LOHRI

 

Bonfires lit to the ancient traditions

Families sitting encircled in unifications

Winter solstice bringing in the longer days

This harvest festival in gratitude prays

January the thirteenth being auspicious

This annual fun and frolic so ambitious

Eating sheaves of corn from new harvest

Gurh, gachjak and the cane to sweetest

Singing the tales of mythical Dulla Bhatti

Relishing sarson da saag with makki di roti

Treating children to gifts and festive eats

Tossing peanuts and sweet sesame treats

In the bonfire traditional to drum beats

Welcoming newlyweds in the household

Or celebrating the first winter of the child

Lohri festival of the Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs

Celebrated by Sindhis in the world as Lal Loi

Worshipping the Goddess of harvest called  Loee

Wherein children collect sticks long wooden

Light bonfires, sing and dance as brethren

Sikiladi

—————————————————————————————————————————————–Published in the Coffee Table Book “DIWALI and Beyond” 2017 by The Asian Weekly:

Lohri poem 2017 TAW

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EID AL FITR

 

The feast of fasting comes here

A festival that calls for share and care

For all those faithful so Islamic

The day observed with zest terrific

Bringing to end the month Ramadan

When fasting formed a vital form

Begin the day with a sweet something

Signifying new sweet beginnings

And praying Fajir in the local masjid

The incantation of Allah’s name sacred

The reading of Tabkirat becoming Divine

Adorning new clothes upon being well showered

Originating from the Holy Prophet Mohamed

The Eid Al Fitr commences Shawwal Hijri month

The Takbirs in praise of Allah the Great in gratitude

Forming a ritualistic Jamaat or a Prayer gathering

Giving Alms to the poor and wishing all well

Greeting and hugging to happiness swell


Published in The Coffee Table Book “DIWALI and Beyond” 2017 by The Asian Weekly:

Eid poem 2017 TAW

THE PURPLE BEAUTY

Gone are the gloomy dull boring pathways

Paving way for small bright color displays

A carpet on roads with purple uneven patches

Glimpses so many attractive within eye catches

 

Spring is announced with a lovely bold declare

Jacaranda is rich and blooming without a care

The trees heavily flower laden within the glare

Brighten alleys and parks purple without a spare

 

A heavenly sight proudly shown by the Almighty

In the little trumpet shaped flowers so very dainty

The fairyland feel comes from its clusters plenty

Growing in abundance this tough tropical beauty

 

The drought tolerant large rooted shady trees

In early summer and spring growing in sprees

Forming indigo arches and gleeful canopies

With fragrance attract bountiful birds and bees

 

Nairobi is painted in this purple hue all around

The clustered purple blues amid green surround

The rich foliage inviting is spread on all ground

The rain of these slender trumpets without sound

 

The velvety coat attractive under the clear sky

This generous sweetness attracts bees to fly

The slimy touch and look once flowers go dry

The sentiments praiseworthy from words comply

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Poem of the month – November 2017 

Published in The Asian Weekly : Edition 376 (November 03rd to 09th)

PURPLE BEAUTY PEOM

CHETI CHAND FESTIVAL

The Hindu Sindhis celebrate Cheti Chand as their New year. Since the partition of India only a fraction of Sindhis remained in Sindh territory which came under Pakistan. Thousands of Sindhi families that were forced to abandon their abode during the partition of the country migrated to India and various other parts of the world. Since there is no state that belongs to this growing community, they are recognized as world citizens and have adapted themselves to respective cultures and continents. The uniting factor is their culture that marks Cheti Chand as their day of identity.

Cheti Chand is celebrated as the most important annual festival by the Hindu Sindhis all over the world. As per the Hindu Almanac it is celebrated on the second day of the Chaitra month Shukla Paksha coinciding with the Vikram Samvat New Year. Sindhi community commemorates the birth of their Saintly deity Jhulelal on this day marking it as their New Year.

Jhulelal was born in the 10th century in Sindh. Although his exact year of birth is debatable, some believe it to be 1007. The Sumras were ruling over Sindh those days and were very tolerant of all falths that were practiced. However one tyrant ruler Mirkhshah wasn’t very tolerant and threatened people from various religions to convert to Islam or face execution.

The Sindhis fasted for forty days and prayed to River God for protection. On the fortieth day they were promised the birth of their Savior child in Nasarpur by the River God. The child born on the day was accepted by Sindhis as their savior in the trust they had in Dariya Shah (River God). This child whose cradle would rock by itself was named Jhulelal and grew up sooner than his age and protected the Sindhis from conversion by overpowering the ruler’s tyranny.

Since then the birth Anniversary of Jhulelal is celebrated by Sindhis as their main festival. Since post partition of India the Hindu Sindhis landed up in various parts of the world as refugees and in the present times this festival has become to be known as their day of unity called the Sindhiyat Day. This day all around the world the Sindhi Diaspora prepare the Bahirano (a dome made from kneaded flour), sing the Panjras (hymns) of their deity and dance to Chhej traditional music in huge processions. The Bahirano Sahib is immersed in the rivers everywhere following the prayers as an offering to Dariya Shah (Varun Devta)

Jhulelal is also known as Uderolal, Lal Saeen, and Khizr Shah and is worshipped by Hindus and Muslims at his shrine in Sindh equally.

On Cheti Chand day faithful bathe and decorate the huge platters or Bahirano with a large mound of kneaded flour shaped like a dome. This mound is adorned with cardamoms, cloves, crystallized sugar cubes and alongside offerings of fruits, flowers, sweetened rice, coconut and a pot of water are placed. Having placed this affront the idol of the deity devotees partake blessings and in the late evening hours immerse this in the river.

Sikiladi

—————————————————————————————————————————————–Published in the Coffee Table Book “DIWALI and Beyond” 2017 by The Asian Weekly:

Cheti Chand article 2017 TAW

A letter for the old, fragile me.

Reposting this as a follow up on my work “Shame and guilt” when the #Me too seems to making rounds. There are so many victims and so few voices.

mendingmc

You are going to get through this. In 2 years time you’ll be sat on your bed writing a blog post on how you conquered inpatient, are in a home of your own, and can finally close your eyes at night without seeing the devil in the darkness of your eyelids. Your going to be get through this, You won’t have to worry about those ‘how are you feeling? Don’t answer that. I will tell you how you are feeling because you can’t tell me.’  you won’t have to think about the constant darkness surrounding you everyday of your life, tell someone, tell them now, sooner rather than later because they will believe you M, they really believe you. They support you, they’ve held you up, they’ve got you help, they love YOU. Not him. HEs lying, everything he says is a lie. You need to ignore who he was and…

View original post 576 more words

CHETI CHAND

 

The sighting of the new moon

After the dark night of no moon

Signifying the dark moves to renew

Emergence of the beginnings new

Celebrations of their Year New

Sindhis decked up in vibrant hue

Cheti Chand not merely a festival

Speaks of tales of the Sindhi revival

The first appearance of the moon

In the Sindhi month of Chet opportune

Birth Anniversary of patron saint Jhulelal

Also known as their Ishtadeva Uderolal

The day now marked as Sindhiyat Day

By Hindu Sindhis that gather to pray

Adorning the temple room in the homes

And placing in platter the Bahirano domes

Dancing the traditional Chhej holding sticks

And Lighting flour and ghee lamps with five wicks

Sweetened rice with cardamom  flavor

And chick peas boiled with added savor

Unites this day all the Hindu Sindhi commune

As to their Water God they offer tribune

Sikiladi

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Published in The Coffee Table Book “DIWALI and Beyond” 2017 by The Asian Weekly:

Cheti Chand poem 2017 TAW