Friday, October 09, 2009

Memo to Nobel Committee: Larsha Pekhawr thay kamisthor ma la raora ...

And if you'll let me go beyond the 140-character limit:

Larsha Pekhawr thay kamisthor ma la raora;
Thaza thaza dha guluna darai salor ma la raora

It's a Pushtu song from Pakistan:

When you go to Peshawar; bring me back a nice shirt
Fresh flowers, too; bring me back three or four

Here's a modern remid of the original Pakistani movie version:


And here's a slightly Urdu'ized version closer to what us "Children of Zia" (Gen X and Y in Pakistan) grew up listening to--which includes an Urdu adaptation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFWMrjdWWdk

That song covers Peshawar and Bajaur; here's one that sings the same paen to Nangarhar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf-rqsmUyI

Now you're wondering if I have finally completely and utterly lost it; why am I taking you on a tour of the Pukhtun YouTube on a day when the Nobel Committee has thrown its weight behind the world's hopes and aspirations that my brother Barack Hussein will save the planet. Maybe you're thinking I should just belt out a lusty "Ya Qurban!" like the good pro-Western liberal Pakistani (and thus 15% Pukhtun) that I am (see this for example) and get with the program.

Thing is, it is this morning, also, that my friend Zainab Jeewanjee tells us:
After months of consideration on how to deal with our escalating engagement in the AF-Pak region, Obama’s administration has decided:
“the Taliban cannot be eliminated as a political or military movement”
See, I am just one of those people cursed with a memory and some knowledge of history beyond the last US presidential election cycle. I can't but think back to the fact that after the US was finished tangling with the last "transcendtal challenge", we Pakistanis--and, as we found out on 9/11/01, the rest of the world--were left holding the bag full of Islamic fundamentalism, violence and hate. And just a few decades before that, Obama's role model FDR took what Lawrence of Arabia had--not two decades previous--described as "a fanatical Moslem heresy" and made the deal that gave them and their neo-purist attitudes the dominant position in Muslim hearts and minds, never mind the world economy, that they hold today.

So, now, you tell me, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Committee, what DO I, an American taxpayer and a Pakistani citizen do besides grab a rabab and, like pensive Pukhtuns across the ages, pray that the poetry does its work.
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