Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan- The “ShehenShah e Qawwali”

I don’t think there’s any desi person who doesn’t know the name of this legend.

Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahab was born in a qawwal family in Punjab where his father, Fateh Ali Khan sahab wanted him to become a doctor or an engineer as Qawwals were not respected in the society. Thankfully, he chose to continue the family business and went on to become the most celebrated Qawwal anyone has ever known.

You can google the achievements this legend triumphed in his short life, on your own. But to give you an idea, he was called “Budai” (the Singing Budhha) in Japan.

Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahab's songs are like wine. The older it gets, the better it tastes. ☘️

-Not to mention, as you age with newer experiences everyday, you understand the songs even more.

Here are some songs by the legend that I’m hooked to these days:

• SAADGI TOH HAMARI ZARA DEKHIYE

A qawwali that pierces through your heart while healing it, “Saadgi toh hamari zara dekhiye,” is an excellent work by a gem of a lyricist. If you hear the complete 18 odd minutes long qawwali, you’ll be humming it for days on repeat!

Personal favourite lines:

Zikr ek bewafa aur sitamgar ka tha.
Aapka aysi baaton se kya vaasta?
Aap toh bewafa aur sitamgar nahi,
Aap ne kis liye muh udhr kr liya?”

• SOCHTA HUN (DEKHTE DEKHTE)

Maybe you have heard Atif Aslam’s version of Dekhte Dekhte, and stumbled upon this gem while searching the newer one and have been admiring the khyaal of the Ustaad eversince, like me. Or maybe you got it in your recommendations by the YouTube algorithm.

Either way, when you hear the original, you realise what quality of a qawwali it is.

Personal favourite lines:

"Gayr ki baat tasleem kya kijiye,
Ab toh khud pr bhi humko bharosa nahi.
Apna saaya samajhte the jinko kabhi,
Wo juda ho gaye dekhte dekhte."

•LIKH DIYA APNE DAR PE KISI NE

This is the latest gem I’ve discovered from the Maestro, and boy, oh boy! I love it!

I don’t think I’ll be able to say much about it other than it resonates beautiful in today’s time of hookups and ONS where love is rarer than ever. Go and listen to it yourself.

Favourite lines are as follows:

Humne ki arz "ae banda-parvar,
Kyun sitam dha rhe ho ye humpar?"

Baat sunnkr hmari wo bole:
"Humse takraar krna mana hai"

•DILLAGI

I found this one when Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Nusrat sahab’s nephew released his version of it. I searched for the bollywood version and downloaded  this one by mistake and now Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s song seems tasteless.

The best part of the Qawwali is the sargam. You don’t need to understand urdu to appreciate an immaculate sargam.

Personal favourite lines:

“jo ulfat mein har ek sitam hai gawarah,
Ye sbkuch hai haasil wafa tumse warna.

Satatey ho din-raat jis tarah mujhko,
Kisi gair ko yun sata kr toh dekho.”

• SOME VERY HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

  • Mast Nazron se Allah bachaye
  • Hai Kahan ka Irada tumhara sanam
  • Mast Qalandar
  • Afreen Afreen
  • Ye jo Halka Halka Suroor hai

In the end, I’ll like to apologise sincerely as I know my humble blogpost is no match to contain the praises of an absolute LEGEND of Legends. Gustakhi maaf!🙏

(P.S.: the names have been enlisted randomly and in no way is indicative of the beauty of the Maestro’s art.)

Apologies in the Modern Day

Hello dear readers.


About a week ago, I was teaching this lesson to my student from his English stories book. The book’s name was “A magical place 6” by Orient Blackswan publications and the lesson was called “The Musical Pigeon” by Gerald Durell.

(The first page of the story)

The story was about a pet pigeon with a peculiar taste towards music and dancing. It did not know how to fly so he used to follow his masters by walking around.

(a picture from the tale)

It was a cute little story designed well for the tender mind of its 12 year old readers. What paragraph stayed with me, a 24 year old, was this:

It made me question the worth of apology in today’s world. That little dumb creature couldn’t speak a word but his apology was felt nonetheless. It seemed to be expressing with everything it had how sorry it was to make its human angry. It stayed at the door, begging for apology for its folly in its own cooing ways- by looking inside the room with its tiny eyes.
All of this not because it understood what it did, (Of course, how would a bird understand what a map or inkpot is?) but because it understood that whatever it was, its human didn’t like it and was upset about it. Hence the apology.

I reflected it in my own terms. I have people around me and I have my bunny. If my bunny does something to which I need to be strict, she’d understand and try to apologise by bowing her head down and licking my hand most vigorously in a characteristic manner. To appease me to forgive her.

