Bulleh Shah and the youth

Bulleh Shah and the youth
By Jellyman

I sometimes wonder how in this current age of technological miracles, we as a generation are so clueless about so many things around us. With the availability of the internet and access of data and information all the time, I feel that as a generation we’re ironically quite ignorant of the knowledge base we should have.

I speak for myself when I say that the last time I actually picked up a thought provoking book was two years back; don’t even bother asking me what it was about, because I doubt I could amuse you with the details. I fear that I may not be the only one in this predicament.

As a generation we’ve lost interest in acquiring or seeking knowledge, maybe because we feel it’s there when we need it, available to us at our finger tips with a press of a few keys on our laptops, or mobiles or better yet just a voice command away for those with hi-tech gadgetry.

We get excited by youtube when it comes to talent shows, make up tips or bloopers, we can’t live without our dramas and sitcoms and for the nerds the blogs related to gossip is a safe haven from the cruelty of the world (I’m a sorry excuse in this regard too).

We feel interested in sharing the latest fads related to technology and letting our buddies get the funniest jokes through sms, but rarely do we feel the need to sit down with them, perhaps over a cup of coffee and just talk about the things around us. I’m not saying talk for the sake of talking, no! I mean we need to start communicating, sharing and developing ourselves and our friends. We need to start taking life more seriously.

A couple of years back, my friends and I did a play by the name of Destination Unknown. It was a story of a kid growing up and realizing that he didn’t have a purpose in life but had the courage to find out what he wanted. It was partially a story of us six friends. We used to sit down after college and talk about anything and everything under the sun. Whatever we discussed, we tried to keep it constructive and thought provoking. Fact of the matter is, at the end of the day, after our discussions; the six of us grew a little more mature with every dialogue and with every end we had a craving for a new beginning. One of our friends would educate us in the Word of the Almighty and would demand us to question him and read up on what he preached. I can tell you now, I miss those days, and I hope to bring them back.

I could be wrong, but I don’t see the youth doing this now. It’s all about the after school parties, the chilling out with friends, playing some X-Box, PS3, or just smoking some joints or for those afraid to go to the dark side – sheesha! We rarely take time out to talk and communicate.

Perhaps one thing I’ve learnt is how we now need to communicate. Things have changed and so should our methodology. Let’s reinvent the communication channel. If the youth is too busy listening to their iPods, too busy watching their movies, too busy clicking the remote than maybe we should get a piece of that action.

Case in point Nadeem Chohan, who did a series of shows on Play TV and is a regular motivational speaker for many a multinational and colleges around the country, Zaid Hamid an analyst, political thinker, a contemporary modern man with his own thoughts backed by logic and reasoning speaking to the common man (that includes the youth).

Then of course our musicians such as Ali Azmat and the days of Junoon who tried with great determination to change the way our youth thinks by enlightening them with poetic master pieces from Allama Iqbal and Baba Bulleh Shah and now to the current Noori featuring the vocal legend Saeen Zahoor.

All of these people and many more, are there as figures to be heard, perhaps not followed but at least admired for the fact that they too are trying to make a difference in their own special way.

By not undermining the efforts of the rest and speaking specifically of the musicians, I believe in what they’re trying to do – I can’t say whether they do it for the sake of the lost youth or they do it for the fan following. But at least whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it with the right messages in their songs!

If you take a notice of what Ali Hamza and Ali Noor offered in the Coke Studios (season 2 – episode 1) you’ll know what I’m referring to. Their rendition of Bulleh Shah’s master piece “Aik Alif" written over 350 years ago; is still valid today (perhaps more now then during Bulleh Shah’s own time - only Allah knows).

For the sake of those not well versed in Punjabi, I’ve provided a literal translation in English of the above said work by the poet.

My appreciation goes out to the band Noori (thank you Noor and Hamza for offering the youth something to ponder over) and Saeen Zahoor – you are truly an icon for our country and I hope that our generation sees more and more of you and is able to understand the brilliance that is you!

To all those who in their own right are trying to make a difference I salute you as well, I sincerely hope that more and more people take advantage of technology and broaden their horizon of thought, logic, patience and selfless help to those around them. May Allah keep us all safe from harm (physically, emotionally and mentally) – amen.

Parh parh ilm te faazil hoya
(You read to become all knowledgable)

Te kaday apnay aap nu parhya ee na
(But you never read yourself)

Bhaj bhaj warna ay mandir maseeti
(You run to enter your mosques and temples)

Te kaday mann apnay wich warya ee na
(But you never entered your own heart)

Larna ay roz shaitaan de naal
(Everyday you fight Satan)

Te kadi nafs apnay naal larya ee na
(But you never fight your own Ego)

Bulleh Shah asmaani ud-deya pharonda ay
(Bulleh Shah you try grabbing that which is in the sky)

Te jera ghar betha unoon pharya ee na
(But you never get hold of what sits inside yourself)

Bas kareen o yaar
(Stop it all my friend)

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar
(stop seeking all this knowledge my friend)

Ik Alif teray darkaar
(Only an Alif is what you need)

Bas kareen o yaar
(stop it all my friend)

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar…
(Stop seeking all this knowledge my friend)

Allah Sayyaan Allah Sayyaan
(God is Greatness, God is All)

Nee main jaanaa Jogi de naal
(I shall follow the Jogi {ascetic/Sufi})

Jo naa jaane, Haqq ki taaqat
(those who deny the strength of Truth)

Rab naa devey us ko Himmat
(God does not give them courage)

Hum Mann ke darya mein doobey
(We have drowned in the river of Self)

Kaisi nayya? Kya manjhdhaar…
(the boat and the flowing waters do not matter)

Bas kareen o yaar
(stop it all my friend)

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar
(stop seeking all this knowledge my friend)

Allah Sayyaan Allah Sayyaan
(God is Greatness, God is All)
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