ik nukte vich gal mukdi e

For the first time, I am trying to translate a poem of Baba Bulleh Shah. Excuse my misinterpretations, if any and please post the correct meanings, if you know 🙂

ik nukte vich gal mukdi e
(nukta – point, idea)

means it all is contained in a single idea/point

fad nukta chod hisaaban nu,

get hold of that idea and forget all your calculations

kar door kufar dian baaban nu
(kufar – disbelief, unbelief in existence of God | baab – miserable state)

leave the miserable state of unbelief in the existence of God

laah dojakh gor azaaban nu,
(dojakh – hell | gor – grave | azaab – suffering, pain)

dont punish yourself with the pain of death and hell

kar door dile dian khwaban nu

get rid of these imaginary fears

gal ese ghar wich dhukdi e

only in such a heart, the truth is gonna enter

ik nukte vich gal mukdi e |

awein matha zamee’n ghasaida,
(matha – forehead)

what is the use of bowing your head (literally – what is the use of rubbing of your head on ground (while praying)) ?

lamma pa mehraab dikhai da
(mehraab – aclove of mosque where the imam stands)

prostrate will be the exact word for this. what is the use of prostrating ?

par kalma lok hasai da,
(kalma – reciting verses from Quran)

by reciting kalmas you are making everyone laugh

dil andar samjh na liyai da

you aren’t actually understanding the meaning…you aren’t absorbing the lession

kadi baat sachi vi lukdi e,

can the truth be ever hidden ?

ik nukte vich gal mukdi e |

kai haaji ban ban aaye ji,
(haaji – one who does the pilgrimage of Mecca)

many have returned from the pilgrimage of Mecca

gal neele jaame paye ji
(jaama – dress, attire)

wearing beautiful blue dresses

haj vech take lai khaye ji,
(taka – a currency)

they profit from the merit earned by doing the Hajj

bhala eh gal keehnu bhaye ji

who can admire such a behaviour ?

kadi baat sachi vi lukdi e,
ik nukte vich gal mukdi e |

ik jungle behri’n jande ni,
(behri’n – i think it means sea)

some retire to the forests

ik daana roz lai khande ni

restrict their meals to a grain

besamjh wajood thakande ni,
(besamjh – foolish | wajood – body,existence | thakande – tiring)

means in all their foolishness of these acts, they are merely exhausting their body

ghar aawan ho ke maande ni
(maande – mande, in bad shape)

and they return to their homes in a bad shape

awein chillian vich jind mukdi e,
(chilla – praying for 40 days)

they life is sucked by useless fasts and prayers

ik nukte vich gal mukdi e |

far murshad aabad khudai ho,
(murshad – teacher | aabad – devotee, one who prays)

hold fast to your teacher (the one who guides you) say your prayers to the God (who has created everything)

vich masti beparwahi ho
(masti – emotions of enjoyment of connection with the master | beparwah – carefree)

enjoy the state of being lost in the magic of “his” name

bekhahash benawai ho,
(bekhahah – not having “materialistic” desires | benawai – indifferent)

 without any materialistic desire, indifferent to the world

vich dil de khoob safai ho

keep your heart fully clean

Bullah baat sachi kado rukdi e,

Bullah ! can the truth be stopped ?

ik nukte vich gal mukdi e

References:

http://apnaorg.com/poetry/bulleh-g (Page 9 & 10)

