Sunday ka Funda

I did not learn to cook from her. I did not learn to embroider like her. I did not learn how to keep things in place like her.

She would pack my school tiffin every day with as much care as a gift. She embroidered my ordinary bags and even sandals to make them look different. And, she kept things in place. She still knows where I will find what I have lost. I lose a lot. Have lost quite a bit.

And, yes, there are quite a few errors I make. Quite a few years we were in another city, sitting in the lawn of the hotel, and bumped into one of my old acquaintances. We asked him to join us. He was already with a glass of wine. I ordered a Pina Colada much to her displeasure and within minutes I was blabbering, giving away too much. Without saying a word, she gestured that I pass the drink to her, and she gulped it down. For someone who did not drink, she remained sober!

As I’ve said often, music binds us. Our voices are different, but when we sing together they coalesce in the air. The song I will post today is not an uplifting one. There is a special reason for it. Whenever she sang it, and she had learned it all from Radio Ceylon, as a child I would start crying. Nanima would reprimand her, “Kyon rulaa diya isko (why did you reduce her to tears)?” It is a song where the woman is asking god, “Kya mil gaya Bhagwan mere dil ko dukha ke, armaanon ki nagri mein meri aag laga ke (What did you get by hurting me and turning my land of dreams to ashes)?”

Things are different. Now, when I sing such songs, there are tears in her eyes, especially that couplet from one of my favourite ghazals: "Ghamoun ne baant diya hai yoon aapas mein, ke jaise main koi loota hua khazana tha (Sorrows have distributed me amongst themselves as though I were a booty they had snatched)"

Songs of pathos always convey more than just that. It isn’t about sadness. It is about understanding that there is more than sadness…it is the music of the soul when it has a lump in its throat.

Film: Anmol Ghadi
Singer: Noorjehan
Music: Naushad

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And to show another aspect, here is an old post: Conversations with my mother


  1. I thought you were always a teetotaler :)

  2. I sip, don't swallow :)

    "Always"? It's like never say never. But, you can say I don't, although technically if one has had it then it's done.


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