Bhrigu's question

कभी जो याद भी आता हूँ मैं तो कहते हैं के आज बज़्म में कुछ फ़ित्ना-ओ-फ़साद नहीं - मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

Location: the valley, California, United States

Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Kabir translated by Rabindranath Tagore

Project Gutenberg has Songs of Kabir translated by Nobel laurete Rabindranath Tagore.

No 68
Bai koi satguru sant kahawai

He is the real Sadhu, who can reveal the form of the Formless to the vision of these eyes:
Who teaches the simple way of attaining Him, that is other than rites or ceremonies:
Who does not make you close the doors, and hold the breath, and renounce the world:
Who makes you perceive the Supreme Spirit wherever the mind attaches itself:
Who teaches you to be still in the midst of all your activities.
Ever immersed in bliss, having no fear in his mind, he keeps the spirit of union in the midst of all enjoyments.
The infinite dwelling of the Infinite Being is everywhere: in earth, water, sky, and air:
Firm as the thunderbolt, the seat of the seeker is established above the void.
He who is within is without: I see Him and none else.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Azam Ali and other things Persian

Azam Ali is an interesting person. She was born in Tehran, did her schooling in India and then migrated to the US, where she began a career in World Music. She is part of two groups, Vas and Niyaz. Check out three interesting music videos here, here and here.

She has got a song with Laxmi Shankar. Also, she was the vocalist whose song we heard in the recent ABC miniseries '9/11 - Path to War'.

I like her sound.

But Googoosh, Iran's legendary singer will always remain my perennial favorite. She had a gap of 21 years in her singing after the 1979 revolution resulted in a ban. While she could've easily emigrated and formed a new career among expats, whilst exploiting the large overseas market for her music (her songs are famous in Iran's neighborhood as well), she did not leave her country. It was only in the 2000s that she went overseas to give concerts. Her voice hasn't lost its edge. She has now settled in Southern California.

What a tragic loss for many years though. For some examples of her singing prowess & soothing voice, do visit this and this.

Reading recommendations while you listen to the above music:
1. Let me tell you where I've been, New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora by Persis M. Karim . Simply the most amazing collection of poems/short stories, I've read in 10 years or more.

2. Strange Times, My Dear. The Pen Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature by Nahid Mozaffari (Editor), Ahmad Karimi Hakkak (Editor). Ironical that it was almost banned in the US!

3. Lipstick Jihad, A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America And American in Iran (Paperback)by Azadeh Moaveni. Btw, Moaveni has written a book with Shirin Abadi recently.

4. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas

5. All books by Marjane Satrapi.