Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tori Surat Ke Balhari Nizam - Amir Khusrau

Today on the demise of Qawwal Manzoor Niazi, I'd like to honour him by posting this beautiful Khusrau poem sung by his party some 40 years ago. Niazi saheb was one of  the old stalwarts of the world of qawwali and brought with him the treasures of Dilli Gharana to Karachi, Pakistan soon after partition. Not only did he bring the words of sufi poets and saints but also some of the most fabulous qawwals that Pakistanis witnessed over the next five decades. Among the original party were the likes of Bahauddin saheb, Iftekhar Ahmed Khan Nizami, Munshi Raziuddin and the then junior Ustad Naseeruddin Saami who continues to enthrall audiences with his khayal singing today.

In 2010, at the request of Musaf Bin Noor, I searched my collection and found this interesting old recording of Khusrau's kalam "Tori Surat Ke Balhari" which includes the old party from Karachi.
While the lead is Manzoor Ahmed Niazi Qawwal from 1975 the prominent voices of Munshi Raziudding and Naseeruddin Saami are distinct. I am a little skeptical about the date of the recording as this group was apparently singing together prior to 1966. It is also possible that the recording is simply labelled incorrectly and does not include the complete old qawwal party of Manzoor saheb. Nonetheless if Asif bhai, Munsaf or anyone else like Abu Muhammad or Abdullah Niazi wish to comment on this, you are quite welcome. Probably the rest of you can recognize the other voices quite easily. I only request you all to be respectful toward all involved in your comments. Many thanks.

Beholding your countenance, I offer myself in sacrifice (balhari)
All the other girls saw my soiled chundar,
And together they laughed at me.
This springtime, dye my chundar for me (rang do)
O protect my honour(laj) (Nijam, Beloved)! ...
Who can win against mother-in-law or sister-in-law?
I pine for your support.
Everyone knows how you and I are linked:
Is my honour different from yours, (Nijam, Beloved?)

"These lines from Tori surat, also by Amir Khusrau (Repertoire No3), express mystical love through a young woman longing to offer herself up in utter devotion, depending for her very existence, her honour (laf), on the Beloved's protection. Her soiled garment, covering her head and chest ..." 

Regula Qureshi - Sufi Music from India and Pakistan

1 comment:

Musab said...

Thanks a lot for uploading this Arif sahab. This recording is from a 1975 EMI LP titled "A Tribute To Amir Khusrau by Manzoor Ahmed Niazi". Munshi sahab, Manzoor sahab, Saami sahab , Farid Ayaz and probably Abdullah MAnzoor Niazi are the various voices heard on it. It isn't the complete 1960's Manzoor Niazi group as Iftekhar Nizami and |Bahauddin Khan aren't in it.