My “now” song: Kangna in Raga Malkauns

Do you ever have a song, an idea, a storyline, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least? I have this with music—it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, etc. This becomes my ‘now’ song, and the “nowness”  (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.

My now song is “Kangna” by Fareed Ayaz and Abu Mohammad. Do watch the video and listen to the song before you read the rest of the post.

One of my colleagues, AS, is an amateur musician. Thanks to him, I get to listen to a wide range of music and though not all the genres are unfamiliar, some of the artistes definitely are, like this one.

Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad are brothers and qawwali singers from Pakistan and this short 16-minute piece in Raga Malkauns is mind-blowing, particularly the first 4 minutes. I have always found Raga Malkauns to be sombre and serious, but this rendering was so different—mischievous and light-hearted. I also like the way some Farsi lines have been woven with the traditional brajbhasha lyrics. And I am amazed how Fareed Ayaz is able to sing with a mouth full of paan !

I like this song so much that I am listening to this song even as I type out this post.  Thanks, AS, for recommending this song 🙂

A Sufiana experience for the mind, body and soul

Sufism is neither a religion nor a cult. Any person who has knowledge of both inner and outer life is a sufi.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sufi philosopher and practitioner)

It is Thursday evening and I am at the NCPA Mumbai’s Tata Theatre to attend an evening of Sufi music. The above words by Inayat Khan leap out of the beautifully produced and informative programme brochure on “Sama’a The Mystic Ecstasy: Festival of Sufi Music” as I read it to familiarise myself with the programme. Though I have listened to some Sufi music over the years, I have never attended a live performance. I also do not know anything about the  history of Sufism or Sufi music, for that matter, except for the fact that music is central to the core experience of Sufism. The programme brochure states that

… music is regarded as a means for the believer to get closer to the Divine. Sufi music therefore is music of the ‘soul’ by the ‘soul’ and for the ‘soul’.

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