Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Aik Alif - Sain Zahoori & Noori (Coke Studio Version) Season 2 Episode 1

Aik Alif is written by Bulleh Shah in which he asks people to stop studying all that science, education and spiritual knowledge they are studying, because all that is not important when you haven't studied your own self.

Here he has shown the importance of Ik Alif. Alif is the first alphabet of Urdu script. It also means "1" and Bulleh Shah tells that all you need is "Alif" meaning oneness or Unity. We must see each one of us as 1. Everything in this universe is just Alif. This is another self introspecting song after Ali Zafar - Naheen Re Naheen

Parh parh ilm te faazil hoya
[You read to become all knowledgeable]

Te kaday apnay aap nu parhya ee na
[But you never read yourself]

Bhaj bhaj warna ay mandir maseeti
[You run to enter your mosques and temples]

Te kaday mann apnay wich warya ee na
[But you never entered your own heart]

Larna ay roz shaitaan de naal
[Everyday you fight Satan]

Te kadi nafs apnay naal larya ee na
[But you never fight your own Ego]

Bulleh Shah asmaani ud-deya pharonda ay
[Bulleh Shah you try grabbing that which is in the sky]

Te jera ghar betha unoon pharya ee na
[But you never get hold of what sits inside yourself]

Bas kareen o yaar
[Stop it all my friend]

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar
[stop seeking all this knowledge my friend]

Ik Alif teray darkaar
[Only an Alif is what you need]

Bas kareen o yaar
[stop it all my friend]

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar…
[Stop seeking all this knowledge my friend]

Allah Sayyaan Allah Sayyaan
[God is Greatness, God is All]

Nee main jaanaa Jogi de naal
[I shall follow the Jogi {ascetic/Sufi}]

Jo naa jaane, Haqq ki taaqat
[those who deny the strength of Truth]

Rab naa devey us ko Himmat
[God does not give them courage]

Hum Mann ke darya mein doobey
[We have drowned in the river of Self]

Kaisi nayya? Kya manjhdhaar…
[the boat and the flowing waters do not matter]

Bas kareen o yaar
[stop it all my friend]

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar
[stop seeking all this knowledge my friend]

Allah Sayyaan Allah Sayyaan
[God is Greatness, God is All]

First part is sung by Sain Zahoor a leading Sufi Musician from Pakistan. He has won BBC voice of the year 2006. After his verse comes the melodious Mandolin that Noori plays, which infact takes the song to a new place.

We can see the transition in verses, first Sain Zahoor sings all the contradicting things one does in the life. Like doing everything related to the outside world but not looking inside himself. When the next part comes, it talks about some beautiful lines like "Hum mann ke darya me doobe, Kaisi nayya ? Kya Manjhdhaar.... " All we need is drown inside ourselves in search of our soul. And while we are drowned then what is a Boat and which way the water flows is just out of question.
Similarly the lines Bas kareen o yaar, Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar are amazingly heart melting. They just mean a lot. Like telling a person who was so proud of his knowledge and everything and you just show him that he is nothing.

From a poem by Bulleh Shah

Parh Parh Kitaaban Ilam Diyan Tu Naam Rakh Liya Qaazi,
Hath Vich Farh Ke Talvaar Tu Naam Rakh Liya Gaazi,
Makkay Madinay Ghoom Aaya Tay Tu Naam Rakh Liya Haaji,
"Bulleh Shah" Haasil Ki Kita, Je Tu Yaar Na Rakhaya RAAZI....

Lyrics are quite easy and you can feel them even when you listen for the first time. And one does feel like pausing his thoughts of materialistic world and try to see what is going on inside him.

I would like to share a story about Bullleh Shah taken from Inspirations and Creative Thoughts

In the life of Bullah Shah, the great saint of Panjab, one reads a most instructive account of his early training when he was sent to school with boys of his own age. The teacher taught him Alif, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. The other boys in his class finished the whole alphabet set while he was mastering the same letter. When weeks had passed, and the teacher saw that the child did not advance any further than the first letter Alif, he thought that he must be deficient and sent him home to his parents, saying, 'Your boy is deficient, I cannot teach him.'

The parents did all in their power for him, placing him under the tuition of various teachers, but he made no progress. They were disappointed, and the boy in the end escaped from home, so that he should no longer be a burden to his own people. He then lived in the forest and saw the manifestation of Alif which has taken form in the forest as the grass, the leaf, the tree, branch, fruit, and flower; and the same Alif was manifested as the mountain and hill, the stones and rocks; and he witnessed the same as a germ, insect, bird and beast, and the same Alif in himself and others. He thought of one, saw one, felt one, realized one, and none else besides.

