I have never before just sucked up another person’s blog post and copied it to my own. But when the brilliantly bright Musab informed his friends that he was moving to Bahawalpur in southern Punjab for the next phase of his life and posted a selection of Saraiki songs I knew I would have to steal it. I of course asked for, and got his permission, and so we share with you tonight a collection called Bahawalpur Blues.
Bahawalpur is an old desert city. The desert it sits on top of like a crown is the Cholistan, a vast ocean of sand that runs across the border into India where it becomes the Thar. To the south it moves its aridity into the very sparse lands of northern Sindh. Here, millennia earlier some of the great cities of the world, Harappa, in particular, showed off some of man’s first urban genius.
The locals call the desert Rohi. Could that be a local variation of roohi, which in Urdu means, spiritual? Don’t know. But this is a spectacularly spiritual place. Like the vast outback in Australia Rohi is a place where life is harsh and unforgiving and the unprepared soul can wither away and become lost. But it is also a place of salvation as all asetics know.
So enter if you will a magical place where the pace and patterns of life have truly changed little in 1000 years.
01 Aawas Mandre Kol [Abida Parveen]
02 Hik Hay Hik Hay (Baba Ghulam Farid) [Hamid Ali Bela]
03 Peelo pakkiyan ne [Hussain Bakhsh Dhadi]
04 Aj Waal Firaq [Zahida Parveen]
05 Rohi [Pathane Khan]
06 Shah ranjha albaila [Mohammad Jumman]
07 Na Mar Naina De Teer [Taj Multani]
08 Neenh Ta Awalrra [Iqbal Bano]
09 Ishq Anookari Peer [Ustad Nazakhat &Ustad Salamat Ali Khan]