A Trip

Off to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I don’t miss Summerfest my close friends are joining me there. I will keep posting from there. Looks like I will be there all the days this year.

Enjoy the summer warmth everyone.

Remebering An Emperor

Nusrat was born in Faisalabad, Punjab on October 13, 1948 to Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, a distinguished musicologist, vocalist, instrumentalist, and Qawwali performer. He had one brother, Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan.Initially, his father did not want him to follow him into the familybusiness. He had his heart set on Nusrat choosing a more respectablecareer path and becoming a doctor, because he felt Qawwals had lowsocial status. However, Nusrat showed such an aptitude for, andinterest in, Qawwali that his father finally relented and started totrain him in the art of Qawwali and he was also taught to sing withinthe classical framework of Khayal.This training was still incomplete when Ustad Fateh Ali Khan died in1964 while Nusrat was still in school, and the training was continuedby Nusrat’s paternal uncle, Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan.Ten days after his father’s death, Nusrat had a dream where his fathercame to him and told him to sing, touching his throat. Nusrat woke upsinging, and was moved by the dream to decide that he would makeQawwali his career. His first public performance was at his father’sfuneral ceremony forty days later. Under the guidance of Ustad MubarakAli Khan, he became the group’s leader in 1965 and the group was calledNusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan & Party. (“Party” is the term used in Qawwali for the supporting members of the group.)

Nusrat’s first public performance as leader of the family Qawwaligroup was in March 1965, at a studio recording broadcast as part of anannual music festival called Jashn-e-Baharan organized by RadioPakistan. It took Nusrat several years more to perfect his craft andemerge from the shadow of the groups that were regarded as the leadingcontemporary Qawwals. But once he did, there was no looking back. Hefirmly established himself as the leading qawwal of the 20th century.His incredible voice and his complete mastery of the genre made him asuperstar in the Indian subcontinent and the Islamic world. He sang in Urdu and his native Punjabi, as well as Persian. He was also one of the first South Asian singers to perform before large Western audiences.

Nusrat took over his family’s qawwali party in 1971 after the deathof his father and his uncle. In Pakistan, his first major hit was thesong “Haq Ali Ali”. This was performed in a traditional style and withtraditional instrumentation, and featured only sparse use of Nusrat’sinnovative sargam improvisations. Nevertheless the song became a major hit, as many listeners were attracted to the timbre and other qualities of Nusrat’s voice.

He reached out to Western audiences with a couple of fusion records produced by Canadian guitarist Michael Brook. In 1995, he collaborated with Eddie Vedder on the soundtrack to Dead Man Walking. His contribution to that and several other soundtracks and albums (including The Last Temptation of Christ and Natural Born Killers), as well as his friendship with Peter Gabriel, helped to increase his popularity in Europe and the United States. Peter Gabriel’s Real Worldlabel released five albums of Nusrat’s traditional Qawwali performancesin the West. Real World also released albums of his experimental work,including Mustt Mustt (which features a slap bass technique) and Star Rise. He also performed traditional Qawwali live to Western audiences at several WOMAD world music festivals.

Nusrat provided vocals for The Prayer Cycle put together by Jonathan Elias, but died before the vocals could be completed. Alanis Morissette was brought in to sing with his unfinished vocals.

Apparently, when Nusrat toured in foreign countries, he would watchtelevision commercials in order to identify the melodies and chord progressions popular in that country. He would then try to choose similar sounding songs from his repertoire for his performances.

Nusrat contributed songs to, and performed in, several Pakistanimovies. Shortly before his death, he also recorded two songs for a Bollywood movie, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, in which he also appeared.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan holds the world record for the largest recorded output by a Qawwali artist—a total of 125 albums.

Nusrat was taken ill with kidney and liver failure on Monday, August 11, 1997 in London, England while on the way to Los Angeles from Lahore to receive a kidney transplant. He was due to perform in a live concert later in August. While still at Cromwell Hospital, Nusrat died of a sudden cardiac arrest on Saturday, August 16, 1997, aged 48. His body was then transported back to Faisalabad, Pakistan where thousands of distraught people attended his funeral and burial procession.

(Text from Wiki)

Here are three videos of his music. Enjoy

My Thought Of The Day.

There are people in this world who believe in principles and theystrongly believe that others should accept what they believe because itall look so right for them. Actually these people are not principledthey are just control freaks. They don’t know what humanity truly meansand they lose their control of their on minds to stubborn principles.In politics the extreme liberals and conservatives are of this kind. Inreligion the fanatics are of this kind. There is one fact that is verysad, because of these freaks it is innocent lives that get lost. Ifthere is possibility why not the world unite and shut all these freaksinto some mental asylum. They are not a lot.

Just some thoughts, I thought of posting a poem… kinda backed off from posting it as when I read the poem it just did not added up to the original thought I have a lot to do today including attend a dinner. This is a very interesting dinner. When I was in India I was high school and my brother had a friend, he once invited me to his home as he came to know that I read a lot. A wall full of books that’s what I can say, his sister a house wife and have nothing to do at home so her husband who was away in another place brings her books. It is her collection. She never gave those books to anyone but look at me she said, okay you can have them. After school I left to another state for higher education. And when I came back those people were all gone. After more than 20 years reacently I found out, the lady and her husban with their children are not settled in Kansas. They invited me to dinner. She may really get scared I was so small and lean, now not so tall but from about 60lbs I have grown big to about 190lbs. My belly indeed is a scary thing.

