Friday, January 21, 2011

One of the last masters of Ilm-e-Arooz passed away

Posted on Friday January 21, 2011 at 9:29am
Renowned Urdu poet and one of the last masters of the technical aspect of poetry writing (Ilm-i-Aroos), Raghib Muradabadi passed away on Wednesday. in Karachi. He was 93. 
Born in 1918 in Delhi, Raghib Muradabadi graduated from Delhi College and learned the art of composing poetry from the likes of Yas Yagana, Safi Lakhnavi and Maulana Zafar Ali Khan. After partition, he came to Karachi where he was made the head of the rehabilitation committee for migrants by former prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan. He contributed a great deal to the betterment of the migrant community.
He wrote 40 books which include a collection of ghazals, nazms, naat, a collection of poetry in Punjabi and translations in verse of Quranic Ayats and Ahadees. His collection of ghazals Rag-i-Guftar was received with critical acclaim as did his naats, Midhatul Bashar .
After Josh Malihabadi, whom he knew very well, Raghib Muradabadi was considered the best writer of rubaai (quatrain). One of his books titled Maut has 500 rubaais on the topic of death. 

Iftikhar Chaudri
The foreword to the book is written by Allama Talib Jauhri. He also penned his thoughts on the issue of terrorism. His compilation of Josh`s letters, Khutoot-i-Josh Malihabadi , and a book titled Mukalmat-i-Josh-o-Raghib speak for his closeness to Josh Malihabadi. Raghib Muradabadi had thousands of shagirds (pupils) the most prominent of which was the popular poet Habib Jalib. It is believed it`s Raghib sahib who suggested to Habib that he adopt Jalib as his pen name.
Raghib sahib was quite fluent in the Punjabi language. Talking to Dawn in an interview last year, he explained what had inspired him to learn the language.
“I had developed friendship with a Hindu girl back in India. Once she remarked that `jay tusi saday naal pyar karday ho tay, sadi zaban naal vee pyar karo.` (If you love me, you should love our language also.) I accepted the challenge, listened to Punjabi programmes on the radio, read Punjabi books and acquired such mastery over the language that I began composing poetry in it.”

Home in a war zone

Posted on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 8:18 PM
By Army 1st Lt. Nicholas Rasmussen of Task Force Lethal
PAKTIA PROVINCEAfghanistan, Jan. 20, 2011 - Most soldiers who are deployed miss their homes. But for Army Spc. Steven Starkey and Army Pfc. Andrew Starkey, a large part of what the word "home" represents is just a five-minute walk up the hill.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Pfc. Andrew Starkey and his father, Army Spc. Steve Starkey of the Iowa Army National Guard pose for a photo Jan. 6, 2011, while deployed to Afghanistan's Paktia province. Courtesy photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Steven, a 40-year-old mechanic by trade in Council Bluffs, Iowa, works as a wheeled-vehicle mechanic attached to Company A, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, which currently falls under the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Andrew, his son, works in Company A's kitchen preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Both Starkeys are assigned to the Iowa Army National Guard's Company F, 334th Support Battalion, out of Red Oak, Iowa.
Both soldiers said they joined the Guard to serve their country and fulfill some personal goals.
Steven enlisted in the active-duty Army in 1989 as a heavy equipment mobile tactical truck wheel mechanic. He was slated to serve during Operation Desert Storm when personal issues at home prevented his involvement. He was young and dealing with a troubled marriage when his chain of command made the determination to let him remain in the rear as his unit prepared to support Desert Storm, he said.
"Looking back, I don't feel I was mature enough to handle the task at hand," he acknowledged, adding that his brief service helped him to mature and gave him cause to consider future opportunities for service.
The events of 9/11 reignited that simmering ambition.
"I felt like I had left something on the table, an obligation I had left incomplete" he said.
So almost 15 years after his initial service, he began the process to rejoin the Army, eventually serving with the Iowa National Guard. The process wasn't easy.

Steven had remarried and had three additional children -- daughters Ashley and Rachel and stepson Jon -- when he decided to re-enlist for active duty. Despite trying three times, the active Army would not accept his application because he had more than two dependents.
Steven gave up trying for active duty after the third attempt. Then, in the spring of 2007, he met his daughter's soccer coach, a staff sergeant in the Iowa National Guard. The soccer coach informed Steven that the Iowa National Guard had waivers and programs to allow people in situations like his to join. A month after speaking with the soccer coach, he was at the military entrance processing station swearing in for service.
A year later, Andrew raised his right hand and made the oath to serve his country, but he had a different reason: his daughter, Kyra.
Being in the Iowa Army National Guard has given Andrew a means to provide health care and child support for Kyra, he said.
"I plan to start a savings account with the money I'm making [on deployment] to help pay for her college," he said.
But joining the Guard came with some additional, unanticipated benefits for Andrew.
"I see myself grow every day," he said, "whether or not I enjoy it all the time."
Before making his commitment to serve in the Iowa Guard, Andrew had a "loose-cannon mentality," as his father put it. He was an unruly youth who often did not think before he acted. That was nine months ago. Now, six months into deployment, Andrew is a much different person.
"He's level-headed and can take criticism constructively like an adult," said Steven, who added witnessing this change has been one of the most rewarding benefits to come out of being on this deployment together.
Steven said sometimes a father has to be a father, regardless of rank, and stick up for his son.
"It's hard to keep the fatherly instinct at bay when I see my son getting in trouble by his boss," Steven said. "I often have to swallow my pride and know my place."
The Starkeys act more like brothers or best friends when they're together here, calling each other by their last name and making fun of just about anything the other says. Though they work at the same company, the Starkeys still feel as though they could spend more time together.
As trying as some days may get, they said, they usually find some time throughout the week to hang out and unwind together, giving them a chance to solidify, in a unique way, a bond that can only be made between a father and son deployed together.
"The one thing that everyone else wants, we have: a family member on deployment," Andrew said.
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