In the beguiling language of romantic love, where one tosses and turns all night and loses one’s sleep, Kabir speaks of the suffering and desolation of being parted from the beloved and, in the last analysis, from oneself - ‘a wasted life on a vacant bed’, as he puts it.
The song has been composed and sung by Shafi Mohammad Faqir, a beautiful Sufi singer from Umarkot in Sindh, Pakistan. Shafi sahab sings in a folk yet highly classical idiom, bringing home the voices of Kabir and several Sufi poets in Sindhi, Punjabi, Urdu, Siraiki and other languages. He belongs to the deeply musical Manghaniar community that inhabits both sides of the border between India and Pakistan. Contact him at +92-300-3245850 & +92-23-8577226 or email his son Roshan at firstname.lastname@example.org
We first met Shafi sahab when we crossed the border in search of Kabir in Pakistan in the year 2006. This deeply moving encounter was later edited into the film Had Anhad, which can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch
Three years later he sang this song in Bangalore, when we invited him to the Festival of Kabir organized by the Kabir Project, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology along with several other partner organizations in Bangalore in February 2009. It brought together singers from India and Pakistan in an immersive week-long event that included film screenings, live music concerts and talks.
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This is one of a series of upcoming uploads for Ajab Shahar, a webspace featuring songs, images and conversations around bhakti, sufi and baul poetry from India and thereabouts, currently under construction by the Kabir Project team. www.ajabshahar.org
Lead Vocals & Harmonium: Shafi Mohammad Faqir
Dholak: Roshan Ali
Translation: Vipul Rikhi
Cameras: Tahireh Lal & Vinay Dhodgeri
Editing: Shruti Kulkarni
Sound: Dipanshu Mitra
Sub-Titling: Vipul Rikhi, Shabnam Virmani & Vidula Ramabai
Collection: The Kabir Project
Place: Bangalore, India
Date of Recording: February 28, 2009