To be candid I don’t remember when I heard Amir Khusrow’s name for the first time but I always believed that I know about him in detail. Now I know the aforementioned statement is confusing but is true for sure. There are some things in life that you really can’t explain, they just happen naturally or rather effortlessly. I made a random visit to Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s dargah a couple of years back. Now that was a cosmic experience! As per me and this is based purely on what I felt and observed, dargahs represent syncretic heritage. I saw people of different religious backgrounds at Nizamuddin Auliya’s dargah, all craving for Auliya’s divine blessings. I can surely write a separate blog post about my experience of visiting Nizamuddin Auliya’s dargah but let’s not deviate from the topic!
Yes, Khusrow is the topic and to be more precise his writings are the actual topic. I heard his qawwali in Nusrat Sahab’s voice one night and that was it! I couldn’t stop myself from hearing the same on loop for hours at a stretch. Then I heard another one and the charm was the same, made me feel and realize that I am running behind things that don’t matter at all! It made me realize that all my ego and obsessions actually make me a complete fool in the grand scheme of things. All the time, I am concerned about things that bring pleasure and not happiness! Why run behind ephemeral delight when there is eternal joy for the taking? To be candid, I have no answer to any of the questions I just mentioned but somehow I know my pursuit is wrong. I am still fascinated by the fact that Khusrow simplified things way back while we are still trying to figure out how to lead life! For those who don’t know, Amir Khusrow is regarded as the ‘father of Qawwali’.
The first qawwali I came across was ‘Nami danam’, a piece apparently written in Farsi language. Generally, ‘Farsi’ is ‘Greek’ to us Indians! I still was able to figure out (although partially) the meaning of the title. The title ‘Nami Danam’ means ‘I don’t know’. I am still trying to decode the qawwali but I somehow can connect to it! At times I feel, Khusrow wants to convey that you get lost in love and love and agony are inseparable! You shouldn’t feign to be in love, if you’re in love be in love totally! God watches it all and true love always wins! That’s just my take; your perception of the qawwali can be different yet palpable. That’s probably Khusrow’s beauty wherein the reader (or listener) has the freedom to decipher things that behooves his perception and thoughts.
If listening to Amir Khusrow, I would recommend listen his works in Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s voice and the modulation is sure to take you in a different zone altogether. Let’s keep spreading love. Love is what keeps us going and alive!
‘People think they are alive because they have soul in them, But I am alive because I have love in myself!’ – Amir Khusrow