http://www.apnaorg.com/poetry/bulleheng

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=205682439444990

& a number of dictionaries 🙂

ਇਕ ਨੁਕਤੇ ਵਿਚ ਗੱਲ ਮੁਕਦੀ ਏ

ਫੜ ਨੁਕਤਾ ਛੋੜ ਹਿਸਾਬਾਂ ਨੂੰ
ਕਰ ਦੂਰ ਕੁਫ਼ਰ ਦਿਆਂ ਬਾਬਾਂ ਨੂੰ
ਲਾਹ ਦੋਜਖ ਗੋਰ ਅਜ਼ਾਬਾਂ ਨੂੰ
ਕਰ ਸਾਫ਼ ਦਿਲੇ ਦਿਆਂ ਖਾਬਾਂ ਨੂੰ
ਗੱਲ ਇਸੇ ਘਰ ਵਿਚ ਢੁਕਦੀ ਏ
ਇਕ ਨੁਕਤੇ ਵਿਚ ਗੱਲ ਮੁਕਦੀ ਏ
ਐਵੇਂ ਮੱਥਾ ਜ਼ਮੀ(ਨ) ਘਸਾਈ ਦਾ
ਲੰਮਾ ਪਾ ਮਹਿਰਾਬ ਦਿਖਾਈ ਦਾ
ਪੜ ਕਲਮਾ ਲੋਕ ਹਸਾਈ ਦਾ
ਦਿਲ ਅੰਦਰ ਸਮਝ ਨਾ ਲਿਆਈ ਦਾ
ਕਦੀ ਬਾਤ ਸੱਚੀ ਵੀ ਲੁਕਦੀ ਏ
ਇਕ ਨੁਕਤੇ ਵਿਚ ਗੱਲ ਮੁਕਦੀ ਏ
ਕਈ ਹਾਜੀ ਬਣ ਬਣ ਆਏ ਜੀ
ਗਲ ਨੀਲੇ ਜਾਮੇ ਪਾਏ ਜੀ
ਹੱਜ ਵੇਚ ਟੱਕੇ ਲੈ ਖਾਏ ਜੀ
ਭਲਾ ਇਹ ਗਲ ਕੀਹਨੂੰ ਭਾਏ ਜੀ
ਕਦੀ ਬਾਤ ਸੱਚੀ ਵੀ ਲੁਕਦੀ ਏ
ਇਕ ਨੁਕਤੇ ਵਿਚ ਗੱਲ ਮੁਕਦੀ ਏ
ਇਕ ਜੰਗਲ ਬਹਿਰੀਂ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਨੀ
ਇਕ ਦਾਣਾ ਰੋਜ਼ ਲੈ ਖਾਂਦੇ ਨੀ
ਬੇਸਮਝ ਵਜੂਦ ਥ੍ਕਾਂਦੇ ਨੀ
ਘਰ ਹੋਵਣ ਹੋ ਕੇ ਮਾਂਦੇ ਨੀ
ਐਵੇਂ ਚਿਲਿਆਂ ਵਿਚ ਜਿੰਦ ਮੁੱਕਦੀ ਏ
ਫੜ ਮੁਰਸ਼ਦ ਆਬਦ ਖੁਦਾਈ ਹੋ
ਵਿੱਚ ਮਸਤੀ ਬੇ ਪਰਵਾਹੀ ਹੋ
ਬੇਖਾਹਸ਼ ਬੇਨਵਾਈ ਹੋ
ਵਿੱਚ ਦਿਲ ਦੇ ਖੂਬ ਸਫਾਈ ਹੋ
ਬੁੱਲ੍ਹਾ ਬਾਤ ਸੱਚੀ ਕਦੋਂ ਰੁੱਕਦੀ ਏ
ਇਕ ਨੁਕਤੇ ਵਿਚ ਗੱਲ ਮੁਕਦੀ ਏ

Here are few of the renditions by the legends:

Sufi Sartaaj ?

I am not a professional writer so this article may keep on jumping around different points. Apologies if you find it boring and not so continuous types ;). Also this article was meant to undergo some more revisions but lack of time & plenty of laziness didn’t let that happen. So posting it as it is. Special thanks to Samrat Dhillon for reviewing it (in fact, going to the extent of being a co-author) and making it look much better than what I initially drafted.

In the recent times, if there is someone who has actually tasted the juice of (super) success he is Satinder Sartaaj. His albums have been selling like hot cakes, probably leaving the old and experienced singers behind too. But all is not so well. He has been criticized for few things as well. In the opinion of his hard core fans, this criticism is not justified. On the other hand, in the view of the other group, his success is fake, hyped, spoiler and not so permanent.

This article is an attempt to discuss what is so good or bad about his success, career etc. First I will talk about his (kind of) instant success. Before he released his first album, he was quite popular on youtube and people knew about him. So his first album was a huge huge hit and it sold a record number of copies; something that matters a lot in these days of mp3-dominated-market. Now what makes him so hit? There are 2 reasons in my opinion. I will talk about them one by one:

The first reason according to me is the scope of the market. Punjabi music industry, at a broad level can be divided into two categories. One category of this market is really cheap stuff that is being released on the daily basis. Some parts of it become hit and others go unnoticed. Second part of this market is “the” really good stuff from legendary artists like Nusrat, Abida and others. And of course there is an occasional good release from Maans, Hans’s and other good artists. So there is a large vacuum between these two categories. That is where Sartaj comes in. People are fed up of the crap being served to them and it is not everyone’s cup of tea to listen to the legends we talked about. In such a scenario, Sartaj’s so called good lyrics, some decent presentation and everything comes as a pleasant change.

Second reason for his popularity is the attire he has chosen. It is immediately noticeable and looks like the dress worn by Sufis. It is an eye-catcher thing gimmick and people relate it with spirituality and divine lyrics, although his lyrics are far from such qualities.

These two are the reasons in my opinion that make him such a huge hit.

All looks well, so where is the problem?

