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More qawwalis & Folk Songs of Khusrau Tradition

Aaj rung hai hey maan, rung hai ri

Aaj rung hai hey maan rung hai ri
Moray mehboob kay ghar rang hai ri
Sajan milaavra, sajan milaavra,
Sajan milaavra moray aangan ko
Aaj rung hai........
Mohay pir paayo Nijamudin aulia
Nijamudin aulia mohay pir payoo
Des bades mein dhoondh phiree hoon
Toraa rung man bhayo ri......,
Jag ujiyaaro, jagat ujiyaaro,
Main to aiso rang aur nahin dekhi ray
Main to jab dekhun moray sung hai,
Aaj rung hai hey maan rung hai ri.

(It is almost impossible to translate the word rung into English. It is not colour, hue or anything like that. May be something like glow or brilliance or gorgeousness may come close to it. There are many different legends explaining the use of this word in the qawwali. Most of them point to the fact that Amir Khusrau sang these line ecstatically when he came back to his mother after meeting Nizamuddin Aulia for the first time, after a long search for an ideal sufi master – reason why the lines are addressed to the mother.)

What a glow everywhere I see, Oh mother, what a glow;
I’ve found the beloved, yes I found him,
In my courtyard;
I have found my pir Nizamuddin Aulia.
I roamed around the entire world,
looking for an ideal beloved;
And finally this face has enchanted my heart.
The whole world has been opened for me,
Never seen a glow like this before.
Whenever I see now, he is with me,
Oh beloved, please dye me in yourself;
Dye me in the colour of the spring, beloved;
What a glow, Oh, what a glow.

(The following song - called Babul - is very poignantly sung by women in much of North India when they part with their daughter on her wedding.)

Kaahay ko biyaahi bides, ray, lakhi baabul moray,
Kaahay ko biyaahi bides........
Bhayiyon ko diye babul mehlay do-mehlay,
Hum ko diya pardes, ray, lakhi babul......
Hum to hain babul teray khoontay ki gayyan,
Jid haankay hank jaayen, ray, lakhi babul......
Hum to hain babul teray belay ki kaliyan,
Ghar ghar maangi jaayen, ray lakhi babul......
Hum to hain babul teray pinjray ki chidiyan,
Bhor bhaye ud jaayen, ray, lakhi babul......
Taaqon bhari mainay gudiyan jo chhodeen
Choota sahelin ka saath, ray lakhi babul......
Kothay talay say palakiya jo nikli,
Beeran nay khaayi pachhad, ray, lakhi babul.....
Dolee ka parda uthakar jo dekha,
Aaya piya ka des, ray, lakhi babul moray.
Kaahay ko biyaahi bides, ray, lakhi baabul moray.

Why did you part me from yourself, dear father, why?
You’ve given houses with two stories to my brothers,
And to me, a foreign land? Why dear father, why?
We (daughters) are just cows tied to your peg,
Will move on to where ever you drive us to, dear father.
We are just flower-buds of your garden,
And are asked for, in every household, dear father.
We are just birds from your cage,
Will fly off when its dawn again, dear father.
I’ve left at home, alcoves full of dolls;
And parted from my buddies too, dear father.
When my palanquin passed beneath the terrace,
My brother fainted and fell, dear father.
As I remove the curtain from the palanquin,
I see we’ve reached the beloved’s house, dear father.
Why did you part me from yourself, dear father, why?

Hazrat khaja sung khailiye dhamal...

Hajrat khaja sung khailiye dhamal,
Hajrat khaja sung.......
Baais khaja mil bun bun aaye,
Taamay hajrat Rasool saheb-e jamaal
Hajrat khaja sung khailiye.......
Arab yaar tori basant manaayo,
Sadaa rakhiyo laal gulaal.....
Hajrat khaja sung khailiye dhamal.

(Dhamal could be a song or a musical genre that aroused ecstasy amongst the sufis. It was usually performed at special occasions such as Basant.)

Let us play Dhamal with Hazrat Khwaja,
All dresses up, the twenty two saints have come,
So let us play Dhamal;
Give respect to our exalted Hazrat Rasool.
We celebrate spring for you, Oh Arab friend.
(This Arab friend is not meant for the Prophet)
Keep the colourful spirit alive for ever.
Let us play Dhamal with Hazrat Khwaja.

