Saturday, February 12, 2005

Abida sings Sultan Bahu

Hazrat Sultanul Arafin Haq Bahu Rehmatullah (Times Music)

There are few auditory experiences as moving as listening to Begum Abida Parveen sing Sufi poetry. Her melodious voice rises to a crescendo, elevating you to a spiritual domain. This transformation is all the more strong if lyrics are of an acknowledged master like Hazrat Sultan Bahu. The Punjabi poetry of the Sufi saint of the later Mughal period is the ultimate in spiritual fervour and passionate expression.

Here the two come together in this collectors’ item. Those who have heard Abida know that when she sings time stands still. Here she is given full flow because the cassette has only three tracks.

This is not singing but living conversation with one’s beloved which she carries out through a free flow of emotions. There is immense depth and beauty in every word. Some of them may be a little difficult for non-Punjabi speaking listeners but Abida renders them with so much feeling that you can somehow perceive the meaning.

The album opens with Ae tann mera chashma hove, main murshid vekh na rajjan hu (if my body were made of eyes, every eye would gaze at my Lord). The best is reserved for the end: Ho ji maula ho miyaan … Alaf Allah chambe di booti mere murshid mann vich laayi hu (Oh my Lord, the seed of your love is planted within my heart and nurtured with Holy Water).

Music accompanying these compositions is a treat for the ears. Particularly mesmerising is Bulbul Tarang, an instrument rarely heard these days. That is not to forget the flute of Rakesh Chaurasia and the sarangi of Dilshad Khan.

The music arrangement for the album has been done by Bhavdeep Jaipurwale.


Vedic Chants to Improve Your Memory and Intellect (Music Today)

There are a large number of people who believe that Vedic chants have a therapeutic effect on the listeners’ body and improve their holistic wellness. If you are one of them, this album is for you.

This is the latest in the series that Music Today has been bringing out in collaboration with Ojas Foundation, the earlier offerings being "Vedic chants for a healthy heart" and "Vedic chants for expectant mothers". According to Tatwamasi Dixit, Vedic scholar and founder of Ojas Foundation, specific mantras that are culled out from the Vedas act as secret weapons in the improvement of the mind.

The mantras on this album have been compiled from the Vedas and Upanishads. — ASC