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Archive for the ‘Farid Ayaz ka Jadoo’ Category

Continuation of a joint heritage


Published in Aman Ki Asha , in TheNews on December 14, 2011. http://amankiasha.com/detail_news.asp?id=584

Ilmana Fasih recounts some examples of the ‘Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb’ and centuries’ old, peaceful coexistence beyond religious divides

An otherwise sane looking person I met at a party recently started to spew venom laced with conspiracy theories about “Hindu Muslim animosity”. To top it all, he tried to use my own life to justify his views, insisting that my going

to live in Pakistan after marrying a Pakistani was proof of the natural divide. He refused to accept my views that a peaceful coexistence between people of different faiths is possible or that my going to Pakistan from India was not based on religious reasons.

His hate-filled thoughts kept me sleepless for hours that night. But talking over the phone to my mother in Delhi later, I was cheered up by her mention of Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb. Our conversation triggered off thoughts about this beautiful, fluid culture that refuses to be boxed up and compartmentalised.

The name Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb is as beautiful as its spirit. It refers to the centuries’ old, peaceful coexistence between Hindus and Muslims of the subcontinent. Not only did the two faiths borrow cultural practices from each other, but they also exchanged each other’s vocabularies. So much so that now one is hardly able to find any difference between spoken Urdu and spoken Hindi.

The Nawabs of Awadh in north India in the 1700s are considered the pioneers of Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb. At least, the term was coined in their times. But on ground it existed well before that era.

The starkest example of this syncretic culture is the Purana Hanuman Mandir in Lucknow, which is crowned by an Islamic symbol, a crescent. According to legend, the temple was built by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan to honour the wish of his mother, who had dreamt of building a temple. The tradition of honouring the Nawab’s gesture still continues when the Muslims in the area put up stalls of water during the Bada Mangal festival at the temple, and Hindus manage sabeels (stalls) of sherbet and water during Muharram in reverence for Imam Hussain.

Not far from Lucknow, the rulers of the Hindu holy city of Kashi (also known as Benaras or Varanasi) observed the Azadari (the mourning) during Muharram, wearing black on Ashura. Ustad Bismillah Khan, the renowned Shehnai maestro, began his career as a shehnai player in Vishwanath temple, Kashi. In fact, many of the musicians, Hindu and Muslim, who play in the temples, fast during Ramazan and also observe Vrat during the Hindu Navratras.

Even today, Muslim artisans in Kashi/Varanasi who make Taziyas for Muharram also make effigies of Ravan for Dussehra, a friend tells me. Hindus too participate in Muharram processions and make Taziyas in many cities, notably Lucknow.

Similarly a Sindhi friend talks of the centuries-old peace and harmony between the Hindus and Muslims of Sindh. Adherents of both faiths revere and pray together at the shrine of Jhuley Lal, she says. The shrine walls are inscribed

with Arabic verses as well as Hindu names of Gods. An age-old common greeting of Sindhi Hindus and Muslims is “Jhulelal Bera-Hee-Paar”.

Karachi’s 150-year old cremation ground for Hindus has a Muslim caretaker, although there are many Hindus in the city. This caretaker is responsible for cleaning the statues and lighting the lamps in the temple, and takes care of the urns that contain the ashes of the dead after cremation, until their loved ones immerse the ashes in water.

Cultural practices in Sindh are a fusion of the two cultures. If the Hindus, fervently use Allah as the reference to God, the Muslims touch the feet of their elderly as traditions borrowed from each other’s cultures.

The contribution of Sufi poetry towards this peaceful coexistence, from Kabirdas and Amir Khusro, to Bulleh Shah on the other side, is well known.

Beyond faith, at the cultural level, the Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb has seen some beautiful creations like the Ghazal style of singing and the classical dance form Kathak.

Kathak’s journey from ancient times to its present form merits a walk-through. The word “katha” comes from “katha” or story telling. It has its roots in ancient times, when storytellers narrated epics or mythological stories like Shakuntala, and the Mahabharata through dance forms in temples. However with the arrival of Mughals, the dance, enticed to come to the courts, developed into a more Persianised form. The Kathak dancers adopted the whirling

from the dervishes to the ‘chakkars’. The rhythm of the footsteps found harmony with the beat of the tabla recently discovered by Amir Khusro. The female Kathakaars (storytellers) abandoned the sari of ancient times for the angarkha and churidar pyjama. The language of narration also transformed from Sanskrit to Brij Bhasha and then Urdu.

There may be more examples of such coexistence and development in other regions of the subcontinent too.

