Aug 15 2012

Reincarnation

Posted by Knonie

Reincarnation, ©Knonie + haby

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?

Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, To Him we shall return.

Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi,
Translated by Reynold A. Nicholson


Original Persian script:

از جمادی مُردم و نامی شدم
وز نما مُردم بحیوان سرزدم
مُردم از حیوانی و آدم شدم
پس چه ترسم کی ز مردم کم شدم
حملهء دیگر بمیرم از بشر
تا برآرم از ملایک بال و پر
وز ملک هم بایدم جستن ز جو
کل شییء هالک الاوجهه
بار دیگر از ملک پران شوم
آنچه اندر وهم ناید آن شوم
پس عدم گردم عدم چو ارغنون
گویدم کانا الیه راجعون


Jul 26 2012

The Meeting

Posted by Knonie

Clay faces

When you saw me, without false robes
You offered your heart

When I held your hands
I touched your heart

You talked to me
but had a conversation with yourself

We met each other wearing mirrors
and fell in love with each other

(Knonie, 7 May, 2011)


Apr 11 2012

“Aa tujhay main gungunana chahta hoon” – Qateel

Posted by Knonie

Apnay honton pay sajana chahta hoon
Aa tujhay main gungunana chahta hoon

Koi aansu teray daaman pay gira kar
Boond ko moti banana chahta hoon

Barh gayi is hadd talak bay-aitamadi
Tujh ko tujh say bhi chhupana chahta hoon

Thak gaya main kartay kartay yaad tujh ko
Ab tujhay main yaad aana chahta hoon

Jo bana baa’is meri nakamion ka
Main ussi k kaam aana chahta hoon

Chhaa raha hai saari basti par andhera
Roshni ko ghar jalana chahta hoon

Phool say paikar tou niklay bay-murrawat
Pathron ko aazmana chahta hoon

Reh gayi thi kuch kami ruswaion main
Phir Qateel uss dar pay jana chahta hoon

– Qateel Shifai


Jan 28 2012

Some lines for the Crazy ones, the Misfits, the Rebels…

Posted by Knonie

Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.


[This free-verse poem is written by a Chiat/Day; copywriter, Craig Tanimoto, for Apple TV advertisement campaign]

Various personalities appearing in this ad in the order of appearance:

Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon, Buckminster Fuller, J. R. R. Tolkien, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson, Frank Lloyd Wright & Pablo Picasso.

Voice of this version ad was performed by Steve Jobs, the man behind Apple Computers Inc.


Jun 7 2011

“Tere gham ko jaan ki talash thi”, Ghazal by Faiz sung by Knonie

Posted by Knonie

Check the embedded video to listen to the track in my voice. I recited that ghazal without any music. Recorded on MacBook using a Sony microphone.

 

I asked a friend to help me out translating it. Although it’s almost impossible to produce the same feel of a piece of writing in another language while translating and it is such a skillful art, but presented below is the [loose] English translation of this ghazal of Faiz. It is done by my intelligent friend Bolongo Katayama.

English Translation:

Your sorrow needed blood to nurture, (alas!) your sacrificial enthusiasts have left. Those who were longing for their turn, (alas!) they were swept away by the time’s tide.

After being defeated by your deafening apathy, (alas!) the night of longing elapsed. At my dogged determination, all my sympathizers left.

There left no question of blissful communion, nor the renditions of sorrow, neither tales nor complaints. In your reign, all the rights of bemoaning heart subsided.

It was me who was cloaked in the robe of accusation. But proudly wearing those scars I reached the counsel of my beloved.

The passions of love and fidelity no longer exist; what would you do of gallows and chains then? Those who hailed the vice of love, (alas!) those transgressors have left.

Urdu Script:

Below is a photo of this specific page from the complete works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz in Urdu, compilation titled “Nuskha-haaye wafa

Tere gham ko jaan ki talash thi, by Faiz Ahmad Faiz


May 11 2011

BREADMAKING – Mevlana Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Posted by Knonie

There was a feast. The king was in his cups.
He saw a learned scholar walking by.
“Bring him in and give him some of this fine wine.”

