An excerpt from a letter I wrote to my mother a year ago in an attempt make her see my point of view regarding a situation.
"Religion, in the strict sense of God, Priests, Rituals, Chanting etc doesn’t figure anywhere in my philosophy. But religion in the cultural context is something which I appreciate and enjoy. The beauties of the Moslem culture like the language Urdu, Shaayari, Clothes, Biryani, Qawwalis, Architecture etc are the aspects which appeal to me. They make me feel proud about belonging to such a rich culture. In fact, I think that you have a good role to play in this. I can trace back my love and understanding of Urdu Shaayari to you. Your love for masters like Faiz, Iqbal, Ghalib and Mehendi Hasan etc has seeped into my system too."
This excerpt has certain relevance today as we are celebrating Eid in the true cultural style of Moslems. Pooja is attempting Biryani for the first time in her cooking career. My contributions so far has been buying Kohinoor Basmati Rice, Chopping Onions, Crushing pepper, playing the right kind of music and moral support.
Interestingly, and to my best knowledge, none of the major Urdu poets with the exception of Josh Malihabadi, came up with a good Sher for Eid. There are many anonymous ones though. The one which has been highly abused, especially by Hindi movies is this. Its quiet easy to understand so I don’t need to translate it.
'Eid' kaa din hai gale aaj to lag jaa zaalim
Rasm-e-duniyaa bhii hai mauqaa bhii hai dastuur bhii hai
To find what Josh has to say on the subject, you can go here.
ps: will let you know how the Biryani turned out to be. the picture shows its beginnings.