Those who propagate conspiracy theories and narrate stories of hate and disharmony need to know that even with the physical separation between India and Pakistan, the spirit of Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb lives on. The lack of communication between the two countries, particularly after the 1965 and 1971 wars, has not managed to dampen the natural instincts of sharing these cultures.

Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammed, the renowned Qawwals from Pakistan continue to sing Bhajans which their gharana has been singing for the last 300 years. On the other side are Wadali brothers who sing Bulleh Shah Kaafis and Naats with the same devotion. Despite all odds, Sheema Kermani and her students in Pakistan have continued to keep the dance forms, not only of Kathak, but also Bharatnatyam and Odissi, alive and known in Pakistan.

The recent collaboration between Zeb and Haniya from Pakistan and Shantanu and Siwanand Kirkire of India yielded the soft melody “Kaho kya khayal hai” in a beautiful blend of Dari and Hindi. I could not help relate it to the Zehaal-e-Miskeen composition by Amir Khusro which was a beautiful fusion of Persian and Brij Bhasha.

And now another peacenik in the form of Shahvar Ali Khan makes a music video titled ‘No Saazish No Jang’ (No Conspiracy, No War). It is heartening to see the visuals, and hear the voices of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Bapu Mahatama Gandhi together in the backdrop.

It is not possible to list all collaborations between the two countries and across religious divides, particularly in fields of films, music, health (the most significant being the Heart to Heart initiative by Rotary and Aman ki Asha). But all these initiatives testify to the desire for peace, not hate.

As for me, convinced that each of these efforts towards peaceful coexistence is based on foundations going back centuries, I slide into my bed, comforted by the faith that peace, not hate, will ultimately prevail.
It’s just a matter of time.

Dr Ilmana Fasih is an Indian gynaecologist and health activist married to a Pakistani. Her blog is Blind to Bounds https://thinkloud65.wordpress.com/

Beshno az ney (O’Listen to nay)~Rumi


So far this is one  the best music post on my blog: 

A Masnawi by Rumi 

Jelaluddin Rumi was a Sufi mystic poet originally from Balkh Afghanistan, but his family travelled west. First performing Hajj they moved further west to finally settle down in Konya, Anatolia( now Turkey). He spent rest of his life there, composing  poetry.

Farsi ( Persian):

Beshno az ney chon hekaayat mikonad
Az jodaayee ha shekaayat mi-konad

Kaz neyestaan ta maraa bebrideh and
Dar nafiram mardo zan naalideh and

Sineh khaaham sharheh sharheh az faraagh
Ta begooyam sharheh dardeh eshtiyaagh

Har kasi ku door maand az asleh khish
Az jooyad roozegareh vasleh khish

Man be har jamiyati naalaan shodam
Jofteh bad haalaano khosh haalaan shodam

Har kasi az zanneh khod shod yaareh man
Az darooneh man najost asraareh man

Serreh man az naaleyeh man door nist
Lik chashmo goosh ra aan noor nist

Tan zeh jaano jaan zeh tan mastour nist
Lik kas ra dideh jaan dastour nist

Aatash ast in baangeh naayo nist baad
Har keh in aatash nadaarad nist baad

Aatasheh ishq ast kandar ney fetaad
Jooshesheh ishq ast kandar mey fetaad

Ney, harifeh har keh az yaari borid
Pardeh hayash pardeh hayeh ma darid

Hamcho ney zahri o taryaqi keh did?
Hamchon ney damsaaz o moshtaqi ke did?

Ney hadiseh raheh por khoon mikonad
Qesseh hayeh eshq e majnoon mikonad

Mahrameh in hoosh joz bihoosh nist
Mar zaban ra moshtari joz goosh nist

Dar ghameh ma rooz ha bigaah shod
Rouz ha ba souz ha hamraah shod

Rouz ha gar raft gu ro baak nist
To bemaan , ey aankeh chin to paak nist

Har keh joz maahi zeh aabash dir shod
Har keh bi roozist, roozash dir shod

Dar nayaabad haaleh pokhteh hich khaam
Pas sokhan kootaah baayad, vassalaam

English translation

O’ listen to the grievances of the reed
Of what divisive separations breed
From the reedbed cut away just like a weed
My music people curse, warn and heed
Sliced to pieces my bosom and heart bleed
While I tell this tale of desire and need

Whoever who fell away from the source
Will seek and toil until returned to course
Of grievances I sang to every crowd
Befriended both the humble and the proud
Each formed conjecture in their own mind
As though to my secrets they were blind

My secrets are buried within my grief
Yet to the eye and ear, that’s no relief
Body and soul both unveiled in trust
Yet sight of soul for body is not a must
The flowing air in this reed is fire
Extinct, if with passion won’t inspire

Fire of love is set upon the reed
Passion of love this wine will gladly feed
Reed is match for he who love denied
Our secrets unveiled, betrayed, defied
Who has borne deadly opium like the reed?
Or lovingly to betterment guide and lead?

