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A haunting memory …

While driving to the hospital earlier today, the DVD I had loaded in my car audio carousel after the most recent servicing popped up and started this song. I had first heard the song a year before I got married. Two great singers from across the artificial and painful divide created by the genocidal criminals who have unleashed perpetual misery on our nation came together to create magic. Meraz- e -Ghazal is an absolutely wonderful album that is a result of Asha Bhosale and Ghulam Ali in the early 80s. This particular ghazal has awesome poetry by Ahmad Faraz. Is it not awesome the creation sounds absolutely fantastic nearly 40 years after the first hearing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B–beSJ8MQ

करूँ न याद मगर किस तरह भुलाऊँ उसे
गज़ल बहाना करूँ और गुनगुनाऊँ उसे

वो ख़ार ख़ार है शाख़-ए-गुलाब की मानिन्द
मैं ज़ख़्म ज़ख़्म हूँ फिर भी गले लगाऊँ उसे

ये लोग तज़्किरे करते हैं अपने प्यारों के
मैं किससे बात करूँ और कहाँ से लाऊँ उसे

जो हमसफ़र सर-ए-मंज़िल बिछड़ रहा है ‘फ़राज़्’
अजब नहीं है अगर याद भी न आऊँ उसे https://youtu.be/0B–beSJ8MQ

The original ghazal has two more ash’aar which have been left out from the vocal rendition. They are beautiful and deserve to be known. They are 4th and 5th in order before the final ash’aar that’s sung by Asha Bhosale, and here they are:

मगर व ज़ूद-ए-फ़रामोश ज़ूद-रंज भी है,
की रूठ जाए अगर याद कुछ दिलाऊँ उसे,

वही जो दौलत-ए-दिल है वही जो राहत-ए-जाँ
तुम्हारी बात पे ऐ नासेहो गँवाऊँ उसे

I don’t know why Ghulam Ali doesn’t include these two in his own renditions of the same ghazal. Even in his live programs, with no constraints on time, he leaves these two ash’aar, which I feel are so beautiful and should have been included. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxEgEBT6EPs

I loved this version more, as this was from a joint concert by the great Mehdi Hasan and Ghulam Ali, a rare event that took place in India in 1995. This is a better “live version” as he indulges in a little less showboating out of deference probably to Khan Sahib . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq-lcyiKfuM

I must admit I love the Diva’s version the most. Just maybe the honest, straightforward singing sans without any playing to the gallery. And that coupled with a superior production quality thanks to its being a studio recording, makes it enthralling and addictive.

My day is made with the recall from a magical time of freedom sans responsibilities, when we dreamt together dreams while being awake and with stars in our eyes thought everything was achievable. Well time (and some good ole elbow grease) did allow us to realise some of these. I am reminded of some lines from Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends:

Old friends
Old friends
Sat on their park bench like bookends
A newspaper blowin’ through the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes
Of the old friends

Old friends
Winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settle like dust
On the shoulders of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear

A time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you

Have a wonderful day ahead, folks, and enjoy your weekend. Stay safe, stay happy and healthy

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

4 replies on “A haunting memory …”

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