The Greatest Lover.

Springtime was much more brutal than I thought. A contract canceled and megetting all sorts of issues from health to wealth. I have gonethrough these kinda times before so I am quite used to this. Oneearly morning I was standing outside having a smoke and I felt “Comeon this can’t happen again” then really felt sad and look up in thesky and told. “It is better that you created me not, than leavingme as a loser” I went back to bed without much thoughts and slept.I woke up with the news, the Green Card process which I thought willtake more than 2 and half years have become current, I went back thesame spot where I stood and spoke the words of desperation and saidwith a smile “Sorry I should not have despaired, I never will bedepressed again for what you did not gave and thank you very much”.Later that day I wrote something off my mind.

Hereis what it is.

TheGreatest Lover.

Sing again sing again oh wonderfulbird,
Sing in the tune of my heart where Ihold,
The deepest thoughts about loveacquired,
Where the memories of a sweet heart Icherish.

The trees you rest, Oh’ do they sing toyou back,
The wind that wobbles you in yourflight, did she sing too,
If so give them the tune in the rhythmof my heart,
Sing to them the tune you hear from myheart.

A tune in memories I adore,
A tune composed in the giggles of her,
A tune in the counter point of thelovely notes she whistled,
A tune that gathered me from ascattered lot,
And gave meanings to everything inpast, present,
And in future may come.

Fly as far away for your daily life,
I still will feed you in my gratitude,
Oh’ but when the light turn golden,
Sing to me again that lovely song,
As love I felt from her, in my mindwrote,
Words of love dipped in the twilightsof her day,
Leaving me to hear you, with justmemories,
Of a handful days that passed in whichshe wrote,
“The silhouette of yours in my soul Ialways will keep,
Even when dark days fill in my life Isure will not weep,
As with your love in the little time wespent you shown,
The worth of a lifetime, and gavehappiness of lifetimes,
And bright indeed will be my soul as itspreads,
My love for you in here and toeternity.”

It is her you feel O bird in the tuneyou hear,
So sing again in celebration of thehappiness she left,
As one of the greatest lover humanityever known.


This is the video of a hindi song. This situation of this song is really sad. From the movie Muqaddar Ka Sikander which came out in the early 80s . The situation of this song is, the actor (Amitab Bachen) when he was young was  a servant at the house of wealthy girl. They reall liked each other, but her wealthy father kicks him out of house on her birthday and he couldn’t give her the gift he bought for her as he was not allowed inside the house. On her birthday she sings a song.. “Oh’ my dear friend, without you, there is no life” As a young kid with his younger sister he ends up in the streets of Bombay. From the footpath he becomes a very rich man in Bombay. The wealthy man loses his wealth and dies and his daughter(the girls whom he liked) was left with nothing. He couldn’t find her at all. This song is towards the end of the movie when in a function his friend and his friend’s girl friend ask him to sing a song. He sings the same song. “Oh my dear friend, without you there is no life” his friends girlfriend gets stunned hearing the song. She is that girl. The movie got a whole different story line for which to save another friend and save the marriage of this girl Amitab ends up fighting a villan and dies. I loved this song performed by Kishore Kumar with beautiful lyrics. I will try to translate the Hindi lyrics to English with the help of some people who knows Hindi very well. Enjoy the song

A New Summer Pastime.

Summer is a season I hate. I love the freeze of the oldwinter lady. Summer slows me down. Well I really slowed down. You have seen thelesser number of posts. There is enough bad things happened to make medepressed and we are not much into a summer. I wish this season be over and Ican hide myself in a winter coat during my evening walks.

This poem .. Just read it .. I wrote it …. That’s all I cansay about it as it is really the reality I am facing.

ANew Summer Pastime.

With the break of the dark by the light started the day,
No matter how much might darkness shows,    
Like a conquering army to all corners, rays of light filled,
The falling dew blessed the dried out earth,
The singing birds distracted none,
The blooming flowers attracted more than bees,
As empty minds filled with more than the warmth,
Of the clear and bright summer morn.

The winds woke up along with the warmth,
And danced on the lush green grass,
Then climbed on squirrels and went up the trees,
And danced again holding the hands of every leaf.

But not just the might of the light that broke the dark,
Not just the dark of the night that broke in the morn,
Oh’ the dark days of sadness and loneliness fell apart,
As sparkles from those eyes conquered his heart.

Mornings like these passed through minds,
And souls once in depression spent, danced with the wind,
Glory of an emotion in vows celebrated,
And dreams weaved in the darkest days of past,
In the light of love fulfilled as lovers stood hand in hand.

Oh’ this is not just another summer dance,
Fallen and forgotten along with season of fall,
It is the vow of mutual care and love celebrated,
Oh’ watching love indeed is the pleasure of summer fun.
And live in memories blank of a feeling unheard,
And vows untold.

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