Of the bloody path, will tell many a tale
Of Lover’s love, even beyond the veil
None but the fool can hold wisdom dear
Who will care for the tongue if not ear?
In this pain, of passing days we lost track
Each day carried the pain upon its back

If days pass, let them go without fear
You remain, near, clear, and so dear
Only the fish will unquenchingly thirst
Surely passing of time, the hungry curst
State of the cooked is beyond the raw
The wise in silence gladly withdraw

Cut the chain my son, and release the pain
Silver rope and golden thread, must refrain
If you try to fit the ocean in a jug
How small will be your drinking mug?
Never filled, ambitious boy, greedy girl
Only if satisfied, oyster makes pearl

Whoever lovingly lost shirt on his back
Was cleansed from greed and wanton attack
Rejoice in our love, which would trade
Ailments, of every shade and every grade
With the elixir of self-knowing, chaste
With Hippocratic and Galenic taste

Body of dust from love ascends to the skies
The dancing mountain thus begins to rise
It was the love of the Soul of Mount Sinai
Drunken mountain, thundering at Moses, nigh

If coupled with those lips that blow my reed
Like the reed in making music I succeed;
Whoever away from those lips himself found
Lost his music though made many a sound
When the flower has withered, faded away
The canary in praise has nothing to say

All is the beloved, the lover is the veil
Alive is the beloved, the lover in death wail
Fearless love will courageously dare
Like a bird that’s in flight without a care
How can I be aware, see what’s around
If there is no showing light or telling sound?

Seek the love that cannot be confined
Reflection in the mirror is object defined
Do you know why the mirror never lies?
Because keeping a clean face is its prize
Friends, listen to the tale of this reed
For it is the story of our life, indeed!

Another version by Farid Ayaz & co which has it’s own desi touch and charm:

Zehaal-e-Miskeen -~Amir Khusrau


Khusrau was a master of  Persian ( which used to be the language of the court) as well as  Brij Bhasha ( the language of the common man) .

Zehaal -e Miskeen is a master piece written in both the languages in Persian (bold) and Brij Bhasha (italics). In the first verse, the first line is in Persian, the second in Brij Bhasha, the third in Persian again, and the fourth in Brij Bhasha. In the remaining verses, the first two lines are in Persian, the last two in Brij Bhasha. The poem expresses the agony of separation from the beloved,  in both the languages with a superb fusion…which to my understanding signifies how different yet similiar is the expression of the agony of separation amongst the elite ( representing Persian) and the common man ( through Braj Bhasha).

Zehal-e miskin makun taghaful, duraye naina banaye batiyan
Ki taab-e hijran nadaram ay jaan, na leho kaahe lagaye chhatiyan.

 Do not overlook my misery by blandishing your eyes,
and weaving tales; My patience has over-brimmed,
O sweetheart, why do you embrace me.

Shaban-e hijran daraz chun zulf wa roz-e waslat cho umr kotah;
Sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhun to kaise kaatun andheri ratiyan.

 Long like curls in the night of separation,
short like life on the day of our union;
My dear, how will I pass the dark dungeon night
without your face before.

Yakayak az dil do chashm-e jadoo basad farebam baburd taskin;
Kise pari hai jo jaa sunaave piyare pi ko hamaari batiyan.

 Suddenly, using a thousand tricks, the enchanting eyes robbed me
of my tranquil mind; Who would care to go
and report this matter to my beloved?

Cho sham’a sozan cho zarra hairan hamesha giryan be ishq aan meh;
Na neend naina na ang chaina na aap aaven na bhejen patiyan.

 Tossed and bewildered, like a flickering candle,
I roam about in the fire of love;
Sleepless eyes, restless body,
neither comes she, nor any message.

 Bahaqq-e roz-e wisal-e dilbar ki daad mara ghareeb Khusrau;
Sapet man ke waraaye raakhun jo jaaye paaon piya ke khatiyan.

 In honour of the day I meet my beloved
who has lured me so long, O Khusrau;
I shall keep my heart suppressed,
if ever I get a chance to get to her trick.