After mastering this lesson thoroughly he returned to pay his respects to his old teacher who had expelled him from school. The teacher, absorbed in the vision of variety, had long ago forgotten him; but Bullah Shah could not forget his old teacher who had taught him his first and most inspiring lesson which had occupied almost all his life. He bowed most humbly before the teacher and said, 'I have prepared the lesson you so kindly taught me; will you teach me anything more there may be to learn?' The teacher laughed at him and thought to himself, 'After all this time this simpleton has remembered me.' Bullah Shah asked permission to write the lesson, and the teacher replied in jest, 'Write on this wall.' He then made the sign of Alif on the wall, and it divided into two parts. The teacher was astounded at this wonderful miracle and said, 'Thou art my teacher! That which thou hast learnt in the one letter Alif, I have not been able to master with all my learning,' and Bullah Shah sang this song:

Oh! friend now quit thy learning,
One Alif is all thou dost need.
By learning thou hast loaded my mind,
With books thou hast filled up thy room.
But the true knowledge was lost by pursuing the false, So quit now, O friend, the pursuit of thy learning.

Every form seems to be derived from another, all figures being derived from Alif, which is originally derived from a dot and represents zero, nothingness. It is that nothingness which creates the first form Alif. It is natural for everyone when writing to make a dot as soon as the pen touches the paper, and the letters forming the words hide the origin. In like manner the origin of the One Being is hidden in His manifestation. That is why Allah, whose name comes from Alif, is hidden under His own manifestation. The same form of Alif is the figure one in English, and in both aspects this form reveals its meaning. This meaning in its various forms is seen in all aspects of nature. As Omar Khayyam says:

My soul said, 'I desire the mystic knowledge:
Teach me if it be in thy power.'
I said, 'Alif.'

She answered, 'Say no more; If one is at home,
a single letter is enough.'
- Alif, Inayat Khan: The Way of Illumination

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Man Kunto Maula - Zila Khan (Lyrics, Translation)

I had mentioned earlier in the song Kinara by Atif Aslam about this poem by Amir Khusro. Which is undoubtedly so beautiful and so famous that it has been sung by many great singers like Sabri brothers, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Zila Khan, Farid Ayaz, Abida Parveen and the line man qunto maula has been used in a numerous songs e.g Kinara (coke studio version), Satinder Sartaj and many more.

More than a song it is famous as a qawwali. And in most of the traditional qawwali gatherings this work of Amir Khusro is always performed. This particular Qawwali often throws people into ecstasy and can be even witnessed in present days at any Qawwali gatherings.

Amir Khusro was a mystic sufi poet of 13th century in India. He is termed as father of qawwali and is also known to invent what is known as Indian Tabla. He wrote his poetry mainly in Persian and sometimes in Hindavi.

The first line Man Kunto Maula is a Hadith (A saying of prophet Muhammed) and  This was made on returning back from the Last Pilgrimage of the Prophet (year 632, just months before his passing), he stopped at a place called Ghadir Khum and delivered a sermon. The statement therein for the sufis is the confirmation of spiritual transmission in the path (leaving aside later politicized history related to it and giving rise of party of Ali, known as shiite e Ali).

I am writing for Zila Khan Version which I love the most and hope you too like it.

Man kunto maulaa (X2)
Fa haaza Aliun maulaa, (X2)
Man kunto maulaa

Man kunto maula (X4)
Fa haaza Aliun maulaa (X2)
Man kunto maula (X4)

[To whom I am the master,
Ali is the master too.]

Ali imaam-e-manasto manam Ghulaam-e-Ali,
Hazaar jaan-e-giraamii fidaa-e-naam-e-Ali.

[Ali is the master of all, I am the slave of Ali,
A thousand lifes I sacrifice for Ali.]

Man kunto maula (X4)

Daaraa dil daaraa dil daar-e-daanii
Hum tum taa naa naa naanaa, naanaa naanaa re
Yaalaalii yaalaalii yaalaa, yaalaa yaalaa
Yala la la la la, la la la la li (X2)

[Asks God to enter into the heart and then 
Sufi chants, which is actually the music played in heart when God has entered]

Man kunto maula (X2)

Shaah-e-mardaaN, Sher-e-yazdaaN, Quvvat-e-parvardigaar. (X2)
Laa fataa illaa Ali, Laa saif illaa zulfiqaar.

[King of the brave,
Lion of God,
Strength of God.
There is no one like Ali (and),
There is no sword like Zulfiqaar.]

Man kunto ..(3) Maula
Man kunto maula

Nami danam chi manzil bood shab jaay ki man boodam;
Baharsu raqs-e bismil bood shab jaay ki man boodam.