Servants rushed out and brought the man to the king’s table,
but he was not receptive.

“I had rather drink poison! Take it away!”
He kept on with these loud refusals,
disturbing the atmosphere of the feast.

This is how it sometimes is at God’s table.

Someone who has heard about ecstatic love, but never tasted it,
disrupts the banquet.
He’s all fire and no light, all husk and no kernel.

sunflower-knonie

The king gave orders,
“Cupbearer, do what you must.”
This is how your invisible guide acts, the chess champion across from you that always wins.

He cuffed the scholar’s head and said, “Taste!” and
“Again!” started singing and telling ridiculous jokes.
He joined the garden, snapping his fingers and swaying.
Soon, of course, he had to pee.

He went out, and there near the latrine was a beautiful woman,
one of the king’s harem. His mouth hung open.
He wanted her! Right then, he wanted her!
And she was not unwilling.

They fell to, on the ground. You’ve seen a baker rolling dough.
He kneads it gently at first,
The cup was drained, and the intellectual then more roughly.
He pounds it on the board. It softly groans under his palms.
Now he spreads it out and rolls it flat.
Then he bunches it, and rolls it all the way out again, thin.

Now he adds water and mixes it well. Now salt,
and a little more salt.
Now he shapes it delicately to its final shape and slides it into the oven,
which is already hot.

You remember breadmaking!
This is how your desire tangles with a desired one.
And it’s not just a metaphor for a man and a woman making love.
Warriors in battle do this too.

A great mutual embrace is always happening between the eternal
and what dies, between essence and accident.

The sport has different rules in every case,
but it’s basically the same,
and remember,
the way you make love is the way God will be with you.

[From: Rumi the Book of Love Poems of Ecstasy and Longing;
Translated by Coleman Barks]


Apr 30 2011

“Pretension Soup”—Some poetic expressions

Posted by Knonie

Below is something I once wrote
for myself…

Pretension Soup

Let’s pretend that we are not gays and organic,
And our wings are not meant for flying.
Let’s pretend we’re not naked underneath our clothes,
And we are not at all afraid of dying.

Let’s keep pretending that we’re not abnormals,
But the world is affected by global warming.
Pretend that private acts do not follow any morals.
And our souls do not burn any fire within.

Pretend that the scars on our wrists are not gross,
And the pictures we take will never let the time go.
Let’s pretend that we can be wise without experiences,
And eating eggs is not against animal rights, you know.

Pretend that the women are not stronger than the male,
And our glorious history is not composed of fictions.
Pretend that the rains that fall are not natural.
And those who build the world are not the Masons.

Let’s pretend that we still need more modern weapons
To blow off the Planet and to kill all the people.
Let’s keep pretending that Satan is not just an idea.
And let’s keep pretending that a rose is not a rose.

Let’s pretend that love is not an illusion,
And after being in love, pretend that illusion is not everything.
Let’s pretend that we do not exist, in any dimension,
And let’s pretend that we’re not sleeping.

[October, 2010]
©Knonie.

Feb 15 2011

Ghalib’s Urdu verses in decorative calligraphy

Posted by Knonie

On the death anniversary of the renowned Urdu/Persian poet Mirza Assad Ullah Khan Ghalib, today, i.e. 15th February, I’m displaying the scanned images of the hand-made artworks I did few years back using the poetry verses of Ghalib.

[Click images to open larger version in a pop-up light-box]


Jan 13 2011

A Strange Prayer… [Urdu]

Posted by Knonie

A strange prayer...


Jan 5 2011

“Pity the Nation” by Kahlil Gibran

Posted by Knonie

made-as-china-mcdonalds-knonie

“My friends and my road-fellows, pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.

Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own winepress.

Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.

Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except among its ruins, and will rebel not save when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.

Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings, and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again.

Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.”