Sakal bun phool rahi sarson...

Sakal bun (or Saghan bhun) phool rahi sarson,
Sakal bun phool rahi.....
Umbva phutay, tesu phulay, koyal bolay daar daar,
Aur gori karat singaar,
Malaniyan gadhwa lay aayin karson,
Sakal bun phool rahi.....
Tarah tarah kay phool lagaaye,
Lay gadhwa haathan mein aaye.
Nijamudin kay darwazay par,
Aawan keh gaye aashaq rung,
Aur beet gaye barson.
Sakal bun phool rahi sarson.

The yellow mustard is blooming in every field,
Mango buds are clicking open, other flowers too;
The koyal chirps from branch to branch,
And the maiden tries her make-up,
The gardener-girls have brought bouquets.
Colourful flowers of all kinds,
In hands everyone’s bringing;
But Aashiq-rung (the lover), who had promised to come
To Nizamuddin’s house in spring,
Hasn’t turned up - its been years.
The yellow mustard is blooming in every field.

(According to one tradition, the above song has been composed by a much later poet called Aashiq Rung - whose name features here)

Mora jobana navelara, bhayo hai gulaal,
Kaisi dhar dini bikas mori maal.
Mora jobana navelara.......
Nijamudin aulia ko koyi samajhaaye,
Jyon jyon manaon, wo to rootha hi jaaye.
Mora jobana navelara......
Chudiyan phod palang pe daaron,
Is cholee ko doon main aag lagaai.
Sooni saij darawan laagay, virah agni mohay dus dus jaaye
Mora jobana navelara.......

Mora jobana navelra, bhayo hai gulal...

My youth is budding, is full of passion;
How can I spend this time without my beloved?
Would someone please coax Nizamuddin Aulia,
The more I appease him, the more annoyed he gets;
My youth is budding……
Want to break these bangles against the cot,
And throw up my blouse into fire,
The empty bed scares me,
The fire of separation keeps burning me.
Oh, beloved. My youth is budding.

(The above song is also sung as a Hindustani classical composition)

Har qaum raast raahay, deen-e wa qibla gaahay,
Mun qibla raast kardam, bar samt kajkulaahay.
Sansaar har ko poojay, kul ko jagat sarahay,
Makkay mein koyi dhoondhay, Kaashi ko koi jaaye,
Guyyian main apnay pi kay payyan padun na kaahay.
Har qaum raast raahay, deen-e wa qibla gaahay.....

Har qaum raast rahey, deenay wa qibla gahe

Every sect has a faith, a direction (Qibla) to which they turn,
I have turned my face towards the crooked cap (of Nizamudin Aulia)
The whole world worships something or the other,
Some look for God in Mecca, while some go to Kashi (Banaras),
So why can’t I, Oh wise people, fall into my beloved’s feet?
Every sect has a faith, a Qibla.

Chashmay mastay ajabay zulf daraazay ajabay,
Mai parastay ajabay fitna darazay ajabay,
Behray qatlam chu kushad taighe-nihaan sar basajud,
Oo ba-naazay ajabay mun be-neyaazay ajabay,
Turk taazay ajabay sho’bada baazay ajabay;
Kajkulahay ajabay arbada saazay ajabay;
Haq mago kalma-e kufr ast darein ja Khusrau;
Raaz daanay ajabay saaheb-e raaz-e ajabay.

O wondrous ecstatic eyes, o wondrous long locks,
O wondrous wine worshipper, o wondrous mischievous sweetheart.
As he draws the sword, I bow my head in prostration so as to be killed,
O wondrous is his beneficence, o wondrous my submission.
O wondrous amorous teasing, o wondrous beguiling,
O wondrous tilted cap, o wondrous tormentor.
Do not reveal the Truth; in this world blasphemy prevails, Khusrau;
O wondrous source of mystery, o wondrous knower of secrets.
(This translation from Regula B.Qureshi)

(If you find a different version of any of the above qawwalis somewhere, or a Khusrau qawwali/geet that is not included here, please share it with us).

Yousuf Saeed, 2001-2003