The Idea of a Punjabi Patronage Fund

January 15, 2015   /   Leave a Comment

An idea is being floated in Punjabi circles of Lahore to create a sort of patronage fund for Punjabi writers, artists, and musicians. A fund several well-off people can contribute towards. Say, Rs. 1000 a month from each patron.

Contributing Rs. 1000 a month is no big deal for many who wish to help. Small in itself, the collective amount can be really useful. If we manage to get 100 patrons on board, it will generate 1 lakh each month, which is a substantial amount.

No, it will not be used for a wazeefa or cash stipends. Rather for different things every month like bearing the cost of publishing a few books by authors who can’t afford it, arranging for stay when an artist or writer visits Lahore, etc.

So what do you think? Would you be interested in becoming a patron of Punjabi? Yes?

P.S. No, it’s not by me. Some friends of Punjabi are behind this.

Maghar Charh Gaya Ae

November 15, 2014   /   Leave a Comment

It’s the 1st day of Maghar today. Let me share with you a poem from Fard Faqir (1720-1790)’s BaaraN Maaha.

BaaraN Maah (or Maaha) is a genre of Punjabi poetry comprising of 12 poems expressing the state, circumstances, plight of separation from the beloved in each of the 12 months of the year. With the changing weather outside, the poems chronicle the changes that happen inside: anticipation, agony, and melancholy.

We’ll share other poems from this BaaraN-Maaha in the first week of every upcoming month.


Mela Baba Bulleh Shah, 2014

August 26, 2014   /   Leave a Comment

Pictures from Baba Bulleh Shah‘s death anniversary celebrations. Taken on the last day of the Urs—August 26, 2014—at his shrine in Kasur.

Bulleh Shah Urs 2014

Bulleh Shah Urs 2014

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Bulleh Shah Death Anniversary Celebrations, 2014

August 23, 2014   /   Leave a Comment

Bulleh Shah’s death anniversary (called ‘urs’ which literally means wedding or union with the beloved) will be celebrated on August 24-25-26 (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) this year at his shrine in Kasur. Apart from the 3-day festival which attracts a large number of devotees to the shrine, there are two programs that we want to notify you about.

1. Punjabi Khoj Garh, a Punjabi research institute located along a serene canal on the Lahore-Kasur road, will be hosting a Bulleh Shah seminar on Saturday, August 23 from 2pm onwards.

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Folk Punjab Fund for Punjabi Books

July 21, 2014   /   Leave a Comment

Folk Punjab Fund for Punjabi Books is our program to support Punjabi writers and publishing industry. Using the fund, we will purchase a modest number of award-winning Punjabi books every year and distribute them using different channels so that they reach a wider audience.

Although the state of Punjabi publishing in Pakistan is improving in some ways but we cannot call it satisfactory. There are a couple of active Punjabi publishers in Lahore, printing some 50 to 100 books every year. Sometimes they are in the position to offer a compensation to the author, but often the authors themselves have to bear the cost of getting the books published.

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Love in the Month of Harh

July 12, 2014   /   Leave a Comment

Here in Lahore, we are, more than anything, waiting for the month of Harh to end and Sawan to begin. Counting days. Literally.

Anyway, since it’s still Harh, let us share a few lines from a Bulleh Shah poem about “love in the month of Harh”:

Hun kih karan jo aaya Harh
Tan vich ishq tapaya bhaar
Tere ishq ne ditta saar
Rowan akhian karan pukaar

Tere HavreeN!

P.S. We don’t know what does the last line mean. Help us in the comments!

Metaphysics of Punjabi Sufi Poetry

June 22, 2014   /   Leave a Comment

Hast o Neest Hast-o-Neest Institute of Traditional Studies & Arts will be hosting a 2-day lecture series on Metaphysics of Punjabi Sufi Poetry by Dr. Shahzad Qaiser on June 26-27 in Lahore.

Hast-o-Neest is an initiative of Baytunur Trust for the research, study and promotion of traditional art, and culture. It aims to provide an introduction to and a greater understanding of traditional wisdom including sufi doctrine and method, traditional philosophy, metaphysics and cosmology, and allied arts as calligraphy and architecture.

Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has a doctorate in philosophy and is a recipient of President’s Award for Pride of Performance in Punjabi Literature. He has written several books on metaphysics and poetry including ‘Understanding Diwan-i-Farid’ and ‘Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid on Experiencing God’.

The lecture series or seminar will be held at the Hast-o-Neest premises 31-G, Gulberg II, Lahore from 5:30 to 8:00 PM. For registration, please send in your name, cell phone number, and email address to 0300 847 1855 or