I've been maintaining this blog (for better or for worse) over the last eight years. Over these years, its natural evolution has led it into becoming something of a niche place for discussion of music in general and Qawwali in particular. Rather than trying to return my existing blog to its pre-Qawwali eclectic roots, I decided I’d start anew on Tumblr. So if you’re interested in music, Qawwali and subcontinental culture, keep reading/listening/watching/commenting here. For all of the above and everything else under the sun, head on over to my Tumblr page .

Friday, May 27, 2011

....Of The Tall, Coquettish Beloved

Two of my most favorite Qawwali recordings are both markedly different  versions of the same beautiful ghazal of Amir Khusrau's, Aye Sarve Nazneene Mun, Az Mun Che Deeda-ee. I have tried my hand at translating it as best as I can, and I must admit I haven't done a very good job. Some of the verbs were a tad too obtuse for me, so I have taken more than my share of poetic license.


اے سرو نازنین من، از من چھ دیدہ ای 
یک بار مہر از من مسکین بریدہ ای 

اول وفا نمودی و بردی دل مرا 
آخر چھ شد کہ آ رض از من کشیدہ ای 

آرے بہ سیم و زر ہمہ کس بندہ می خرند
ما بندہ تویم کہ تو بے زر خریدہ ای 

فخرم بس است این کہ کمینہ سگ تویم
نازم برآں زماں کہ بہ لطفم وریدہ ای 

خسرو تو بس بلند شدی در قرین عشق 
گویا بہ پاے بوس سگا نش رسیدہ ای

O tall, coquettish beloved of mine; what change have you perceived in me?
 What has caused you to suddenly extinguish the benign light of your favors?

 First you displayed affection and whisked my heart away, and now;
What has occurred to make you withdraw the sight of your beauteous face?

Everyone buys slaves, paying handsomely in silver and gold.
Yet I am your slave, one that you bought free of cost.

It suffices my pride that I am a lowly dog living at your doorstep.
I am distinguished in the whole world, because you have blessed me with your pleasure.

Khusrau, you have reached great heights in your journey of love.
Now finally you are worthy of kissing the feet of the dogs of your beloved's alley.


 The first is from 1969 and features the four scions of the Qawwal Bacchon Ka Gharana - Munshi Raziuddin Qawwal, Bahauddin Khan, Manzoor Ahmed Niazi and Iftekhar Ahmed Nizami - presenting the kallam in the mellifluous Raag Anandi. This is taken from the exquisite performance - all of which can be heard at Qaul - that I have listened to hundreds of times and still can't get enough of. The slow, contemplative build-up, Bahauddin Khan's brilliant changes of taal and the brilliant collaborative singing make it an absolute gem. I have tweaked the recording a bit to equalize the sound and bring out the vocals. It is unquestionably one of my most favorite Qawwali recordings.

The second recording is by Haji Mehboob Qawwal from the seventies. A departure from Haji saheb's usual declarative style of singing, this version features no girahs. A stately mid-tempo arrangement interspersed with Haji Mushtaq's alaaps and short but beautiful takraars, it makes for delightful listening. Another recording that I've listened to hundreds of times, it ranks with the above recording among my most favorite ones.

P.S, If anyone can improve on my rather primitive translation, please feel free to do so in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Aakhir chy shud k aaarz az mn kasheeda eeeeeeee....... Zbrdst