Jugni, Bulleh Shah, Rabbi and Junoon

Posted on August 4, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Culture & Heritage, Music, People, Poetry
16 Comments
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Adil Najam

I am breaking a lot of my own rules with this post.

First, part of this could easily have been a comment on an earlier post; but I thought it deserved its own space. Second, part of this is not exactly about Pakistan; but it is very relevant to Pakistan. Third, I am putting in three video clips with this, which is excessive, but hopefully justified in this case.

Let me first say something about the two less important videos, which are really by way of an update to the earlier ATP post on Bulleh Shah, Rabbi Shergill and Junoon.

Now, for the real inspiration for this post. The third video. This is also by Rabbi Shergill and is based on the traditional Punjabi poetry form of the Jugni. I am a fan of teh ‘Jugni’ genre and I that is how I got to this.

The lyrics are mesmerizing. He has ‘Jugni’ as a young modern Indian girl who goes out to ‘discover’ her country (India). And she ‘visits’ Kashmir, Punjab, Mumbai and Delhi and reports on the travails of existence in each. It is a ballad about modern India, and a very good one. But it could as easily have been a ballad about challenges of existence anywhere in South Asia, including Pakistan, and that is why I am posting it on ATP.

Click on arrow at center, or view it directly here:

Rabbi Shergill – Jugni
05:10

Two sections are of particular relevance. First, when she gets to Kashmir, he says:

Jugni jaa waRRi Kashmir
jithay roz marraN das vee
sooni-yan behnan day sohnay veer
oo roo roo puchan,
kiya jhagRa kai-yoN mukna vey
jadouN Jehlum paani sukhna

[Jugni walked into Kashmir
where everyten or twenty die
beautiful sister’s wonderful brothers
and they cry out to ask
when is this conflict going to end
when the waters of Jehlum run dry]

The second selection that is relevant to ATP is the narration when Jugni gets into the Punjab (especially to all us par desi-Pakistanis):

Jugni jaa waRi Punjab
jithay parhay likhay be-kaar
Waich zameenaN jaa-one baaar
uthay maaRaN jhaRRo
Uthay goori laiN we-aaa
pichay taBBar takan rah

[Jugni walked into the Punjab
where the educated stand unemployed
they sell their land to go abroad
and there they end up sweeping floors
they end up marrying a foreigner
while their families keep hoping for their return]

These, of course, are very rough translations and do not convey the intensity of the song, but hopefully they help those who do not speak the language. Anyhow, I hope you find the song as memorable as I do.

Meanwhile, here is the Junoon song Bulleyaa, that I promised. Click on arrow at center, or view it directly here:

Junoon – Bulleya
03:43

And here is the longer version of Rabbi’s Ki Janaan Mein Koun. Click on arrow at center, or view it directly here:

Bulla Ki Jaana Main Kaun
06:56

16 responses to “Jugni, Bulleh Shah, Rabbi and Junoon”

  1. Watan Aziz says:

    First, when she gets to Kashmir, he says:

    Jugni jaa waRRi Kashmir
    jithay roz marraN das vee
    sooni-yan behnan day sohnay veer
    oo roo roo puchan,
    kiya jhagRa kai-yoN mukna vey
    jadouN Jehlum paani sukhna

    [Jugni walked into Kashmir
    where everyten or twenty die
    beautiful sister’s wonderful brothers
    and they cry out to ask
    when is this conflict going to end
    when the waters of Jehlum run dry]

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