Friday, 21 March 2008

Legend of Bollywood: Asha Bhosle

Asha Bhosle was born in 1933 and is one of the most successful singers in India. Watch the interview below with Asha on AlJazeera Arab TV. I found her views and thoughts very inspiring.

A song by Asha Bhosle, film Shikar, actress Asha Parekh
Translated by Amanullah De Sondy

Parde mein rehno do parda na uta’o

Parde mein rehno do parda na uta’o
Leave me veiled, do not unveil me
Parda jo hut gaya to ba’yt kul ja’ay ga
If I am unveiled then the secret will be unveiled
Allah meri tauba, Allah meri tauba
God forgive me, God forgive me (sarcastic)

Ha’I meray purday mein lakh julway hai
O There are many delights in my veil
Kaisay mujh sey nazar mila’o gay
How will you look me in the eye?
Jub zara bhi naqab uta’o gi
When I remove this veil
Yaad rukna kay jul hi ja’o gay
You will surely be in flames!

Hai jis nay mujhe banaya hai
O whoever has created me
Woh bhi mujh ko sumujh na paya hai
Even he has not understood me
Mujh ko sujday ki’ay hai insaan nay
Even humans have prostrated before me
In firishto nay sur joka’ya hai
These angels have even bowed their head before me

(This verse was in the original movie, not included in this newer version)

Husn jub bayniqab hota hai
When beauty is unveiled
Woh sama lajawab ho ta hai
That moment is lost for words
Khud ko khud ki kabar nahi rehti
The self loses sight of itself
Hosh wala bhi hosh khota hai
Even the sensible loses their senses

After I had translated this tongue-in-cheek song, this news emerged from the BBC. I think God certainly has a sense of humor!

Swiss minister sparks veil outcry
BBC News:
Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has been widely criticised for donning a white headscarf to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Well-known for her stand on women's rights, she has provoked headlines such as "Just like a submissive woman".

Socialist MP Maria Roth-Bernasconi said it was irritating that she had angered feminists in Iran.

Ms Calmy-Rey said she was observing protocol. "When you are a guest you respect local customs," she said.

Social Democrat MP Liliane Maury Pasquier accepted that customs had to be observed.

But she was quoted by one newspaper complaining that the minister should have shown solidarity with "the women who fight against wearing the headscarf".

Gas controversy

The minister also prompted controversy by signing a multi-billion dollar natural gas deal. The United States had complained that Switzerland was sending the wrong message when Tehran was subject to UN sanctions.

Ms Calmy-Rey insisted the deal between Swiss company EGL and the National Iranian Gas Export company did not violate sanctions.

Swiss daily Le Matin said on Wednesday it was shocked that Switzerland's "icon of a liberated woman" had been transformed into an image of one who was oppressed.

Its tone changed on Thursday, however, by acknowledging that the foreign minister had not really had much choice.

A source told the paper that, without wearing a headscarf, she probably would not have been able to have her meetings with the Iranian leadership.

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