Holi

Lyrics via Indian Muslims:

horii hoye rahii hai Ahmad jiyaa ke dvaar
horii hoye rahii hai Ahmad jiyaa ke dvaar
Hajrat Ali kaa rang banaa hai Hasan Hussain khilaaR
horii hoye rahii hai Ahmad jiyaa ke dvaar

(horii : holi; Ahmad : another name of Prophet Muhammad; Ali : Cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad; Hasan : elder son of Hazrat Ali; Hussain : younger son of Hazrat Ali and the martyr of the battle of Karbala)

aiso horii kii dhuum machii hai
aiso horii ki dhuum machii hai
chahuuN or paRii hai pukaar
aiso anokho chatur khilaaRii
aiso anokho chatur khilaaRii
rang diiNyo sansaar

(chahuuN or : in every direction; anokho : unique; chatur : smart)

“Niaz” piyaraa bhar bhar chhiRke
“Niaz” piyaraa bhar bhar chhiRke
ek kii rang sahas pichkaar

(piyaraa : bowl; sahas : thousand)

I challenge you to find a more beautiful expression of subcontinental Islam!

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4 responses to “Holi

  1. Publius

    Thank you for posting this excellent and intoxicating song/music.

    I have always found it somewhat disconcerting that although my personal philosophy is the exact opposite of the self abandonement called for by sufism( “is honne is, is bunne se accha hai deewana ban ja”) the music holds such a powerful appeal for me.

    (Perhaps there is no necessary link between the lyrics and the music but I somehow think that , at least in this case, there is one).

    Anyway, Happy Holi to you.

  2. admin

    that’s a really interesting point, Publius. BTW i don’t know if you’ve ever considered what a difference the language the poetry is in makes by comparing poetry written by the same poets in two different languages. e.g. the hindi dohas of amir khusrau vs. his farsi poetry or the urdu poetry of faiz vs his (few) punjabi poems. e.g. can you ever imagine faiz writing an urdu poem like this 🙂

    Kithay dhauns police sarkar di ay
    Kithay dhaandli maal patwaar di ay
    Anvain haddan wich kalpay jaan mairi
    Jeeven phahi wich koonj kurlandi ay
    Changa shah banayai rab saiyaan
    paulay khandyan vaar na aundi ay

  3. Publius

    Hmm, I can’t say I have thought about that much before, but my first thought is that it might have less to do with the language itself than with the target audience(ot atleast assumptions about them) and literary convention.

    We all know of linguistic pioneers(Hugo, Shakespeare) who seemed to have discovered literary possibilities that didn’t seem to exist in the same language before.

    In other words the language itself ,Punjabi in this case, may well lend itself to a non rustic and refined expression, the same as Urdu, but it could be the poet is sticking to a conventional mode , either because he simply doesn’t try, or that he thinks that is what his audience are capable of understanding/appreciating.

    Of course one could also ask why do certain types of literary conventions arise in one language/culture and not in another ? Is it the language that is the root of that or is it culture ?( the latter I think)

    On sufi music, I think that part of the reason my liking for it may have something to do with my being a Punjabi.

    The deep and over excessive attachement to material enjoyment( of the crude not refined variety) promoted by Punjabi culture creates a sort of reaction in the soul of the opposite kind. A sort of balancing out, if you will, of one excess by another. Which may be the reason that the punjabi soul is attracted to sufi music and ego abondonement.

  4. a beautiful expression of not only subcontinental Islam but also Islam, per se

    excellent post, Rabia. Happy Holi!

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