Saturday, November 6, 2010

SM Sultan

SM Sultan (1923-1994) a renowned painter. His real name was Sheikh Mohammad Sultan but he is more widely known as SM Sultan. He was born on 10 August 1923 at Masimdia, a village in Narail district. His father worked as a mason, and Sultan joined him after five years of schooling at the Victoria Collegiate School in Narail. Sultan also began to draw the buildings his father used to work on and thus developed a liking for art. Sultan knew that an art education was only possible in Calcutta, but family hardship stood in the way. It was then that the zamindar of the area, Dhirendranath Roy offered his help. With monetary support from the zamindar, Sultan went to Calcutta in 1938.

But Sultan did not have the requirements for admission into the government School of Art. With the help of another patron, Shahid Suhrawardy, who was a member of the governing body of the School, Sultan entered the Art School. Suhrawardy also offered him accommodation in his house, and the use of his own library. Sultan however did not complete his education. After three years in the school, he left and chose to work as a freelance artist.

Sultan had a strong Bohemian streak in his character and something of a wanderer. He soon took to the road, travelling to different places of India. For a means of living, he drew the portraits of allied soldiers who had camped at different places in India. He held the first exhibition of his art work in Simla in 1946, but no work from this period survives, not even photographs as Sultan was totally indifferent to preservation of his work.

For a time, Sultan lived and worked in Kashmir - mostly landscapes and portraits. Then, after the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, he returned to Narail. Then again, in 1951, he left for Karachi. There he taught as an art teacher at a school, and came in contact with artists like Abdur Rahman Chughtai and Shaker Ali, with whom he developed lasting friendship. In 1950 Sultan had gone to USA - exhibiting his work in New York, Washington, Chicago, and Boston, and later in London. In 1953 he returned to Narail. There he built a school for children, and a menagerie. He lived in a house full of cats and snakes. Except for occasional visits to Dhaka (where he had his first exhibition in 1976) he lived in the quiet isolation of his house.

On first looking at SM Sultan's paintings, one gets the impression of vastness and strength. His canvas is large, like a spacious stage where life's dramas are played out. The cast of the drama consists of agricultural labourers, fishermen, simple householders, and toiling men and women. The men pose an enigma, since their large muscular and sinewy bodies contrast oddly with the emaciated physique of real life farmers and fishermen wasted by hard labour and hunger. Yet, in painting after painting, mostly in oil, but some in striking watercolours, Sultan painted the same human figures, symbolically suggesting the possibility of a dream rather than reality. Sultan believed in an arcadia where happiness and contentment would reign, yet was acutely aware of the exploitation, violence and deprivation that were the daily fare of the life of the villagers.

The tension between expectation and reality is a strong undercurrent in his paintings, sometimes ironising his contrasted studies of innocence and deceit. His strong bodied men fight with spears for a newly risen sandbank, or kill a fellow villager in a clan war yet, in moments of domestic repose, they revert to their roles of caring fathers or husbands. At times, they turn into thinking figures, as in Reminiscence. His men are drawn in the European Renaissance tradition while his women- supple-breasted and graceful- belong to the old Indian tradition. Instead of delicate lines however, Sultan uses strong curved lines, and flat body tones so that they do not stand apart from the crowd of active males.

Sultan's watercolours are bright and lively, but treat the same theme - nature and rural life. They contrast sharply with the often drab and flat oils painted in deep colours. Sultan tended to work heavily all over his canvas without living any empty space. His drawings, however, are masterful in their economy and compactness. The lines are powerful and full blown. In his later works though, the composition is less tight and focused, perhaps a sign that Sultan was growing a little impatient with the reality of his time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bidrohi (English Translated)

Say, Valiant,
Say: High is my head!

Looking at my head
Is cast down the great Himalayan peak!
Say, Valiant,
Say: Ripping apart the wide sky of the universe,
Leaving behind the moon, the sun, the planets
and the stars
Piercing the earth and the heavens,
Pushing through Almighty's sacred seat
Have I risen,
I, the perennial wonder of mother-earth!
The angry God shines on my forehead
Like some royal victory's gorgeous emblem.
Say, Valiant,
Ever high is my head!

I am irresponsible, cruel and arrogant,
I an the king of the great upheaval,
I am cyclone, I am destruction,
I am the great fear, the curse of the universe.
I have no mercy,
I grind all to pieces.
I am disorderly and lawless,
I trample under my feet all rules and discipline!
I am Durjati, I am the sudden tempest of ultimate summer,
I am the rebel, the rebel-son of mother-earth!
Say, Valiant,
Ever high is my head!

I am the hurricane, I am the cyclone
I destroy all that I found in the path!
I am the dance-intoxicated rhythm,
I dance at my own pleasure,
I am the unfettered joy of life!
I am Hambeer, I am Chhayanata, I am Hindole,
I am ever restless,
I caper and dance as I move!
I do whatever appeals to me, whenever I like,
I embrace the enemy and wrestle with death,
I am mad. I am the tornado!
I am pestilence, the great fear,
I am the death of all reigns of terror,
I am full of a warm restlessness for ever!
Say, Valiant,
Ever high is my head!