The humans around me– well…
Let me ask you two simple questions:


Question 1: How often do you say sorry in a day?


Question 2: How many of those sorries do you remember by the night?

I feel pretty sorry about the use of “sorry” in our day to day conversations.

Sorry was a word derived from “sorrow” to express the state of guilt and sorrow of someone towards someone else in response to a sad situation the concerned person is in (put by the person expressing the apology, or by some other person). Today, it seems to have become just another word in our lingo.

Scenario 1: You are rushing to the metro. Your elbow hurts a commuter. You shout a “sorry!” with or without turning your head and board the train in time. 15 minutes later, you don’t even remember the incident or the person. You didn’t even bother to ask if they were okay. You just said sorry and rushed away.

Scenario 2: You are having a good time hanging out with your friends. You are happy and everyone’s having a good time. Some underprivileged person puts his hand to you asking for some change. You say sorry and move ahead with your group. Five minutes later you don’t remember someone had asked you for help.

Scenario 3: You are at the college or your work space. And being the heart of the group, you crack a joke on a colleague and laugh out loud with everyone else. You say, “sorry, not sorry!” and you all cherish the good time. Even right after laughing, you don’t realise you said a sorry.

Simple experiment: count the number of times you say “sorry” in a day.

If you say a lot of sorries and you don’t even realise until you started counting, you are amongst the ones who have devalued it. And if you don’t say sorry at all, I’m sorry for you.

I don’t know who needs to know this, but: a sorry losses its weight everytime it is repeated to someone, while forgiving a person time and again gets heavier.

Yeah. It’s my own quote. I learnt it the hard way.

I recently forgave an ex bestfriend for something which was pretty tough on me, even when I had all the reason not to.

Their apologies were shallow with respect to the action they committed and it hurt me immensely. I sometimes thought if they were feeling too guilty to come up to apologise. But that was cleared when the pictures of them having fun with their company blasted on the social media stories.

They were enjoying when I had been continuously declining invitations and lamenting in my room– for months now. The guilt was definitely not there on their end. The apology was merely ‘said and done’ and was hardly felt.

So, I asked myself if I needed to hold onto my decision of not forgiving them and what significance it held.

It was pretty evident that it didn’t matter to them anymore. They had dusted off the topic and the apology and moved on with enjoying their lives. But it was not the same on this side.

I realised that my decision to hold onto my pain and the decision to hold my forgiveness was not bothering anyone else but me. It kept suffocating me and kept my heart feeling heavy. So I let go of it for myself. I sent them a voicemail to finish it off.

I forgave them. Not that their incomplete apologies were accepted, but because holding onto it was hurting me.

Nevermind. The point of this blog isn’t to tell you what happened to me but to give an insight of what apologies have come down to today.

Today, apologies are merely said than being felt. People seem to say “sorry” as if it’s just a duty to fulfill, they don’t feel the essence of it or try to understand what the other person is going through because of them.

I’ll quote something from TVF’s Official Bhootiyagiri:

You can’t ask an apology the size of a jacuzzi (tub) after committing a mistake the size of the Pacific Ocean.

If you can’t value the other person, atleast undertake the responsibility to understand the weight of your deeds and it’s corresponding apologies. Because if you don’t do it, your apologies feel more like a mockery.

And please, for the sake of whatever higher being you believe in, remember that your actions have an effect on other people around you– whether you realise it or not.

Peace.

For-Ever

For-Ever

“Just forget it. Please!” She said as she stood up and turned to leave.

I could have stopped her. Maybe I should have held her by the arm and made her sit back and talk. Maybe I could have just said her not to go and she wouldn’t have left. Maybe… I should have given a try.
But I didn’t do anything. I just kept on gazing at her figure moving away, step by step, from our table till she walked out of the cafe. I was in confusion. Totally blank. Out of stimulus. Void of any reactions.

“What did she just say?”
“Did she really leave me?”
“Did she break her promise of never leaving me alone?”
“Did she break up with me?”

Numerous questions burst in my head within seconds. And before I could figure any one out, she was gone. Forever.

‘Forever’ is really a mocking word, ain’t it? We tend to have a certain ‘affection’, so to speak, towards using it in our daily conversations.
“I’ll be with you forever”;
“I’ll love you forever”;
“She’s gone forever”.
Technically, forever is made up of ‘for’ and ‘ever’. But that doesn’t imply that it’ll really be for that ‘ever’. Because, being honest, no one knows how long a certain ‘forever’ is– it can be a year, a month, a millennium, or simply, till the time someone decides to end that ‘forever’ and walk away.

