CHICAGO: The fifth Global Punjabi Milaap will be held on Saturday, September 15 at Des Plaines Theater in Des Plaines from 1pm to 5pm. This year the theme is Baba Bulleh Shah and his Sufi poetry.
Bulleh Shah was born in 1680 in a small village of Uch, Bahawalpur, Punjab, now in Pakistan. Some of his forebears were migrants from Uzbekistan. He received his early education in Pandoke and higher education in Kasur. His spiritual teacher was Sufi Shah Inayat Qadiri.
Bulleh Shah practiced the Sufi tradition of Punjabi poetry established by poets like Shah Hussain, Sultan Bahu and Shah Sharaf. He was a contemporary of Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai, Waris Shah and Sachal Surmust. His verses are called Kafis, a style of poetry in Punjabi, Sindhi and Saraiki which was also used by Sikh gurus.
Bulleh Shah’s message of peace was so strong that it was sung by street singers as well as renowned Sufi singers. Some known names that enjoyed singing his poetry are the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pathaney Khan, Abida Parveen, Wadalli Brothers, and Hans Raj Hans. Rabbi Shergill turned his Kafi “Bulla Ki Jaana Mein Kaun” into Rock fusion. It has sort of become a test for singers – if you want to be famous, you better know how to sing Bullah. Even Bollywood has used many of his Kafis in hit movies.
Among those who will speak on various aspects of Baba Bulleh Shah’s poetry are Prof. Jagindar Singh Ramdev, Dr. Javed Bhatty, Dr. Riaz Baber, Sajid Chaudhry, Dr Zafar Malik, Dr. Sultan Akbar Hayat, Dr. Nabeela Rasheed and Dr. Tahir Rohail. A play will depict the life that Bullah had to go through.
Milaap brings the people of Punjab together who were affected by the partition of 1947. Entry is free. Plenty of free street and city garage parking.