I am creation, I am destruction,
I am habitation, I am the grave-yard,
I am the end, the end of night!
I am the son of Indrani
With the moon in my head
And the sun on my temple
In one hand of mine is the tender flute
While in the other I hold the war bugle!
I am the Bedouin, I am the Chengis,
I salute none but me!
I am thunder,
I am Brahma's sound in the sky and on the earth,
I am the mighty roar of Israfil's bugle,
I am the great trident of Pinakpani,
I am the staff of the king of truth,
I am the Chakra and the great Shanka,
I am the mighty primordial shout!
I am Bishyamitra's pupil, Durbasha the furious,
I am the fury of the wild fire,
I burn to ashes this universe!
I am the gay laughter of the generous heart,
I am the enemy of creation, the mighty terror!
I am the eclipse of the twelve suns,
I herald the final destruction!
Sometimes I am quiet and serene,
I am in a frenzy at other times,
I am the new youth of dawn,
I crush under my feet the vain glory of the Almighty!

I am the fury of typhoon,
I am the tumultuous roar of the ocean,
I am ever effluent and bright,
I trippingly flow like the gaily warbling brook.
I am the maiden's dark glassy hair,
I am the spark of fire in her blazing eyes.
I am the tender love that lies
In the sixteen year old's heart,
I am the happy beyond measure!
I am the pining soul of the lovesick,
I am the bitter tears in the widow's heart,
i am the piteous sighs of the unlucky!
I am the pain and sorrow of all homeless sufferers,
i am the anguish of the insulted heart,
I am the burning pain and the madness of the jilted lover!

I am the unutterable grief,
I am the trembling first touch of the virgin,
I am the throbbing tenderness of her first stolen kiss.
I am the fleeting glace of the veiled beloved,
I am her constant surreptitious gaze.
I am the gay gripping young girl's love,
I am the jingling music of her bangles!
I am the eternal-child, the adolescent of all times,
I am the shy village maiden frightened by her own budding youth.
I am the soothing breeze of the south,
I am the pensive gale of the east.
I am the deep solemn song sung by the wondering bard,
I am the soft music played on his lyre!
I am the harsh unquenched mid-day thirst,
I am the fierce blazing sun,
I am the softly trilling desert spring,
I am the cool shadowy greenery!
Maddened with an intense joy I rush onward,
I am insane! I am insane!
Suddenly I have come to know myself,
All the false barriers have crumbled today!
I am the rising, I am the fall,
I am consciousness in the unconscious soul,
I am the flag of triumph at the gate of the world,
I am the glorious sign of man's victory,
Clapping my hands in exultation I rush like the hurricane,
Traversing the earth and the sky.
The mighty Borrak is the horse I ride.
It neighs impatiently, drunk with delight!
I am the burning volcano in the bosom of the earth,
I am the wild fire of the woods,
I am Hell's mad terrific sea of wrath!
I ride on the wings of the lightning with joy and profound,
I scatter misery and fear all around,
I bring earth-quakes on this world!

I am Orpheus's flute,
I bring sleep to the fevered world,
I make the heaving hells temple in fear and die.
I carry the message of revolt to the earth and the sky!
I am the mighty flood,
Sometimes I make the earth rich and fertile,
At another times I cause colossal damage.
I snatch from Bishnu's bosom the two girls!
I am injustice, I am the shooting star,
I am Saturn, I am the fire of the comet,
I am the poisonous asp!
I am Chandi the headless, I am ruinous Warlord,
Sitting in the burning pit of Hell
I smile as the innocent flower!
I am the cruel axe of Parsurama,
I shall kill warriors
And bring peace and harmony in the universe!
I am the plough on the shoulders of Balarama,
I shall uproot this miserable earth effortlessly and with ease,
And create a new universe of joy and peace.
Weary of struggles, I, the great rebel,
Shall rest in quiet only when I find
The sky and the air free of the piteous groans of the oppressed.
Only when the battle fields are cleared of jingling bloody sabres
Shall I, weary of struggles, rest in quiet,
I the great rebel.

I am the rebel eternal,
I raise my head beyond this world,
High, ever erect and alone!

The Rebel
(Original: Bidrohi)
Kazi Nazrul Islam, the 'Rebel' poet - National Poet of Bangladesh

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shawon - Our Own Metal Head

Ashfaq Hossain Shawon (born November 2)better known by his short name Shawon, is a Bangladeshi musician. He is the lead guitarist of the Bangladeshi Black Metal Band "Satanik".

Full Name: Ashfaq Hossain Shawon

Sex : Male

Birthday : November 2

Hometown : Dhaka, Bangladesh

Activities : Guitarist of SATANIK


Favorite Bandz :
Cannibal Corpse, Children of Bodom, Deicide, Cradle of Filth, Arch Enemy, Death, Decapitated, Nile, Behemoth, Hate, Psycroptic, Symphony-X, Necrophagist, Dream Theater, Opeth, Wintersun, Norther, Kalmah, Old Mans Child, Vital Remains, Fatal Portrait, Six Feet Under, Skyfire, Testament, Pantera, Sepultura, Megadeth, Anthropophagus, Slayer, Abaddon incarnate, Fuck...i'm Dead, The Black Dahlia Murder, In Flames, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Savatage, Overkill, Deeds of Flesh, Shadow gallery, Dark Moore, Luca Turilli, Stratovarius & many many more.

Favorite Artistz :
Michael Romeo, Chris Impellitteri, Michael Angelo, Jason Becker, Y.J.Malmsteen, Ritchie kotzen, Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, Marty Friedman, Ron Thal, Buckethead, Al De Meola, Tony Macalpine, John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Dimebag Darrell(R.I.P), Eric Johnson, Maksim, Jordan Rudess, Michael Pinnella, George Kollias, George Corpsegrinder Fisherman, Dani Filth, Janne Warman, Yanni.