Read this excellent piece by Bilal Tanweer published in DAWN, Pakistan on one of my favourite characters:
Among recurring motifs in Sadequain’s work is the image of a headless man holding his lopped head in his hand. The dislodged head, sitting on the palm of the man’s hand, is studying a beloved subject, while the other hand sketches the subject on canvas.
In another variation of this motif, the severed head is looking back at the vacant spot, while the brush is drawing the self-portrait of the head in blood. In all these versions, the lopped head is an unmistakable symbol of ecstatic transcendence: the head is dismembered from the body but is reunited in the subject, in the act of creation, in the contemplation of the beloved. […]
A Strange Bird
Look, how a strange bird flits in and out of the cage!
O brother, I wish I could bind it with my mindÃs fetters.
Have you seen a house of eight rooms with nine doors
Closed and open, with windows in between, mirrored?
O mind, you are a bird encaged! And of green sticks
Is your cage made, but it will be broken one day.
Lalon says: Open the cage, look how the bird wings away!
People ask, what is Lalon’s caste?
Lalon says, my eyes fail to detect
The signs of caste. Don’t you see that
Some wear garlands, some rosaries
Around the neck? But does it make any
Difference brother? O, tell me,
What mark does one carry when
One is born, or when one dies?
A muslim is marked by the sign
Of circumcision; but how should
You mark a woman? If a Brahmin male
Is known by the thread he wears,
How is a woman known? People of the world,
O brother, talk of marks and signs,
But Lalon says: I have only dissolved
The raft of signs, the marks of caste
In the deluge of the One!
Translated by Azfar Hussain
More details on Lalon are below: […]