With love from across the border

With love from across the border
More on the little luxuries that you just can't help fall in love with when in Pakistan.
HINDOL SENGUPTA, The Hindu, May 16, 2010

As promised, since the last time I wrote this column, I have made one more trip to Pakistan. This time I smoked honey cigars in Lahore, shopped at the Islamabad's spectacular Saeed Book Bank, heard Abida Parveen sing and went down tunnels dug by the Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters in the Hindukush hills of Bajaur in the north-west frontier province of Pakistan.
As promised, I spoke to Noor Rahman who still promises to swing by Delhi.
As promised, here is the second of my two-part series on all the things I like (should I say love and face more hate mails?) about Pakistan.

A song, what else?

Someone in Pakistan told me that this is the ultimate song of the lonesome soul. This voice is that sublime thing, music that cleanses that tedium of the mundane. Zeb and Haniya's Paimana from their album “Chup” strings melodies from melancholia and seeks solace from the silent. When you listen to it, you will seek its meaning. Here's what the words, partly in Darri/Farsi and partly in Pashto, mean:

Part one, translated from Darri/Farsi: Paimana bideh ki khumaar astam;/ Man aashiq-e chashm-e mast-e-yarastam;/ Bideh, bideh, ki khumaar astam… (Bring me the glass so I may lose myself;/I am in love with my beloved's intoxicating eyes; Bring (the glass), bring (the glass), so I may lose myself…)

Part two, translated from Pushto: Dilgeer garzama labela taana;/Khabar me waakhla, raasha jaanana;/Khabar me waakhla, raasha jaanana;/Tarso ba garzay te bela mana?(You have captured my heart and I wander aimlessly without you;/My love come/return, and see the state I'm in;/My love come/return, and see the state I'm in;/How long will you wander without me?)
For all the Atif Aslams and Stings and Junoon, this song is Pakistan to me.

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