Saleem Kausar, a Pakistani poet is the lyrist of this ghazal, which is so popular in the country, it feels it belongs to India only. Of course ghazals, music, singing , paintings, murals, sculptures belong to the entire humanity!
Kausar was born in Panipat in then Punjab and now Haryana, in 1945. His family shifted to Pakistan after partition.
He is reciting his own ghazal, that has been sung by almost every established singer in the subcontinent.
This is a philosophical ghazal that raises questions of the presence, existence and relevance of the God itself! Fortunately it was penned in more tolerant times!!
Here the poet himself is reciting the ghazal at an alumni event at Aligarh Muslim University, in the year 2011. A unique experience.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan has sung this ghazal with full devotion and is a pleasure to hear. He was primarily a singer of qawwali, a form of Sufi music. He was born in 1948( 13.10.1948) and died rather young in 1997 (16.08.1997).He was a vocalist of repute, a musician , composer and a music director. He and the family belonged to 600 years old Delhi Gharana. The family had a tradition of qawwali singing. He is generally credited with introducing qawwali to international audiences.
The same ghazal has been sung by Mehdi Hassan, in his own style, in his haunting baritone voice. He was born in Luna, in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in 1927 and died in Karachi in 2012. His family had a tradition of Dhrupad singing. On migrating to Pakistan , after partition, he suffered poverty and even worked as a cycle and then a diesel mechanic. Still he continued his regular riyaz and it did pay rich dividends.
Hariharan, the name itself evokes beautiful memories of good singing. He is very active in Tamil and Hindi film music, singing. He is an established ghazal singer and is considered one of the pioneers of Indian fusion music. He is 66 years old( born 03.04.1955). He was trained by Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. He has a band called “ Colonial Cousins”. He was awarded ‘Padma Shri’ in 2004.
Jagjit Singh admirers would love this ghazal sung by him. What magical modulations, what heart touching nuances and what impact!
Ghulam Ali has excelled himself in singing this ghazal.
सर-ए-आईना: in the mirror; अक्स: reflection; पस-ए-आईना:behind the mirror; दस्त-ए-तलब: demanding hands, praying hands; हर्फ़-ए-दुआ: words of prayer; नसीब:destiny, fortune; ए’तिबार: trust, faith, belief; बे-ए’तिबारी: distrust, lack of faith; ख़द्द-ओ-ख़ाल: features; मुख़्तलिफ: different, separate; दास्ताँ:story; वाक़िआ: incident; रिवायतें:traditions; इबारतें:writings; रियाज़त-ए-नीम-शब:prayers in the middle of the night;
मैं ख़याल हूँ किसी और का मुझे सोचता कोई और है
I am a thought of someone but someone else thinks for me
सर-ए-आईना मिरा अक्स है पस-ए-आईना कोई और है
My reflection is visible in the mirror but someone else is behind the mirror.
(It is my interpretation that the underlying thought is about who runs this world? Is an individual important or is there a superpower controlling everything?)
मैं किसी के दस्त-ए-तलब में हूँ तो किसी के हर्फ़-ए-दुआ में हूँ
मैं नसीब हूँ किसी और का मुझे माँगता कोई और है
I am included in the praying hands of someone as also in the words of the prayer!
I am the fortune of someone else but someone else is seeking favours for me!
अजब ए'तिबार ओ बे-ए'तिबारी के दरमियान है ज़िंदगी
मैं क़रीब हूँ किसी और के मुझे जानता कोई और है
I am in a strange situation of faith ,trust belief and simultaneously in a fixation of lack of faith and mistrust !
I feel myself close to someone but someone else knows about me!!
मिरी रौशनी तिरे ख़द्द-ओ-ख़ाल से मुख़्तलिफ़ तो नहीं मगर
तू क़रीब आ तुझे देख लूँ तू वही है या कोई और है
My illumination, my wisdom is not separate from your features ,your peculiarities!
Please come near me, close to me so that I can see you, feel your presence to know that it is you and not someone else!!
तुझे दुश्मनों की ख़बर न थी मुझे दोस्तों का पता नहीं
तिरी दास्ताँ कोई और थी मिरा वाक़िआ कोई और है
You were unaware of your enemies and I did not know who my friends were!
Your story was different and my incidents were unrelated!!
वही मुंसिफ़ों की रिवायतें वही फ़ैसलों की इबारतें
मिरा जुर्म तो कोई और था प मिरी सज़ा कोई और है
The traditions of the presiding officers of the Court and their writings of judgements were routine, traditional. Alas my crime was not covered under these conventional proceedings .My punishment should have been different!!
कभी लौट आएँ तो पूछना नहींदेखना उन्हें ग़ौर से
जिन्हें रास्ते में ख़बर हुई कि ये रास्ता कोई और है
If they return , please don’t question them but look at them carefully.These are people who realised midway on their outing that this was not the right path!
जो मिरी रियाज़त-ए-नीम-शब को 'सलीम' सुब्ह न मिल सकी
तो फिर इस के मानी तो ये हुए कि यहाँ ख़ुदा कोई और है
Since my fervent prayers of the midnight were not answered, my devotion was not appreciated,
It can only mean that the God here is some other God!! He is not the one to whom I have been praying!
And finally the same ghazal by a younger singer -Manjari. Manjari is about 35 years old and has been performing since she was in class eighth, when she performed in a Kolkotta based rock band ‘Shiva’. Now she has set up her own band for ghazal concerts.
I have made an attempt to give you a cross section of best ghazal singing. Hope you enjoy the experience .
Happy weekend !!