Qawwalis with a vernacular touch

It is my considered opinion that qawwalis in a vernacular language turn out to have more rhythm… what I would say is a greater amount of exuberance that is their trademark and strength. Even though most of the words are Urdu, they are mixed with the vernacular or pronounced in its style. The two most common languages so used – as far as I know – are Punjabi and Avadhi and they have given some of the famous and memorable qawwalis ever sung.

Take Avadhi…. the best example is “Aaj rang hai”…. that famous work ascribed to Amir Khusro and sung by renowned qawwals like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Jafar Ali Khan Badayuni.  You can read it here:

https://vahshatedil.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/another-amir-khusro-qawaali/

Or for that matter, “Kirpa karo Maharaj Muinuddin”

Even take Punjabi for that matter…. Have you ever wondered why a paean to a pir who lived and has his shrine well in the interiors of Sindh and the revered patron saint of the Sindhi community should be in unmistakable Punjabi? I refer to that splendid and perhaps the best-known qawwali ever…. “Shahbaz Qalandar” or “Damadam Mast Qalandar” which not only invokes the Sufi, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar but the Sindhi river god, Jhoole Lal…. as in “Lal meri pat rakhio bhala Jhoole Lalan/Sindri da, Sehwan da, Shahbaz Qalandar”.

Or take another famous qawwali…. which happens to be more known for its mangled, tasteless and almost criminal version in an inane Hindi film…. but why am I going about it. If you have never heard the original version by Nusrat sahab, do it now.

I still remember the first time I heard it…. that pleasant burst of music, the normal rendition of the first two lines before they switch to the high gear for the rest of the qawwali. What a sublime listening experience….

Aao ni sayyo ral dio ni wadhai
Main war paaya sona maahi

Gharyaal deyo nikalni, mera piya ghar aaya
Oh Laalni mera piya ghar aaya

Piya ghar aaya, sanu Allah milaya
Hun hoya fazl kamaalni, mera piya ghar aaya….

Aaaa… (Sufi Chanting)
Hun hoya fazl kamaalni, mera piya ghar aaya
Oh Laalni mera piya ghar aaya….

Ajj da roz mubaarak chaddeya mahi mere vedde vaddeya
Aaaa… (Sufi Chanting)
Oh Laalni mera piya ghar aaya
Oh Laalni mera piya ghar aaya….

Ghari ghari ghariyal wajaave, raen Wasl di piya ghataawe
Mere munh di baat na paave, hathon ja sutto ghariyal ni
Mera piya ghar aaya, Oh Laalni,
Mera piya ghar aaya, Oh Laalni……

Anhad vaaja vaje suhaana, mutarib sughara taan taraana
Bhull aaya ay namaaz dogaana, madh piyaala dain kalaalni
Oh Laalni mera piya ghar aaya
Oh Laalni mera piya ghar aaya….

Bulla Shah di sej piyaari, ni men taaran haarey taari
Allah milaya hun aayi vaari, hun vicharan hoya nuhaal ni
Mera piya ghar aaya, Oh Laalni, mera piya ghar aaya
Oh Laalni mera piya ghar aaya……

To be continued…..

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by BlueLotus on January 3, 2013 at 05:10

    There was another movie Qawwali in a Hindi movie from the 60s. The first line was the sher “Aaj Unke Paaye Naaz Par Sajda Karenge hum, ho ho ke……” something, something. It was a very catchy tune and the qawalli played on “Vividh Bharati” pretty regularly. Anyone here who could identify the movie…It is not available on youtube.

    Reply

  2. Posted by BlueLotus on January 3, 2013 at 05:11

    There was another movie Qawwali in a Hindi movie from the 60s. The first line was the sher “Aaj Unke Paaye Naaz Par Sajda Karenge hum, ho ho ke……” something, something. It was a very catchy tune and the qawalli played on “Vividh Bharati” pretty regularly. Anyone here who could identify the movie…It is not available on youtube.

    Reply

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