Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mehdi Hassan

Mehdi Hassan is dead and I’m crying. And I’m singing:

ranjish hi sahi dil hi dukhaane ke liye aa
aa phir se mujhe chhod ke jaane ke liye aa...

There may be enmity, but, do come even if to break my heart
Do come, even if to leave me all over again...

Ranjish Hii Sahii Dil Hii Dukhaane Ke Liye Aa
aa Phir Se Mujhe Chhod Ke Jaane Ke Liye Aa

pahale Se Maraasim Na Sahii Phir Bhii Kabhii To
rasm-o-rahe Duniyaa Hii Niibhaane Ke Liye Aa

kis Kis Ko Bataayenge Judaaii Kaa Sabab Ham
tuu Mujh Se Khafaa Hai To Zamaane Ke Liye Aa

kuchh To Mere Pindaar-e-muhabbat Ka Bharam Rakh
tuu Bhii To Kabhii Mujh Ko Manaane Ke Liye Aa

ek Umr Se Huun Lazzat-e-giriyaa Se Bhii Maharuum
ai Raahat-e-jaan Mujh Ko Rulaane Ke Liye Aa

ab Tak Dil-e-khushfaham Ko Tujh Se Hain Ummiiden
ye Aakhirii Shammein Bhii Bujhaane Ke Liye Aa

maanaa Ki Muhabbat Kaa Chhipaanaa Hai Muhabbat
chupake Se Kisii Roz Jataane Ke Liye Aa

jaise Tujhe Aate Hain Na Aane Ke Bahaane
aise Hii Kisii Roz Na Jaane Ke Liye Aa...

The song here.

Mehdi Hassan, who has died aged 84, was the Indian subcontinent's outstanding male exponent of the ghazal, a form of sung Urdu lyric verse, set to the appropriate raga melodies. Urdu poetry, which springs from the Persian, is filled with pathos, yearning, political and social injustice, loss, unrequited love and pleasure. Hassan evoked these with rare mastery, which is why devotees and eager students flocked to hear him from far and wide. It is claimed that he sang more than 50,000 ghazals during his lifetime, becoming known as the "emperor of the ghazal".

...Hassan thus became an abiding cultural bridge between India and Pakistan. He often returned to visit the village of his birth. His popularity in India was immense, and whenever he performed there he was heaped with garlands and gifts and showered with awards. The Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar, with whom he recorded a duet in 2009, compared his singing to "the voice of a god".

He toured the world to packed auditoriums. His visit to the Hindu kingdom of Nepal was particularly memorable. While singing one night at the palace of King Birendra, he was so exhausted after a gruelling schedule that for a moment his concentration faltered and he hesitated. The king, an ardent admirer of the singer, knew the ghazal well. He immediately stood up and sang, as best he could, the next verse. Hassan raised his hand to acknowledge the king's assistance and then rendered the verse as only he could...

Read the complete Guardian obit here.


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