I kept staring down at the coffee mug on the other side of the table as I recalled what had just happened.
“I’m sorry. Just forget it. Please!” Her voice echoed in my mind.

“What?
What should I forget? memories that we created under the glittering stars? Or the promises we made to each other while holding ourselves in each other’s arms? Should I forget how you made me feel the first time you said ‘I love you’?
Or the love that you and I felt?

The love that meant more than the world to me– the love that is the essence of my existence?
What do you want me to forget? Do you want me to forget myself as well?” Everything within me asked for an answer. But she was gone and she wasn’t coming back. She ain’t coming back. I don’t think so. Would she?

I felt something stuck in my throat. I felt the need for air. Or did I felt the need for her? I don’t know what it was. I placed a thousand bucks on the table and stormed out of the place determined not to visit it ever again. It’ll remind me of her and how she left and I’d feel the curse all over again. I wouldn’t be able to take it. Ever.

As I stepped out, I saw a bus halt in front of me. I didn’t know where it was heading to but I climbed in and sat down on the first empty seat I saw. I wanted to go to some far away place –away from all the noise and nuisance. I wanted some time by myself.
“Last stop”– I said to the conductor handing him a ten rupee note.
I leaned back on the plastic seat and closed my eyes; trying to relax and keep my mind at ease. Her face popped up in my mind –again and again. No matter how hard I tried not to think of her, I failed every time.

I don’t remember when I dozed off amidst all the thinking. I woke up to the sound of the evening adhaan of the mosque across the traffic signal. The bus had reached a muslim burial ground and was at halt so I stepped down and headed towards the graveyard: “Al Kauthar Burial Ground” the sign board spelt.

The people around me were in a hustle-bustle. Some were rushing back home from work while others were heading towards their prayer call. I noticed a tobacco vendor’s stall near the wide open graveyard gates. I bought a cigarette and a match box from him and stepped inside the colony of the deads. The serenity of the place erased all my troubles within moments. I went a bit inside and sat down at a place where no human could see me; or rather, no ‘alive’ human, I should say. I lit my cigarette and sucked its filter-end. It was the first time I was smoking but I didn’t cough. To my amazement, it soothed me. The warm smoke seemed to embrace my broken pieces from within and cuddle with my soul. I rolled my eyes in pleasure.

Around me, I could see the squirrels climbing up their trees. The birds chirping and chanting among themselves in a language unknown. It all seemed so good that I wondered why people were so afraid of dying, if they could sleep peacefully in such a beautiful place –away from all sorts of drama and worries. I may even pay to get such peace if someone offers. Residing in a peaceful neighborhood, after all, is what every home-seeker craves for. “People are fools”, I smirked to myself.

My cigarette was finished by now and it was almost dark around me. The yellow path lamps of the graveyard were switched on and people were returning from their prayers. My phone vibrated within my pocket. I took it out, still sitting in the same place. It was her text: “I deleted your number. You may do the same as well… And sorry again. Forget me. Goodbye.”
I locked my phone back and sighed softly, glancing at the purple sky above. Then I lowered my head and closed my eyes, trying to calm myself down. I didn’t want to get washed off by my idiotic emotional self.
I stood up, deleted the chat history, blocked her and removed her from my contact list in a snap. I exhaled a huge sigh as I placed my phone back in my jeans and walked out of the burial ground.

I had buried all her memories in the graveyard along with the lover within me. They’re all dead- no more alive to me. RIP.

Yes, I may come across someone again and may get attracted towards her. I may be asked out by someone again. I may even fall head-over-heels for someone. But will I ever come back into a relationship again?
–No.
I’m not sure if this ‘No’ will be ‘forever’ or not, but for now I understand that this scar would take a forever to be healed.
And how long would that forever be?
–I don’t know. Two years? Ten years? Or maybe eternity?

Perhaps, only time will tell.

Breaking Night

-Breaking Night

This musing came to me way back in 2017 during a period of testing and hardships. It is one of my most favourite works and it had to be the first ones to be uploaded on my personal blog.

The quote depicts the daily struggles of an individual who goes through a tough time and/or is dealing with a trauma or is under depression. In such times, all you can do is to take one day at a time.

You deal with the hardships of the day, pulling yourself through the misery. But when the misery doesn’t end and continues to see another sunrise, you feel broken and shattered.

Tears come by. You allow yourself to give in and break down on your bed in the silence of the night- it knows all your secrets anyway. And you doze off to sleep. Only to wake up again the next morning with a gloomy yet determined smile to fight the circumstances again.

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started