Another beautiful rendition of Zehaal-e-Miskin by Warsi brothers: 

Voices of Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb


Ganga-Jamni tehzeeb ( गंगा जमुनी तहज़ीब, گنگا جمنی تهزیب,    Ganges-Yamuna Culture) is a  euphemism for the mutually participatory co-existence of  Hindu and Muslim  culture of through the fusion of Hindi and Urdu. (Wikepedia) .

 

 

First example  is a Bhajan sung by Farid Ayaz  & group  (I wonder if it’s MeeraBai’s) sung in a Qawwali form is an excellent example of that Ganga Jamni Tehzeeb.

It was the first time a Muslim Pakistani singer sang a Hindi Bhajan inside a temple in Montreal, during  Kabir Festival in 2008.

Farid Ayaz and  entourage never fail to amaze listeners. Farid Ayaz is  a magician  more than a musician and this passionate rendition is no less than a magic spell…

 

 

Not behind in this tradition of cross culture reverence, Shanker Shambhu brothers sang  in praise of Allah, Prophet Muhammed and Imam Ali.

They were known to be singing with their souls pouring out in their voices and was hard to miss their reverence to the kalaam, said those who saw them sing live.

One of their master piece is the Mun Kunto Maula, sung by many others but this one has it’s own charm, and best of all, I have been listening to this since I can remember….

 

 

These  are but two true examples of music beyond beliefs and borders.

A Chhaap Tilak & other Collection of verses ~ by Farid Ayaz & Co.


This beautiful rendition of Chaap Tilak with magic spilled by Farid Ayaz, includes verses from Hazrat Sultan Bahu, Moalana Rumi and Kabir Das that were appropriate to the mood and common thought.

Amir Khusro:

Apni chhab banaye ke , main to pee ke paas gayee,
Jab chhhab dekhi peehu ki, main to apni bhool gayee.
I went to my beloved, with my own glow,
When I saw His ‘aura’, I forgot my own.

Chhap tilak sab cheeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Chhap tilak sab cheeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Prem bhatee ka madhva pilaikay
Matvali kar leeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Gori gori bayyan, hari hari churiyan
Bayyan pakar dhar leeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Bal bal jaaon mein toray rang rajwa
Apni see kar leeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Khusrau Nijaam kay bal bal jayyiye
Mohay Suhaagan keeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Chhap tilak sab cheeni ray mosay naina milaikay

You’ve taken away my looks, my identity, by just a glance.
By making me drink the wine of love-potion,
You’ve intoxicated me by just a glance;
My fair, delicate wrists with green bangles in them,
Have been held tightly by you with just a glance.
I give my life to you, Oh my cloth-dyer,
You’ve dyed me in yourself, by just a glance.
I give my whole life to you Oh, Nijam,
You’ve made me your bride, by just a glance.

Sultan Bahu:
Alif Allah chambe di booti, Murshid man wich laaee hoo
Nafee asbaat da pane milia, Har rage harjae hoo.

My Master Has Planted in My Heart the Jasmine of Allah’s Name.
Both My Denial That the Creation is Real and My Embracing of God,
the Only Reality, Have Nourished the Seedling Down to its Core.

Kabirdas:
Naina chupaye na chupe so pat ghoongat ki ote
Chatur naar aur soorma so karein laakh mein chor

The eyes could not be hidden behind the veil,
Tho’ the clever woman and the wise man tried their best (to hide ).

Bulleh Shah:
Ilmon bus kariye Oo yaar
Tainnu ikko alaf darkaar

Forget the pride in your knowledge O’ friend
One Alif is all you need

Mevlana Rumi:
beshno in ney chon hekaayat mikonad,
az jodaayee ha shekaayat mi-konad,

Listen to the (ney) reed flute, how it tells a tale of separation,
I want a bosom torn by severance, that I may unfold the pain of love desire.

Kabirdas:
Sun Kabira bansuri kahe nirali baat
Nagar dhandora peet ti hai choota pi ka saath.

Listen Kabir to the flute’s unique lament
Announcing everywhere that it is parted from it’s beloved

Neeki Lagat Mohe Apne Piya Ki – Farid Ayaz Qawwal


Laagi Laagi sab kahein, laagi buri bala
Laagi to tab jaaniyo, jab aar paar hoee jaae

Neeki lagat mohe apnay piya ki
(Moray piya ki) Aankh raseeli jaado bhari

Nazar nay nazar mulaqat kar li
Rahay donon khamosh aur baat kat li

Chaen parat naahi mukh daikay bina
Daikh najar bhar jaat bhari ray

Kaahay Turab darre kaahu say
Preet karee, ka mein chori karee ray?!