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 .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

...Winter Has Come

The year that started with so much promise is ending on the worst possible note. The untimely death of my Mamoo, followed in the next few days by two more untimely and violent deaths in the family has left everyone close to me in a state of profound shock and grief. We've all gone through our grieving rituals - the women by that exceedingly cathartic process that had caused Munir Niazi to observe 'Raunaqain hain maut ki/Yeh ba'in karti auratain', the youngsters by quickly and quietly changing their caller-tunes to Na'ats and Qirats, the men by surreptitiously putting aside family feuds for a few days and the small flock of the bereaved by slowly beginning to come to terms with the vacuum in their lives. Many lives have been irrevocably changed, including mine and my immediate family's. One of the effects has been the family's decision to shift from Lahore -temporarily or permanently - to the hometown, Sargodha, in order to help my grandmother and the bereaved family in trying to adjust to the uncertain future facing them.

For a person with my weird emotional circuitry - an unusual combination of empathy and the inability to display it, topped with a propensity for bottling up and retreating into a coccoon while at the same time longing for someone to communicate with - this has proved an especially trying time. The initial shock of the tragedy was of almost cataclysmic proportions - the way the news was broken to me will probably live as the single worst moment of my life and will haunt me for years to come - and trying to find closure has been hard. I cried - for only the second time in my adult life-, busied myself with the complex set of chores and tasks that surprisingly make up the bulk of the two seemingly disparate but eerily similar major events in Punjabi culture -'marna' te 'parna', and having returned to my place of duty after the completion of my emergency leave, actively remained in touch with most of my family back home via twice or thrice-daily phonecalls. Still, the black dog that has decided to camp outside my door refuses to go away, and frankly I don't blame it. Ultimately, Time will work its twisted magic and something resembling normalcy - or a cheap substitute for it - will return to everyone's lives, before the next seismic upheaval starts the circle once again.

Of the many things I'd planned for the conclusion of this year, one of the important ones was a series of posts on Qawwali, something which'll have to wait for a couple of reasons. First because along with everything else, my laptop -virtually the only thing keeping me sane in the jungle- went kaput three weeks ago and writing on a borrowed laptop (like I'm doing now) doesn't appeal to me. Second, I think I've temporarily lost my taste for music. In fact, the only thing faintly resonating with me and the only thing that I listen to, and I listen to it almost every day, is this ....

Maze Jahaan Ke Apni Nazar Main Khaak Nahi - Bakhshi Salamat Qawwal


  1. Now it is a period of silence for you. You have intended to bring music to us... May music again return to your life and uplift your soul.


  2. Musab, very sorry to hear of the difficult time that you and your family are going through. Hope something resembling normalcy does return soon. Take care and be well.