Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

I had bought a CD almost a year ago titled '10 hours with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan'. I had seen the tracks once and never really listened to it - a slight feeling of dismay when several tracks ran well over 20 minutes!

Started listening to some of them last weekend. His voice is mesmerizing. And completely bowled over by the lyrics too - the track Allah hoo lights upon Creation beautifully thus...

ye zamiin jab na thii, ye jahaaN jab na thaa
chaaNd suraj na the, aasmaaN jab na thaa
raaz-e-haq bhii kisii par ayaaN jab na thaa
jab na thaa kuch yahaaN, thaa magar tuu hi tuu

The time when there was neither land nor the world
nor moon, sun or the sky,
[and] when truth was not known to anyone.
At that time there was nothing except you

And another track 'Ali Ali Maula Ali' goes further -

tan par Ali, Ali ho zubaaN par Al Ali
mar jauuN to kafan par bhii likhna Ali Ali

My body chants Ali, so does my tongue
[and] when I die, then write Ali on my shroud.

patthar pe alam deen ka gaaRaa jisne
lalkaar kar Marhab ko pichaaRaa jisne

[One] who implanted the flag of faith on the rocks
[One] who challenged Marhab and defeated him.

Translation from: http://nusrat.info/

I loved the extremism of these singers in declaring their love for their beloved. How beautiful it would be if all the extremism in the world were only extremism of one's emotions towards their beloved and not extremism of harmful action at one another.

Beautiful Qawwals! But without my appreciation of the classical music , I sometimes wait for Nusrat to come over the lyrics part just to listen to the beauty of them. The music and Nusrat's voice are out of this world - in those ages, whatay wonderful platform they developed to pass down their beautiful thoughts. I cannot but say thanks to the lineage of musicians and Sufis who have given this to me.

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