Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ahmad Faraz

I have always believed that to sing a poet by understanding their philosophy over a period of time, slowly interacting with the person and then trying to even understand what was the historical context of their poetry.

Sometimes, of course, one is enriched upon interacting with individuals who know so much on the issue. Meeting poets themselves is the best that can happen.

How I have ran into individual poets is a different path for each one, but just recently I accidentally picked up a collected of Janab Ahmad Faraz. In that I found one of the most beautiful ghazals i could have imagined by anyone-

اے خدا آج اسے سبکا مکقدّر کر دے 
وہ موحبّت کے جو انسان کو پیامبر کر دے 
This is among the most amazing ideas i could have ever encountered. WOW

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

at the crossroads today

आज फिर उसी मंज़र पर मैं हूँ जहाँ फिर एक उदासी मेरा साथी है

फिर एक दोराहा , फिर वोही वीरानी वोही सन्नाटा ...लेकिन यह एक दोरहा ही है, कोई मकाम नहीं 

और यह दुनिया के मेले, इन् में हर कोई साथ है, लेकिन यह भी सच बात नहीं 

पता नहीं आज यहाँ कैसे आ निकले 

Whenever i face the prospect of a split, whether I should sing classical music or ghazal , this happens to me- the crossroad suddenly crops up!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My eyes brim every time

Today after a long time I decided to sing Nasir; one of my favourite poets from Pakistan, apart from Faiz.
I just managed to sing two lines of this ghazal and my heart wept, tears came out of my eyes. I wonder if I will ever be able to sing this poem out aloud. there is so much of pain in this at the act of barbarism in the world.
 شہر دار شہر گھر ججلاےگیے 
یوں بھی جشن-ا-تراب مانے 
 shehar dar shehar ghar jaalaaye gaye
yoon bhi jashan-e-tarab manaaye gaye

my simple annnotation-
(town after town was burnt down
this way also some celebrated their joys)

शहर दर शहर घर जलाए गए 
यूं भी जशने तरब मनाये गए 

I think it will take a lot of valour in the hear to sing this one, because the moment I attempt it, the pictures of houses burning, people screaming, smoke, running feet, heat, commotions fill my mind- as though I am sitting in the midst of it and trying to sing!

Ek naya taraana

A few days back, I composed for the first time a tarana, by Faiz. Over the past weekend I sang it with Mishraji, and today rehearsed with Chandan. It is one of those progressive taranas written in the revolutionary genre and the lyrics are very powerful. I really hope someday I would be able to record all the Faiz compositions I have in my repertoire-

This is the tarana

Darbar-e-watan mein jab ek din, sab jaane wale jaayein

دربارے وطنکچھ اپنی  میں جب ایک دن سسب جانے والے جآ یئ گے  
سزا کو پہونچن گے ، کچھ اپنی جزا لے جاییں گے 

Kuchh apni saza ko pahuncheinge, kuchh apni jazaa le jaayeinge

I am not sure if this is looking like any particular raga. I thought I started with basant mukhari, but then a shudh nishad came into the picture. So now it has two nishads, two rikhabs and dhaivata komal and an occasional other note komal. Some version of Bhairavi I reckon.

But the melody is very powerful and I am very happy for all the new compositions that I am working on; which are two ghazals of Ahmad Faraz saab, four of Naseem bhai and this one of Faiz. Oh yes! I have even dug out the abandoned stock of Faiz and starting elaboration on those -making the Faiz lot about 9-10 compositions. Not bad I think. Almost a concert length and certainly longer than an album size.