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The Rediff Special/Bus to Pakistan
'Lahore ka safar mubarak ho'
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is likely to be carrying a special gift for poets across the sarhad when he boards the inaugural Delhi-Lahore bus on Saturday, February 20.
The unusual gift is an emotional rendition by noted Urdu poet and Jnanpith award-winner Ali Sardar Jaffri from his album Sarhad, reflecting the desire of the Indian people for a peaceful solution to the disputes that have divided the two neighbours.
"Guftagu band na ho/Baat se baat chale
The poet, who was invited to join the prime minister's delegation but had to decline on account of ill health, has sent a set of 10 cassettes of Sarhad to Vajpayee to be gifted to poets and writers of Pakistan as a message of love and friendship.
The cassette contains five poems by Jaffri dedicated to the hopes and aspirations of the people for better Indo-Pak relations.
Another poem is Subah Farda which calls upon the people of the two countries to forget the bitter past and usher in a new dawn.
''Isi sarhad pe kal dooba tha suraj hoke do tukde,
In an accompanying letter to the prime minister, Jaffri has quoted the legendary Mirza Ghalib: "Ek Brahmin ne kaha hai ye saal bahut achcha hai" (a fortune-teller has said this is a very good year).
Jaffri describes as very positive Vajpayee's decision to travel to Pakistan, and exudes confidence that it will yield very good results.
In the letter written in Urdu in the Devanagri script, the poet has said better Indo-Pak relations would guarantee a better destiny for the subcontinent and South Asia.
"The hearts of lakhs of people are with you as you embark on this noble mission," he said, adding, "Lahore ka safar mubarak ho" (happy journey to Lahore).
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