also particularly partial to Punjabi and was wondering the same thing as Asma. Will be linking to your blog soon.
sabizak | Homepage | 11.03.06 – 3:58 pm | #



I hope you found the links in the post to be of interest, as well. The Academy (APNA)’s website provides online access to a lot of Punjabi literature and music and I’ve also linked to a web page that has details of the books that I purchased.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 11.04.06 – 5:25 am | #


Going is GOOD!!!
Ra | Homepage | 11.05.06 – 10:44 pm | #


thou have been tagged
Asma | Homepage | 11.06.06 – 5:42 am | #


Great post !
Cyberkitty | Homepage | 11.06.06 – 6:53 am | #


@Ra: By God’s grace!

@Cyberkitty: Thanks!

@Asma: Yes, Your Excellency!
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 11.06.06 – 11:36 am | #

Sidhusaaheb said...

Dr. Nayyar Hashmey Says:

June 28, 2008 at 7:12 am | Reply edit

Dear Sidhusaaheb,

While putting up a composition on the great Sufi Poet Syed Waris Shah I happened to land with your blog and an articl “Abode of love”. Its a very good composition no doubt on the great Punjabi Poet. I do feel pity on the state of neglect we Punjabis in Pakistan have relegated our beautiful mother tongue to, although friends like Fakhar Zaman of the World Punjabi Congress and Dr. Shaista Nuzhat of PILAC are doing a lot in this direction. But still a lot is needed to be done for promotion of Punjabi.

Your contribution in this regard is commendable too. I wish your efforts a big success.

Rab Rakha.

Dr. Nayyar Hashmey