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Ghazals Introspective melodies

If only it had been….

The winter has been very kind this year. A mild winter is always better for those who have to go through it, although in the context of global warming, not such a good feature.

I was listening to some ghazal first up and had this link sent to me from across the oceans by my learned friend from Philadelphia. Hariharan , I saw and my mind went back nearly 3 decades in time, back to 1994. I met this wonderful lady in the office of the Medical Director of the hospital I was working in at the time. Dr SMS Mody had sent for me and the wardboy didn’t tell me why he wanted to see me. I was ushered into his office by his secretary with the radiant smile, Varsha. I wished him and stood. He said “Chandorkar, I want you to meet someone”. It was then that I noticed the swathe of long black hair draped over the chair back. I glanced to see the hair being tossed and a smiling face look at me, with a “Hello” . Dr Mody introduced the lady as “She is working at Hinduja and wants to work with us in your department”. After a few pleasantries and my turning down his offer of a cup of tea, I took his leave a few minutes later to talk to the lady. She was short in stature but had lively eyes and a bright smile. We spent a few minutes together in an office across from Dr Mody’s and I understood she was joining us the next month. Gouri Chandavarkar was her name and that encounter gave me a dear friend I would share lots of common interests in multiple areas with and our friendship would flourish over the next three decades. Gouri pointed out her name had an O and not an A as the second letter- typical of a strong willed very wonderful person who spelt out things clearly. It just helped that she was in a way, related to my best friend Shashikant Heranjal through his sister’s (Nadkarni) family.

Gouri was a big fan of Hariharan. In the field of ghazals, I was more of a Jagjit Singh follower. I remember visiting her place on Ganesh Chaturthi that year, meeting her lovely family and adorable pooch Sheena and listening to Hariharan ghazals over the inevitable endless rounds of sweets and filter coffee that ensured I didn’t have any ideas of a dinner that day. Isn’t it an amazing coincidence that Nick Maneckshaw should send me this link today, on Ganesh Jayanti day. https://youtu.be/3B8UCKO9opI

काश ऐसा कोई मंज़र होता

काश ऐसा कोई मंज़र होता
मेरे काँधे पे तेरा सर होता

जमा करता हुआ जो मैं आये हुए संग
सर छुपाने के लिए घर होता

इस बुलंदी पे बहोत तनहा हूँ
काश मैं सब के बराबर होता

उसने उलझा दिया दुनिया में मुझे
वरना एक और कलंदर होता


वो जो ठोकर न लगाते मुझ को
मैं किसी राह का पत्थर होता

…….. ताहिर फ़राज़

A lovely, very meaningful set of asha’ar. The last one (in italics) is rarely sung in recitals. The language is very easy to understand and I won’t elaborate on them. Here’s another very soulful rendition of the same ghazal by Hariharan, a bit longer, from an earlier concert. https://youtu.be/FVgLAvMdmYQ

Time moves on.. Gouri moved on to a better opportunity in another city a few years after I got to know her. The singer she introduced me to, Hariharan, stays on in my heart and mind, as does she. Amazingly the link sent by a friend I got introduced by, thanks to Bharat Adarkar whose joie de vivre is infectious and enviable, Nick Maneckshaw is someone I haven’t yet met in flesh and blood but is always on my mind.

So here’s to you , you two lovely , valuable, beautiful friends, I dedicate this ghazal to both of you, stay healthy Gouri Chandavarkar and Nick Maneckshaw, and enjoy this sublime piece of music.

For the rest of you, stay healthy and happy. I am already looking forward to the weekend…

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By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

16 replies on “If only it had been….”

वो जो ठोकर न लगाते मुझ को
मैं किसी राह का पत्थर होता

…….. ताहिर फ़राज़

Best lines.

Liked by 1 person

वो तो वो था गोया ये कहते हैं
हम न होते तो वो क्या होता।
I’m obliged for your introducing me to another Indian genius..and Tahir Faraz.

Liked by 1 person

उसने उलझा दिया दुनिया में मुझे
वरना एक और कलंदर होता

वाह….
This ghazal is simply OMG
Fabulous presentation by Hari haran ji….

माणसांचे आणि त्यांच्या आठवणींचे शब्दं चित्र खूप च सुंदर रेखाटले आहे सर तुंम्ही 👌👌

Liked by 1 person

काश साज़ों के भी आंखें होतीं
और उधर देखतीं वो लुत्फ़े बयां
फिर तो अल्फाज़ घटाओं से घिरते
और गुल बांधते सहरा में मकां

काश ऐसा कोई मंज़र होता

Liked by 1 person

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