[I know not what that place was, where I was last night.
All around me were half-slaughtered victims of love, tossing about in agony.]
raqs-e-bismil means raqs=dance, bismil is the name to the lamb which is about to be slaughtered in the name of Allah. so raqs-e-bismil is the twitching of the lamb while being slaughtered.

Pari paikar nigaar-e sarw qadde laala rukhsare;
Sarapa aafat-e dil bood shab jaay ki man boodam.

[A fairy-faced lover, cypress-like in stature, cheeks ruddy like tulips.
Ruthlessly playing havoc with the hearts of the lovers.]

Khuda khud meer-e majlis bood andar laamakan Khusrau;
Muhammad shamm-e mehfil bood shab jaay ki man boodam.

[God Himself was the host of that gathering inside that heavenly place, Khusraw!
Muhammad was the light of that gathering]

Man kunto maula (X4)
Fa haaza Aliun maulaa, (X2)
Man kunto(X3)  maula
Man kunto maula

After you have listened to the song I am sure you must have found it echoing inside your heart. specially the lines Daaraa dil daaraa dil, dare-e-daani and yala la la la la la, la la la la lii. Actually I always end up singing these tunes along with the song, the desire to sing along is uncontrollable. Simply beautiful poem.

Also the last three stanzas are from a different poem by Khusro.

Hope you liked it Please Share and your comments/suggestions are welcomed. Feel free to contact us.

P.S. Will post the complete poem soon!! :)
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Mai Ni Meriye - Mohit Chauhan, Fitoor

This song by Mohit chauhan has made an irreplaceable place in my heart since I heard it for the first time. The album (Fitoor) has many songs and all of them have a folk touch of the native place of singer, Himachal. Other songs like Challeya and fitoor are also good, but I found this song worth sharing.

Enjoy the simplicity of the song.

The lyrics goes like -

A girl is asking her mother -

Mai ne meriye
Shimle di raahe chamba kitni durr

[ 'How far is Chamba ( where his beloved lives) from Shimla ( her mainland) ?'
The pain of separation from her beloved is too much to withstand, so she is asking her mother the question. ]

Mai ne meriye
Shimle di raahe chamba kitni durr

O Shimle ni vasna, Kasauli ni vasna
Shimle ni vasna, Kasauli ni vasna

[ 'I don't want to settle in Shimla, nor Kasauli.'
These places no more please her ( though being very beautiful naturally ) but she doesn't want to live in these places as her beloved is not here with her. ]

Chambe jaana zarur
Chambe jaana zarur

[ 'I must go to Chamba.'
She longs to go to Chamba and see her beloved, live with him, be with him. ]

Mai ne meriye
Shimle di raahe chamba kitnik durr

O laaiya mohabbata durr daraje
O laaiya mohabbata durr daraje

[ 'I have selected my love from far away lands.' 
My favorite lines from the song - she is in the agony of separation from her lover, she is missing him so much that she condemns her decision to have chosen her  love from such a far away place. ]

Aankhiyan to hoya kasoor
Aankhiyan to hoya kasoor

[ 'My eyes have made this mistake.'
She loves him, and that is causing so much pain to her, so she is accusing her eyes to have chosen him as her love. Strange isn't it ? You are in pain, you do condemn your fate, you do condemn your decisions, sometimes you will even cry when the pain (of separation, hijr ) is unbearable, but you won't mind it just because you love him/her. ]

Mai ne meriye
Shimle di raahe chamba kitnik durr

O mein ta mahi de watna nu jaasan
O mein ta mahi de watna nu jaasan

[ 'I want to go to the land of my beloved.' 
The land where his beloved lives. The land that is distant. The distance which is the only reason of their separation. ]

Oh meri aankhiyan da noor
Oh meri aankhiyan da noor

[ 'He is the light, the shine in my eyes.'
He means the world to her. Her eyes are desperate to see him. She has kept her love in her eyes and that has made her eyes look so beautiful. ]

Mai ne meriye
Shimle di raahe chamba kitnik durr
Chamba kitnik durr

O Shimle ni vasna, Kasauli ni vasna
Shimle ni vasna, Kasauli ni vasna
Chambe jaana zarur
Chambe jaana zarur
Chambe jaana zarur
Chambe jaana zarur

Simply awesome. A song that talks of nature, of separation ,of love, and is garnished by lovely flute, acoustic guitar and chimes. The simplicity of the song makes it sink directly into your heart the very first time you listen to it.

Before ending the post I will like to share a few lines that go with the mood and talk about separation, the pain and the delight in the wait to see your love.

                                                         Woh mazza kahaan wasl-e-yaar main,
                                                                       lutf jo mila intezaar main..
                                                                                       ( courtesy: a ghazal by Jagjit Singh )

Hope you had a nice time listening it.