Review: Stories of Your Life and Others

[This article contains mild spoilers.] Recently, I watched the movie Arrival (released in 2016) and was impressed by its philosophical profundity and intellectual portrayal of first contact with aliens. The movie keeps you in suspense throughout and makes you think deeply even long after it’s over. As someone interested in languages, I...

Top 5 Versions of “Tajdar-e-Haram”

In no particular order, here is my list of the top five versions of the qawwali “Tajdar-e-Haram”. You can find my full translation of the poetry here. The original by the Sabri Brothers is obviously very hard to match, but I think others have also done justice to it. Post any more versions of...

Lyrics, Translation, and Explanation of “Balaghal-Ula Bi-Kamalihi”

“Balaghal-Ula Bi-Kamalihi” is a popular qawwali most famously performed by the late Sabri Brothers, Ghulam Farid Sabri (1930-1994) and Maqbool Ahmed Sabri (1945-2011), from Pakistan. It is a multilingual naat (praise of the prophet Muhammad) that centers around a famous Arabic quatrain (rubai) by the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi (1210-1292)....