Tappa or Landay Poetry

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Tappa or Landay Poetry, Rahmat shah
Published in Khyber.ORG on Sunday, March 28 2004 (http://www.khyber.org)

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Tappa or Landay Poetry

Rahmat shah

Publishing Date: Sunday, March 28 2004

Tappa (Landay) is a form of folk poetry and consist of couplets; the first one consists of nine syllables and the second thirteen. This format of poetry is described by some to consist of one and one half verses. The author of such couplets is generally unknown. Some of them have names of authors or national figures and heroes attached.

Tappay are started with a fond opening word of 'ya qurban', meaning respect to the listener or the subject. Tappey are sung with loud melodious voice and could be accompanied by Mangay, Tabla, Tambal, Baja or sitar. Tappey are generally sung over weddings, celebrations or just to tide over the long winter nights. In weddings ceremonies it might have the form of two-person duet presented by male and female singers or two male singers. Tappa covers all forms of Pashtoon life; love, passion, anger, hate, wars, history, heroes and villains. The love for environment, flower, cities and mountains is contained in many. Pakhtoon loves his cities with reverence and are commonly noted in the verses. The rugged Pakhtoon terrain from Chitral to Chaman and Amu to Abasin is the source of inspiration in the form of Tappa and is a therapy for the soul of the inhabitants of these mountains and valleys.

The expatriate and natives alike often miss Peshawar, Kabul, Qandahar, Ningrahar, Chaman, Mardan, Swat, Bajaur, Nowshera, Karapa and Tirah. Tappey covers them all. There is sufficient coverage of the beauty of the Landmark Mountains like Khyber, Tahtarra, Malakand, Tirah and Elam. Separation is pain; reunion a joyful event and happening.

Islam the religion of the Pashtoon tribes is noted in many, others reveal his reverence to spiritual leaders of the past like Pir baba and Kaka sahib. Pashtoon are fond of fragrant flowers like Kashmali, rose and Chambeli to mention a few. He compares the beauty of his love without devotion to a flower without fragrance.

The beloved has to have wafa or heart felt devotion, she is mentioned with great reverence and respect, her lips are red, face ruby white and eyes, clear, shining, full of passion and beautiful like the flower of Nargis (narcissus). Her hairs are long and consist of jet-black locks often compared to day and night. Some Tappay describe the face of the beloved as Roohani as Islam and the hair as pagan as Kafiristan.

Pashtoon lover is always dreaming and imagining, he never has a chance to marry the girl of his dreams. It is satisfying to dream and imagine seeing her fetching the water in the water pitcher (Mangai) from the water bank (Gudar) or well. The Jewish Rabbi historian noted this commonality between Pakhtoons and Jews by reading the frequent mention of water bank and wells in our folk poetry. He noted the same in the Israelites, like Moses, Jacob and many others who fell in love with their wives by the water holes, wells and fountains.

Tappey covers the constant struggle of the Pashtoon with nature, the harsh weather, and droughts. With all those wars, struggle for existence and survival I wonder how Adam Khan and Durkhanai pulled a love affair, so successful to be remembered for generations. Tohmat, Badnami (bad reputation) bugs the lover constantly. Sohbat, the unending love talk of lovers is the state of bless, longed for in many verses. Beltoon the other fellow who has the same love interest is a hateful soul. He is smart and can get across to the family of the girl some how and gets away with it. He is Waham and Waswasa and the extreme fear of being accepted by the family and the beloved. The fond neglect or Makeiz exhibited by the beloved does not allay the fear either or remedy the situation.

The beloved is not trust worthy she may fall for the talk of the Beiltoon who is like Latoo, a bird that changes his tone frequently to attract his own kind in the forest. 'Tapoosai Tor Kargha' the crow is an ugly bird which at times brings bad news, by repeatedly crowing in front of the house. The 'ka ka' of the crow inspires aw and fear of loss.

ګلونه ډير دي خدائي در کړي
ده صبر ګل   به خپل اشنا   له ورکومه

Guloona Dir Di Khudai Di Dir Kki,
Da Sabar Gul Ba Khpal Ashna La Warkawoma

The garden is full of flowers but I have to present the   flower of patience to my friend.

خدائي   مي باچا،   قران مي پير   دي
رسول الله (ص)  به شفاعت ځما کوي نه

Khude Me Bacha Qurr'an   Me Pir De
Rasul-lah Ba Shafae't Za Ma Kaweena.

God is my King, The prophet will plead for my blessing.

ده پير   بابا لار ده ډيره سخته
ده ګلو لختي جانانه ستا له پاره ځمه

Da Pir Baaba   Lare Di Sakhte
Da Gulo   Lakhte Jenay Sta Da Para Zam'a

The journey to the    Mazaar of the   saint, Pir Baaba is harsh and difficult But I have to do it for the girl who is as beautiful as a   flowering branch.

ځان   دي ژړو جامو کښي   ژوړ کړو
لکه په وران کلي کښي باغ دي ګلو وينه

Zaan De   Zarho Jamo Ke Jorhe Ka
Laka Pa Wran Kele   Ke Bagh Da Gulo Weena.

She dressed herself in tattered clothes and Looks like a   garden of flowers showing through the ruins of a village.

که   ده ځلمو نه   پوره نه شوه
فخر افغانه جينکښي به دي ګټينه

Ka Da Zelmo Na Pura Na Shwa
Fakhr-e Afghana Jenekey   Ba De Gateena.

If the young lads of the land failed to achieve the goals   of Bacha Khan the pride of the Afghan nation; then it will be the lasses to   file in for the achievement of his dreams and mission.

مينه ژاړي   دي نه قبليږي
جانان   په غټو خلکو ځان   حسابوينه

Meena Zari De Na Qabli Gi
Janaan Pa Ghetto Khelqu Zaan Hesaba We Na.

The gestures of the lovers are rejected,   because of the great difference of class; the love interest has no time for   the poor lovelorn.

اخر به وران   شي پيښوره
ده   ننګرهار   جوني خيري   درته کوينه

Akher Ba Wran She Pekhawara
Da Nangrahar   Juna Khere Derta Kaweena..

The lasses of Nangrahar   are praying for the demise of Peshawar city; as they miss their lads attracted   by the glitter of the City.

ما ده شمشاد لښته   ګړيلي
ده   ميري زويه ده   ازغو دي ډکه کړمه

Ma Da   Shamshaad Lekhta Ganrhale
Da Mere Zoya   Da Azgho De Dakka Krhama.

I was dreaming of you as a beautiful   cypress tree, Instead you turned out to be a thorny   bush.

چي ده اياز په   مخ شيدا شو
محمود باچا   ده غلامانو   غلام شونه

Che Da Ayaz Pa Mekh Sheida Sho
Mahmood Bacha Da Ghulamano Ghulam Shuna.

Mahmood Ghaznvi   uplifted the one time slave Ayaz to such a high   position, that the king sought his advice in the matters of the state as if   the slave was the ruler and the ruler was the slave..

بس کړه په دغه ځاېي   پريږده
څوک چي   شائسته اشنا   لري غمجن به   وينه

Bes Ka Pa Degha Zay'e Pregda
Soke Che Kheista   Ashna Lari Ghamjan Ba Weena

Let us close and leave these Tappey alone, Those who have a beautiful lover, have to   put up with some sadness


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Tappa or Landay Poetry, Rahmat shah
Published in Khyber.ORG on Sunday, March 28 2004 (http://www.khyber.org)