Husn-e-Jana – A collection of Sufi ghazals – Muzaffar Ali

This is a Ghazal album produced by Mr. Muzaffar ali, who is known for his films like Umrao Jaan, Gaman, Anjuman etc.Mr. Ali is a self confessed Sufi music follower and while his musical attempts are marked with a lot sufiyana Qawwalis, this album has a pure ghazal theme except one thumri which is sung by Zarina Begum.

Track 1 – Yaaron Mujhe muaaf rakho main nashe mein hoon (Chhaya Ganguli) The CD starts with a haunting ghazal of Mir Taqi Mir in which a lover is requesting his friends to excuse him from further wine since he is already intoxicated. I must mention this here that all the compositions of this album use a lot of persian words and this one is no different, BUT if you are the one who has lost herself/himself with your close friends in the memory of your beloved, you wont need to consult the persian dictionary to understand the meaning of any of the ghazals. Chaya Ganguly is the same singer who has sung Aapki yaad aati rahi raat bhar (from the film Gaman) and if you have heard it, you will like this even more….and if you havent…give it a patient hearing!

Track 2- Khoonrez Karishma Naaz Sitam (Chhaya Ganguli)Written by Nazir akbarabadi, this is a perfect example of what ’teasing’ means in a love which is pure and free from any worldy expectations. I cannot resist myself from quoting couple of lines from this ghazal:bedard sitamgar be-parvaah bekal chanchal chatkili sidil sakht qayaamat patthar saa aur baatein narm rasili siA lover is complaining in a very romantic tone about the ignorant partner whose heart is made of stone but his words are so rosy that she cannot stop but fall in love with him…subhanallah!There is a part in this ghazal in which the singer compares the droplet of sweat on the face of lover with pearls…I guess you should find that out yourself and fall in love with this one!

Track 3 – Jab Phagun Rang jhamaktey ho (Chhaya Ganguli)Penned again by Nazir Akbarabadi, this ghazal draws a picture of a holi (Indian festival), when the lover is trying to get hold of his beloved who is dodging him successfully! The Ghazal pauses couple of times when Chhaya Ganguli recites the couplets in Nazm style. Trust me, this composition promises to export you to the era of pure Lucknowi mehfils. There is a musical grandeur to this Ghazal which one should hear to find out.

Track 4 – Aye jaan idhar dekh (Rolly Saran)Written by Nazir Akbarabadi introduces us to a delicate voice of Rolly saran. This ghazal draws a picture of a lover who is angry (thanks to all the teasing in Track no. 2 and 3 above!) by his beloved and is refusing to acknowledge her glances! The singer resorts to flattery by mentioning that the color of gulaal on the cheeks of her beloved is also urging him to speak to her. Rolly saran is one of the lesser known voices of India and you will wonder WHY?? (after you hear this out)

Track 5 – Na tum hogey na hum hongey (Rolly saran)Nazir akbarabadi again picks up the pen to write this soulful slow ghazal. A death-bed like situation wherein the lover is persuading her better half to sit, talk and kiss her before their lives end. She goes on to mention the fact that the gatherings will disperse, festivals will be over and all the ho-hum will come to an end. So why not sit and reflect on this life by being together?

Track 6- Piya baaj pyala (Chhaya Ganguli and Iqbal siddiqui)Penned by the legendary Quli Qutub Shah, this ghazal is actually a duet wherein the lovers are discussing how bad it is to be, stay and drink without each other! Its hard core persian but the way it is sung is bound to make you understand everything…such is a mastery of Muzaffar ali! There is a line in which the male voice says – those who dont know love, its impossible to sit with them! You have to hear it to believe it!

Track 7 Zihale miskin (Chhaya ganguli)The king of kings Amir Khusrau wrote this and this ghazal has ’inspired’ so many songs/ghazals and NONE of them matches this pure persian Qalaam. A sad lover is remembering her beloved and is mourning the fact that her lover is neither coming near nor sending her letters of love. The simple manner in which the singer complains ’kise padi hai, jo ja sunaye pyare pi ko, hamari batiyan’ will pinch your heart if you have ever loved and got hurt.

Track 8 Nihure nihurey (Zarina Begum) – ThumriTraditional lucknowi lyrics. Muzaffar ali brings back the old (and sadly forgotten) queen of old lucknow mehfils. This thumri has been sung by almost all the classical female singers and some male singers. Hearing this you can actually visualize the singer singing with a paan in her mouth and a smile on her face. This composition describes a lover cleaning her house in the anticipation of the arrival of her beloved.

Track 9 Mohabbat binis jaan (Naved siddiqui)Mir Taqi Mir sahab has penned this. Aaah! Its love that makes the world go round, its love that gives courage to a lover to do what he wouldnt have done otherwise!! These lines can summarize what this beautiful composition coveys! The singer is yet another lesser known singer of India. The sheer ’attitude’ of this composition will give you goose pimples!

Cannot stop myself to share just two lines from this track
mohabbat say aataa hai jo kuch kaho
muhabbat say ho jo wo hargiz na ho

Track 10 Na tum hogey na hum hongey (Naved siddiqui and Chhaya ganguli)A repetition of track 5, the male voice joins in chhaya ganguli to give a perfect end to this beautiful piece of art. The lyrics remain the same, the effect is – haunting!

Amongst the instruments used Sarod, Tabla and sarangi are the most prominent in all the compositions.I am intoxicated by this album since last 7 years or so and it continues to grow on me. You should not hear it as just another music album for you may be disappointed.

It is not a music album. It is a piece of art at which the longer you gaze, the better it is.I am sure I havent done an iota of justice to this piece of art that it is.

I assure all of you that if you get any negative vibes about this album after reading my review, the fault is only mine

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