Stories about Punjabi

He was only a Buddhist by salutations, just like we are only Muslims by virtue of rituals

If you visit the Tiananmen Square at any given day, you’ll see hoards of people flocking around in large groups. Some can be seen led by a guide, others trying to find an inlet to the tunnels that lead to the main square, turning the entire landmark into a beehive. Besides being the womb of the People’s Republic of China where Mao proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, the square also houses the Chairman’s mausoleum. On my 10 day visit to China, I found the Tiananmen Square to be the most religious of all spaces. It ...

Read Full Post

Udta Punjab – High but yet somewhat dry!

Remember how Tony Montana cursed and swore his way into our collective hearts back in the day. I distinctly recall how being an impressionable young teen, watching Scarface (1983) was a life altering experience. Al Pacino playing a cool-ass Cuban gangster had such a profane… ooops!.. profound effect on my susceptible neurons, that I even contemplated becoming a full-time goon (just don’t tell my dad). Anyways, since the aforementioned idea was just a little far-fetched, I settled for the next cool thing by becoming a lean mean cuss machine! (Being a proud Punjabi certainly had a sway). And ever since that ...

Read Full Post

Nawaz Sharif going once.. going twice!

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was recently put on sale on eBay by one frustrated Pakistani who was sick of all the nuisances cluttering up his life. The move was applauded by many world over but mostly in Pakistan, and it occurred to me that this ‘spring-cleaning’ of our country should continue well beyond the realm of prime ministers that have time and again failed to deliver. Here are ‘for sale’ advertisements for other aspects of Pakistan: 1. The judiciary Sindh High CourtPhoto: Online The corrupt judiciary is only good for long marches and works with a special starter key of either monetary or political clout. ...

Read Full Post

Why is Punjabi viewed as an inferior language?

The car paused at a busy signal and as I was fidgeting with my rings, a colourful banner caught my attention. It read ‘goongay Punjab apni zaban mangda’ (the deaf and mute Punjab seeks its language). This statement brought back so many memories. February 21st is celebrated as the International Mother Language Day. This celebration holds very significant, at the same time, conflicting and tormenting memories in my mind. It started with pain, but eventually evolved into something beautiful. Punjabi is my maa boli (mother tongue) and it was the only language I was taught when I was a child. My father loved ...

Read Full Post

Why has it become so acceptable to know English but not know Urdu?

“Humne Urdu k saath sautanon wala sulook kara hai aur almiya ye k ye samjhanay k liye bhi aik dusri zubaan ka sahara lena parega.” (We have always treated Urdu as a step-child and the worst part is, in order to fully understand our native language, we seek help from a foreign one.) It hits hard, doesn’t it? Sadly, what we never realise is that language is an art that breathes with those who breathe it. It matters not which language you speak, neither does is matter what your prowess is in the language, but what does matter is the respect any and all languages command. ...

Read Full Post

Punjab’s dominance is not because Punjabis are chauvinists

There is a common narrative that an overwhelming majority of Punjabis are chauvinistic and are always conspiring against the smaller provinces. In fact, it has become sort of a trend, particularly among some of the liberal journalists, to put all the blame on the Punjabis. I can understand the rationale behind it because that is a well-accepted narrative. Moreover, since the smaller provinces have complaints, therefore it becomes difficult to say anything in defence of the Punjabis for the fear of being called a ‘pseudo liberal’ or worst, a closet chauvinist. Some of the journalists just throw the word Punjabi chauvinism without even trying to justify ...

Read Full Post

In conversation with SomeWhatSuper: Let their ‘Bandook’ blow you away

In the age of the cloud, things are progressing fast and people are accepting changes coming along with it. The internet has revolutionised not only the way we consume media, but also how the media infiltrates into our lives, and into the lives of the ones who control it. Our music industry is witnessing a positive change, thanks to the internet, and new musicians with their creative music, are showing the world the amount of talent our country has. SomeWhatSuper is one such duo who recently came out with their single ‘Bandook’, a catchy dance track. But here’s the catch, it’s in Punjabi, which makes ...

Read Full Post

The diary of an “innocent princess”

You know me. I am the one whose friendship request you ignored on Facebook. All I wanted was for us to be virtual friends. I could have liked your cover photo, and you could have commented on how deep that Rumi quote was. You know? The one I shared with the image of a tropical sunset? That is the image of the sun of our friendship going down in flames. It is not my fault that I was born to Mr and Ms Princess; my father was ridiculed throughout his school life for that name. My father fought through the adversities of ...

Read Full Post

36 hours in Lahore

Lahore is the heart of Pakistan.  It is a city impossible to ignore with all its festivities, rich culture, and scrumptious food. Even when the subcontinent’s partition was underway, both Indians and Pakistanis yearned for Lahore’s inclusion in their respective homelands. According to an old, famous Punjabi quote, “Jinnay Lahore nai whekhya, o jammia nai!” (If you haven’t seen Lahore, you have not been born) Such is the affiliation and regard held for a city that has a profound historic charm, evergreen gardens, and food-loving people as some of its primary assets. With the emergence of new shopping malls, fashion boutiques and endless restaurants, the metropolis ...

Read Full Post

Noor Jehan: The undisputed queen of melody

Today is the 14th death anniversary of Malika-e-Tarannum Madam Noor Jehan. Yes, it’s been 14 long years since South Asia’s queen of melody left us all, after she suffered from a prolonged ailment, at the age of 74. Famous for her silken saris, bold eye make-up, unique hairstyles and glittering diamonds, Noor Jehan’s melodious voice touched millions and created a matchless blend of vocal gestures and emotional expressions, which interpreted feelings in a very surreal way. A legendary singer, all her musical performances have a distinct manipulation and creation of vocal articulation, all done according to the standards of style and genre of every ...

Read Full Post