Ghazals Mehdi Hassan

Spreading like wildfire…

I have been thinking of this ghazal for 2 days while working out. Isn’t it amazing how the human mind works?

I am pumping iron, doing the hard miles (an average of 13-14 km on the bike in 30 min), sweating buckets, burning hundreds of calories, but the mind dissociates itself, seeks pleasure amidst the self-inflicted “pain” (if you do want to call a workout at 40 degrees that) & flies high into a different world…One of sublime, tender emotions and treacly romance.

The ghazal was written by Parveen Shakir, who was a bureaucrat in our Western neighbour and has written some of the most sublime poetry you will come across. After a brief marriage to a doctor, a son and sadly, a divorce, the sensitive lady died most tragically in a road accident, when in her early 40s, when on way to work in Islamabad.

The ghazal is just brilliantly rendered by the undisputed Shehenshah-e-Ghazal, Mehdi Hassan who is a few streets ahead (& will always be) of all others who seek his position- alone at the top. I just can’t have enough of the man’s amazing voice. Listen to this.

Khansaheb had to sing for films mainly to earn his daily bread. There he is shackled by constraints of time and was unfortunately handicapped by pedestrian composers, so he really (breaks my heart to say this), sounds ordinary. Free him of temporal boundaries and the man takes off like an interplanetary missile to deep space where time (& the rest of the variables) just stands still. He is in a class of one, truly alone at the very pinnacle. This ghazal is based predominantly on Darbari

कू-ब-कू फैल गई बात शनासाई की

उस ने ख़ुशबू की तरह मेरी पज़ीराई की

कैसे कह दूँ कि मुझे छोड़ दिया है उस ने

बात तो सच है मगर बात है रुस्वाई की

वो कहीं भी गया लौटा तो मिरे पास आया

बस यही बात है अच्छी मिरे हरजाई की

तेरा पहलू तिरे दिल की तरह आबाद रहे

तुझ पे गुज़रे न क़यामत शब-ए-तन्हाई की

उस ने जलती हुई पेशानी पे जब हाथ रखा

रूह तक आ गई तासीर मसीहाई की

अब भी बरसात की रातों में बदन टूटता है

जाग उठती हैं अजब ख़्वाहिशें अंगड़ाई की

—– परवीन शाकिर

For the toddlers in the language like me, some words may need explanation.

कू-ब-कू : सारी दिशाओं में
शनासाई : परिचय होना
पज़ीराई : स्वीकृति

रुस्वाई : बदनामी अपमान अनादर,
तेरा पहलू : तेरा सोचना , तेरा हाल , your version, perspective
आबाद : बसा हुआ , inhabited
क़यामत : day of final judgment by God
शबे-तन्हाई : night of loneliness,
हरजाई : आवारा , Vagabond,
पेशानी : माथा : forehead
रूह : soul : आत्मा
तासीर : प्रभाव : influence
मसीहाई : मसीहा : healer , prophet

I just search for the many renditions by the great man (thank you, YouTube!!) and with an unquenchable thirst guzzle his addictive voice. Every concert is similar and yet so different. Check this out:

Thanks Khansaheb for enriching my life and heightened sensitivity. You will be regaling the everpresent audience in the better place that you are in.

Stay safe, folks, stay happy and healthy. Enjoy the weekend.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

38 replies on “Spreading like wildfire…”

राग जोनपुरी व दरबारी चे वैशिष्ट्य , analysis खूप आवडले. आसावरी देखील similar राग आहे.
काव्य देखील फार सूंदर आहे .

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Superb rendering by khansaheb , 🙏🙏 he would have been easily counted as a leading classical singer if he had chosen that way . शायरी भी बडे अजीब किस्मकी है ! शायद जो दर्द सह लिया , छलक गया । पहिली बार नाम सुना इनका । Thanks for sharing these soothing couplets and more so for providing dictionary at the end . That helped in appreciating Najakat of Shayari . 🙏🙏🙏

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And you are absolutely right about the Classical music part. He actually comes from a family of classical musicians. He started as a Classical and Semiclassical singer: Khayal, Dhrupad, Dhamar. There wasn’t unfortunately an appreciative audience for it in the country. The great man actually worked in a cycle repair shop for earning a living. He shifted to singing Film Music purely for survival when his singing on the Lahore station of Radio Pakistan was noticed. He shifted to enlightening people and create an audience by his ghazal singing, which bridges the gap between film music and classical music and met with outstanding success in this endeavor


वाह…..अप्रतिम काव्य….मेहदी हसन जींचा मंद्र सप्तकातील आवाज सुद्धा किती गोड आहे….खूपच सुंदर गायकी…..👌👌👌👌 मनाला स्पर्शून जाते….
हे काव्य वाचून मला सुचलेल्या दोन ओळी लिहिण्याचा प्रयत्न 🙏🏻काही चूक असल्यास कृपया सांगावी🙏🏻🙏🏻

गुमनामी में तेरे मेरी रूह रुसवा हो जाती
पर तेरी मासूमियत ने मेरी निगहबानी की

कठीण शब्दांचे अर्थ दिल्याबद्दल तुमचे अनेक आभार अनिरुद्ध सर…..🙏🏻

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This is an extremely heavy duty gazal, which can only be written by one of the most accomplished shayar. Parveen Shakriji is probably the best female shayar of all times and is in the same class as some of the biggest names in the Urdu literature. One really needs command over this beautiful language, which Doctor Sahib most certainly process. By the way, the little known fact is that the God of Gazal gayiki composed this outstanding rendition in 15+/- minutes. I don’t think that there is any adjective that would not apply to the maestro. RIP Parveenji and Khan Sahib.

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Simply brilliant!! Thks for digging it out and refreshing our memories❤️❤️🎼🎼 but, as for the Urdu words….I am a new born..not even a toddler….so thks for the translation😁

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Thanks for digging out this treasure !! And refreshing our memories…❤️❤️🎼🎼
As for the Urdu…I am still a newborn,..not even a thks for the translation

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Wonderful set the morning mehfil serve such beautiful music…at the same time teaching us the nuances…the finer aspects ..the nostalgic historical aspects…heavenly experience. ..You are establishing a United nations of Music!!!😁🙏🙏🙏

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सुंदर शब्द! माहितीपूर्ण लेख अर्थासहित लिहिता त्याबद्दल धन्यवाद!

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