Ghazals Mehdi Hassan Sad Songs

Speaking one’s mind…

We were driving to our city home on Sunday and the Car Audio was playing a DVD with Mehdi Hassan songs, most of them ghazals, some film songs. I had heard several iterations of his ghazals before and was singing along, softly under my breath. All the ghazals we heard (& all I’ve collected of the maestro) are truly sublime.  The film songs by comparison were run of the mill and didn’t do his divine abilities any justice at all.  Aruna said “Kiti goad aahe yacha awaaj” (“How sweet is his voice“). About that point, I don’t there would be a single soul on the planet who would have an opinion to the contrary. Even the person who is the most uninitiated in the nuances of Hindustani Classical Music (upon which all of Mehdisahab’s ghazals are based) would surely by bowled over by the amazing purity of sur of the aptly named Shehenshah e Ghazal. Personally I haven’t heard anyone bar Manna Dey outside the noted exponents of Hindustani Classical Music with that degree of refined purity, that enviable thehraav in their voice. Truly a God Given Attribute. Look at the ghazal which brought this remark from Aruna.

Khansaheb is to me, the maestro, the most important male singer of his chosen domain, alone at the pinnacle, rather lonely but not forlorn. The rest are a fair distance away, no matter however much they strive to dislodge the reigning Monarch. His relaxed, almost lazy style of singing, elaborately expounding each note and word with consummate skill and dismissive ease is like a mountain stream flowing down to join the larger river and merging noiselessly to cease to exist separately.

जो चाहते हो सो कहते हो ….

जो चाहते हो सो कहते हो चुप रहने की लज़्ज़त क्या जानो
ये राज़-ए-मोहब्बत है प्यारे तुम राज़-ए-मोहब्बत क्या जानो

अल्फ़ाज़ कहाँ से लाऊँ छाले की टपक को समझाऊँ
इज़हार-ए-मोहब्बत करते हो एहसास-ए-मोहब्बत क्या जानो

क्या हुस्न की भीक भी होती है जब चुटकी चुटकी जुड़ती है
हम अहल-ए-ग़रज़ जानें इस को तुम साहब-ए-दौलत क्या जानो

है फ़र्क़ बड़ा ऐ जान-ए-‘रज़ा’ दिल देने में दिल लेने में
उल्फ़त का तअल्लुक़ जान के भी रिश्ते की नज़ाकत क्या जानो

आल-ए-रज़ा, “रज़ा”

The ghazal, composed in Natbhairav is tonic for my soul, everytime I hear it. Natbhairav, is an important morning raag and is a sampoorna-sampoorna raag. The raag reflects the mood of slight pathos with heroic exuberance. Khansaheb’s pedigree (he earned his spurs in Hindustani Classical Music and comes from a very proud lineage of performing musicians, and trained in Dhrupad Dhamar as well as Khayal Gayaki, in fact, as he himself has said repeatedly, till 1950 he sang only Hindustani Classical Music).

A brilliant, soothing composition and truly divine rendition from a master of the genre. Here is remembering the master with one more beautiful arrow from his plentiful quiver that goes straight to the heart and rules the brain…. The raag is temporally ideal for this hour that I am posting this.

Stay healthy and happy, folks. Stay away from the searing heat.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

2 replies on “Speaking one’s mind…”

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