Well, there are few things that are doing the damage. First thing is he is being called the Waris Shah of 21st century. This comparison is totally, absolutely absurd and idiotic, to say the least. It started from when he played the role of Waris Shah in the serial made by Zee Punjabi. Also, that is from where he has got his dress. He wore similar kind of dress in the serial and retained it when he started performing as a singer. From this whole story, coupled with that he writes his own lyrics people labeled him as the new Waris Shah. The unfortunate thing is that there is large section of his fans that believes in this comparison too. Waris Shah spent his whole life in writing one saga Heer and that was what made him “Waris Shah”. And this comparison, I don’t understand if it makes any sense at all.

Second thing is he has been labeled as (even believed by some) a Sufi singer. This again comes from his dress and his style of singing. There is an argument that he denies being a Sufi singer. He might do but few things related to him don’t support this. He doesn’t say NO when he is labeled as one. His twitter id (assuming it is an official one) is http://twitter.com/#!/SufiSartaaj and Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/sufisartaaj , which clearly don’t go with the argument that he says no to the Sufi label. In fact, he enjoys this association as it gives him a big advantage and a selling mantra. Now people ask what the problem is if he is being called a Sufi singer. No wonder there are few who actually think that what he sings is indeed Sufi genre. This is indeed a hilarious situation. Adhi kick te start yamah, Billo ji, neendar neeni-badi kameeni; I don’t understand what kind of Sufism is this. In my opinion there is hardly anything that he has sung that matches with what Sufism is all about. This thing actually is doing a lot of damage. His ardent fans are not ready to accept that his genre is no where close to sufi, or his lyrics have nothing to do with sufi “Kalams”. This is only going to create confusion for the coming generations as to what sufi music is all about. They will confuse sufi music with something which is not even folk. The coming generation will be confused as to what is sufi music, is it Abida’s Kaafi or is it Sartaj’s pop.

He has been accused of stealing, modifying and singing the poetry of other writes without giving proper credit to them. Plagiarization in any form should be criticized and credit should be given where it is due. Moreover being a lyricist himself he should value the writings of other poets.

So these are few of the things going against and in his favour.

I would like to see him shed this dress and change his image, making it clear that he is not a Sufi singer. He has to improve the quality of his lyrics, shed fake attire to gain appreciation from audiences who currently doubt his credentials as a good singer.

The magical Abida Parveen

Before I start writing anything else, I must thank Narvinder Bal who actually let me know that this awesomeness was going to happen in the city.  Well, watching Abida Parveen live concert was another dream come true. We reached the venue well in advance. And to our biggest surprise, we were about to enter the place where she had to perform and what we saw that she is coming from the other side and crossing from where we were standing. It was kind of so surprising that we couldn’t even manage to ask her for a photograph 🙁 .

We entered the venue and took our seats. Due to a bit of rain in the morning the weather had turned really pleasant, a kind of perfect for such an evening. The program started around 6:30 but Abida’s performance started around 7:30 as there were few other things before that. Few songs by 2 singers from Zee’s Sa Re Ga Ma concert and a dance performance by a group. Finally around 7:30 she came on the stage, in her typical style, acknowledging the crowd waving her both hands in the air.  The stage was all set and she immediately took her seat. The opening performance was Amir Khusro’s man kunto maula which she started with oooo jeeee maulaaaaaaa o miaaaannnn and believe me listening to that much only was equivalent to attending the full concert. There was pin drop silence in the audience and the only voice in the air was maulaaaaaaa….maulaaaaaaa…absolutely mesmerizing. Then she went on to sing verses from the poetry of Bulle Shah. The next was Kabir’s poetry. Then few of tracks were bit new to me. Finally came the legendary jab se tune mujhe diwana bana rakha hai…totally super awesome. She sang for around 2:25 hours and ended the concert with dama dam mast qalandar. It was an amazing performance and I am already looking forward to her next performance in the city.

As usual there were so many distractions. The biggest being that people didn’t reach in time and there was so much of disturbance of people moving around. Another reason was that probably they distributed more number of passes than the seats so many folks were standing as they were unable to get the seats.

Otherwise also what I have observed about myself is that I am not able to enjoy in live concerts as much as it should be. That i think, mainly due to all the distractions around. To enjoy this kind of music, one needs to be in certain state of mind. Now first that state of mind can’t be achieved intentionally and secondly due to so many disturbances at the venue it becomes so difficult to connect with the music. I would go to the extent that a single youtube video can give more satisfaction than watching that song live. Obviously when you are in that “state of mind”. This thing really disappoints me 🙁 .

Anyways, i am so happy of having seen all the great singers live in concert. My next wish is to see Sain Zahoor Ahmed (along with watching Rahat, Ghulam Ali, Abida, Jagjit Singh & Wadalis again 😛 ) perform live. Let us see when that wish is fulfilled 🙂 .