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Abdul Wahid Thekadar: Baba‑i‑Charbeta


Abdul Wahid Thekadar: Baba‑i‑Charbeta

                                                                             
Abdul Wahid Thekadar was a prominent figure, known in literary circles as Baba‑i‑Charbeta. Born in 1910 at village Jalbai of district Swabi, he feels pride and relishes in recalling the days when he used to accompany Bacha Khan on his mass campaign. Inspired by the Khudai Khidmatgar movement and encouraged by his leader Bacha Khan, Abdul Wahid had started composing poetry.
            Abdul Wahid read only three elementary classes, but having led a tough political life, he has developed his intellect and looks a seasoned and sound man of letters.
            According to Abdul Wahid Thekadar, Charbeta has also proliferated into various forms. From his explanation it could be summed up that division in forms is based on two assumptions: subject and form. In the former case, the Charbeta is known by subject such as jangi, jawabi, moamma, roomani, or related to some important event, person, place, geographical situation or historical happening. Elaborating his point, he referred to one of his Charbeta called zargaree describing and discussing different kinds of golden and silver ornaments used by women. It may be noted for interest of the readers that some of the ornaments have already been abandoned, and the rest are also through the process of modification to lose their original glamour and charm. The zargaree charbeta has, thus, become an important document of cultural value.
            By form, it has branched off in two; yau makheza or sada which means simple and plain, and zanzeerae which means the chain‑like, complex. Zanzeerae has been further divided in two; in one form the last word or phrase of a stanza starts the succeeding stanza, in the second form a number of rhymed words are placed in each or alternate hemistich
            Literary meaning of charbeta is; the poem or stanza of four couplets. But the term in literature is defined as a poem of at least four stanza each one of four lines. However, the charbeta composers, mostly illiterate or less educated, go their own way. They give more attention to metre, rhyme and rhythm.
            Charbeta is, however, closer to musaddas, the poem of 6‑line stanzas, than murabba, the poem of 4‑line stanzas. Because, after each four lines, one or both lines of the beginning are repeated in charbeta. Nevertheless, it differs in subject matter and tone from murabba and musaddas. Charbeta is a typical folklore and does not care much for grammar, language, and literary measurements. It takes the subject from the life of the people and describes it in their own language. It is purely anthropocentric, and more plain, social and cultural than the literary poems which lean against metaphorical support.
            Another striking different between murabba or musaddas and charbeta is their lyrical aspects. Charbeta is smart and swift, having developed a classical tone of music which touches and stimulates the cords of brain and heart and synchronises pulsation with the low and high pitch of the music, due to direct approach of charbeta. It normally succeeds a few tappas or a rubayee. Whereas murabba and musaddas are hardly musical.
            The charbeta composer develops his mind as a computer with a single programme of rhyme and rhythm. On proper command, it releases words in quick succession in tabular metre. No matter if a word is broken, distorted, ambiguous, meaningless or vulgar. But it must fit in the line and does not harm the rhythm. Charbeta grows wild from the mind and depicts, on the whole, a fascinating scene of natural beauty.
            Thekadar Baba is as proud of his art as any other poet. In his field, he does not recognise any other poet worth mentioning; except Nooruddin Ustad:
            Feel the charm in the poetry of Thekadar;
            Who deals in precious stones like Nooruddin.
            In reply to a question, Thekadar Baba said; radio and TV play significant role in development, propagation and popularisation of arts. These institutions have now totally ignored charbeta. He said that charbeta is awami poetry and can preserve Pukhto vocabulary, social and cultural values, legendary and historical stories, and can, thus, present a clear picture of the Pakhtuns society.
            Thekadar Baba said that Pakhtuns have been demanding persistently increase of Pukhto programmes over TV and inclusion of folklore as majority of the Pakhtuns do not understand alien languages. Not only the Pakhtuns but other peoples of Pakistan also can not derive any benefits from the radio and TV programmes of Urdu and English which they do not understand. Thekadar Baba asked; "What culture these long and short plays of Urdu present?" and then replied himself; "Urdu does not have any cultural background. It is a Darbari language and can please Dabari people only." He continued; "It is strange that Hindko which is not a language even is given more attention on TV than Pukhto." That is the reason that TV can not educate the people. It rather confuse the people and develop estrangement instead of harmony.
            Thekadar Baba criticised education policy also. He said that a student can understand easily in his own language. "In our country, the student is confused in his early age when he finds that the animal known to him at home as Chelae or Beeza is called Bakri in the school. This confusion goes along with him throughout his life. Therefore, our educated people are estranged from their own folk. They don't understand problems of their own people. Because they can not read and write the their language." In this context, Thekadar Baba said that now all the responsibility of preservation of language and culture has been taken by the poets. But these poets and writes are ignored deliberately by the government. He referred to Mardan Arts Council which is possessed by the bureaucracy. The council has ignored local poets, writers and artists and import people from other places for its functions.  He was also critical about the academy of letters and said that it has opened an office in Peshawar which has no contact with Pukhto poets and writers.
            Thekadar Baba said that Pakhtuns are discriminated in all fields. He narrated a story which had shocked him too much. In 1965‑war between Pakistan and India, he had started a diary in charbeta of daily events, including war crimes and atrocities committed by Indian soldiers. That evoked interest of the common man. On that account, Field Marshal Ayub Khan gave him a certificate and some cash in prize and promised that he would be considered for an award by his government. But the field marshal and president of the state forgot his promise. When the awards were announced, Noor Jehan also got a medal. Then Thekadar Baba composed some charbeta which includes a line:

            The poet of battles remained a chowkidar;
            (And) Noor Jehan displays medals of gallantry.
            As mentioned earlier, Abdul Wahid Thekadar has recorded his charbetas in 10 volumes; eight have been published so far:
a)      Da Sundar Khaperae (the fairy of Sundar). A ballad.
b)      Khashab‑i‑Zaitoon (an olive twig).
c)      Tangtakor (the music).
d)      Rangarang Jeshan (the colourful celebration). Depicting annual celebration in Swat during the reign of the last Wali.
e)      Maidan‑i‑jang (the battle field). Daily diary of events of 1965 war between Pakistan and India.
f)        Dur‑i‑Sadaf (the mother pearl).
g)      Bragh Moran (double stones = the precious stones in abundance).
h)      Amel (the garland). Contains brief introduction of contemporary poets. The author claims that it is the longest charbeta, ever written, comprising 150 stanzas. For this charbeta, Abdul Wahid Thekadar was acclaimed as Baba‑i‑charbeta.
      Two other books of Thekadar have not yet been published. One is captioned Gh'shay Leenda (arrow and bow) dealing with the movement of Khudai Khidmatgar. It is a historical piece and may reveal many events related to the freedom struggles and social activities of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement. The provincial government should arrange its publication and circulation, at due royalty to the octogenarian author.(Courtesy; daily Frontier Post; Peshawar;10 October 1992)

5 comments:

dunyiapakistan said...

i like this site,,.nice one admin..gud efforts for posts

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ASOTA SHARIF said...

Thanks admin
Plz send me the link of charbita 100 me jehazona di 100 paki bambaar di

ASOTA SHARIF said...

Thanks admin
Plz send me the link of charbita 100 me jehazona di 100 paki bambaar di

Unknown said...

100 me jahazoona de 100 pake bambar de.
Who first sung this charbeta in 1960s, please send me link.

Muhammad Quraish said...

100 me jahazoona de 100 pake bambar de.
Who first sung this charbeta in 1960s, please send me link.

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