– Kahlil Gibran
[Also known as Khalil Gibran, (1883 – 1931) was a Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer]


Dec 1 2010

No, No. This verse is not by Iqbal…

Posted by Knonie

There is one Urdu verse which is quite renowned because of its theme, and this verse goes like:

تندئ بادِ مخالف سے نہ گھبرا اے عقاب
یہ تو چلتی ہے تجھے اونچا اڑانے کے لیے

Roman Script:
Tundi-e baad-e-mukhalif se na ghabra ay uqaab
Ye tou chalti hai tujhay ooncha urranay ke liye”

Translation:
Don’t fear the intensity of opposing-wind*, O’ Eagle
It only blows to help you fly even higher.

[*headwind: A wind blowing from directly in front, opposing forward motion]

Due to such fine theme and the presence of the metaphor “Uqaab“, the Eagle, many people confuse this verse and relate it to Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal.

This verse is actually written by Sayyed Sadiq Hussain Shah, and below is the photo of his tombstone in Islamabad.

Poet: Sadiq Hussain-tombstone; Photo: Dr. Munir Ahmed Slatch

Although readers familiar with Iqbal’s work already know this fact, but this is shared just to clarify the confusions in general circle.

Acknowledgments:
Thanks to Mr. Aqeel Abbas Jafri for providing some missing pieces of the information, and Dr. Munir Ahmed Slatch for providing the photo.

 

Updated: 19 April, 2015

“After reading all the comments doubting the veracity of my claim, I did quite a bit of digging and was finally able to find the book containing poetry of Mr. Sadiq Hussain Kazmi (my great grandfather).

The book is titled Barg-e-Sabz and it does contain the poem of which the aforementioned verse is a part.

On the first page of the book, Sadiq Kazmi actually thanked those who attributed this verse to Allama because it inspired him to take a closer look at his poetry!

Cheers!”

– ConcernedPaki.

 


Nov 24 2010

“You” – Few lines

Posted by Knonie
Miniature replica of David by Michelangelo

Miniature replica of David by Michelangelo

Oh, the way I look at you
With admiration and desire
You’re just too perfect
Like
David of Michelangelo
Carved in white marble.
I will worship you
’till I become marble.

©2010, Knonie.


Nov 20 2010

Love- Illusion and reality

Posted by Knonie

glasses_knonie

Love is like water…
It takes the shape of the container that holds it.
And the container is your heart.

If someone takes love as a question, it becomes a question,
And if someone takes love as an answer, it becomes the answer.
If someone takes love as a dirty thing, it appears as a sin,
And if someone takes love as worship, it becomes God.

©2010, Knonie.


Nov 11 2010

A simple Love Song that I wrote…

Posted by Knonie

[I have actually written this song for a friend who needed to sing it few months back, although he never did. It’s a simple love song talking about lost love, where a lover is missing his beloved, and remembering the time when they used to be together, and now everything is gone and he is all alone.]

Song Title: Where is my Baby

Lyrics: Knonie

[Opening]
[Chorus]

Here is my baby, here with me
Always in my heart,
We’re never apart.
Here is my baby, here with me.

[Stanza 1]
Chasing butterflies, watching moon
Always together, evening or noon.
Innocent whispers, jokes and cries
We used to believe that love never dies.

[Chorus]
Here is my baby, here with me
Always in my heart,
We’re never apart.
Here is my baby, here with me.

[Stanza 2]
This fate unknown then played a game
I spend my days calling your name.
I lost your hand, your heart, your love,
I asked for you from Heavens above.

[Altered Chorus]
Where is my baby, where are you?
Always in my heart
We’re never apart.
Where is my baby, where are you?

[Bridge]
Where have you gone
I’m left all alone
I bleed, I cry
I wish I could die.
Life is no more as it used to be
I always wish you here with me.

[Ending Chorus]
Where is my baby, come to me
Please come to me
Please come to me
Where is my baby, come to me
Please come to me
Please come to me

[Ending]

©2010, Knonie