In the Himalayas, there lived an infamous bandit named Sultana, who plundered the caravans of rich pilgrims and looted resource-rich monasteries. The very mention of Sultana, it was said, made wealthy men tremble with fear. His unique technique was that he robbed in broad daylight after sending word in advance that he was going to strike.

Once, it seems, he sent word to the abbot, Baba Kalikambliwala, of a monastery called Swarg Ashram that he was going to descend on the ashram with his gang and plunder their treasury at a certain appointed hour. All the members of the monastery were filled with fear. All except the Baba. He had an elaborate lunch made for Sultana and his gang and waited for him on the porch of his cottage.

The bandit came with a gang of six, all armed with swords and guns. As he got off his horse, Baba Kalikambliwala went towards him and welcomed him. He invited him and his gang to sit on the porch, drink water and relax.

Then he handed over the keys to the treasury and said, “You may take what you desire but I don’t want violence and bloodshed. If ever you feel like killing someone, spare everyone and kill me instead. Life and death are the same to me. The police chief of this region is a member of our monastery community. I could have sought his help but then there would have been violence, and lives would have been lost. I want none of that.

“After you have taken all that you wish from the treasury, don’t ride away immediately. I have arranged a feast for you. You and your friends should enjoy the lunch, rest for a while if you are tired, and then go on your way. I have no animosity towards you or any other living creature. Now, do what you feel is best.”

The bandit, having never encountered a man like that, is said to have bowed low, apologized, and instead of plundering the treasury, contributed a small amount of gold coins and left, after profusely thanking the abbot for the sumptuous lunch.

– Excerpted from the autobiography of Mumtaz Ali a.k.a Sri M. He became a yogi after meeting his Himalayan master.
Hindi Lyrics

ना हरम में, ना सुकूँ मिलता है बुतखाने में
चैन मिलता है तो, साक़ी तेरे मैखाने में
झूम, झूम
झूम बराबर झूम शराबी झूम बराबर झूम – ३

काली घटा है, आ आ, मस्त फ़ज़ा है, आ आ
काली घटा है मस्त फ़ज़ा है, ज़ाम उठा कर घूम घूम घूम
झूम बराबर झूम शराबी झूम बराबर झूम – ३
झूम झूम झूम झूम झूम झूम झूम झूम झूम झूम झूम

आज अंगूर की बेटी से मुहौब्बत कर ले
शैख़ साहब की नसीहत से बग़ावत कर ले
इसकी बेटी ने उठा रखी है सर पर दुनिया
ये तो अच्छा हुआ के अँगूर को बेटा ना हुआ
कमसेकम सूरत-ए-साक़ी का नज़ारा कर ले
आके मैख़ाने में जीने का सहारा कर ले
आँख मिलते ही ज़वानी का मज़ा आयेगा
उसको अँगूर के पानी का मज़ा आयेगा

हर नज़र अपनी बसद शौंक गुलाबी कर दे
इतनी पीले के ज़माने को शराबी कर दे
जाम जब सामने आये तो मुकरना कैसा
बात जब पीने की आजाये तो डरना कैसा

धूम मची है, मैख़ाने में
धूम मची है मैख़ाने में तू भी मचा ले धूम धूम धूम
झूम बराबर झूम शराबी झूम बराबर झूम – ३

इसके पीनेसे तबीयत में रवानी आये
इसको बूढ़ा भी जो पीले तो ज़वानी आये
पीने वाले तुझे आजायेगा पीने का मज़ा
इसके हर घूँट में पोशीदा है जीने का मज़ा

बात तो जब है के तू मै का परस्तार बने
तू नज़र ड़ाल दे जिस पर वोह ही मैख़्वार बने
मौसम-ए-गुल में तो पीने का मज़ा आता है
पीने वालों ही को जीने का मज़ा आता है

जाम उठा ले, मुहं से लगा ले
जाम उठाले मुँहं से लगाले मुँह से लगाकर चूम चूम चूम
झूम बराबर झूम शराबी झूम बराबर झूम – ३

जो भी आता है यहाँ पीके मचल जाता है
जब नज़र साक़ी की पड़ती है सम्भल जाता है
आ इधर झूमके साक़ी का लेके नाम उठा
देख वो अब्र उठा तू भी ज़रा ज़ाम उठा
इस क़दर पीले की रग-रग में सुरूर आजाये
कसरत मै से तेरे चेहरे पे नूर आजाये
इसके हर कतरे में नाज़ाँं है निहाँ दरियादिली
इसके पीनेसे अदा होती है इक जिन्दािली

शान से पीले, शान से जीले
शान से पीले शान से जीले घूम नशे में घूम घूम घूम
झूम बराबर झूम शराबी झूम बराबर झूम – ३

Abdul Aziz Kunji Markar (1938 – 1992), best known as Aziz Nazan (हिन्दीअज़ीज़ नाज़ां) is best remembered for singing in the genre known as Qawwali.

He was born in Mumbai to a prominent Malabari (Kerala) muslim family. His family was conservative and did not like music, as it is considered evil in the strict form of Islam. But he was passionate about music and continued it secretly.

He hit success in 1970, with his great hit “jhoom barabar jhoom sharabi” released by Columbia Music Co. In the widely heard “Binaca geet mala” on Radio Ceylon,  this song was number one for several weeks.

Pic: Aziz Nazan on extreme right with Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Kumar and Shashi Kapoor

Learning Music: Early in his life he used to go to the house of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Many greats of the Indian classical music gathered at his house every day. Aziz Nazan learned in their presence.

Since he was from Kerala, his mother tongue was Malayalam, but to sing Qawwali he learned Urdu from a Shair (poet) named Sadiq Nizami and started to write his own poetry.

In 1980 he sang “Chadta sooraj” which became his all time non-filmi great hit. The only other person to sing it was the famous Pakistani singer Mehdi Hasan.

Hindi lyrics with Translation

हुए नामवरबेनिशां कैसे कैसे
ज़मीं खा गयीनौजवान कैसे कैसे

आज जवानी पर इतरानेवाले कल पछतायेगा
चढ़ता सूरज धीरे धीरे ढलता है ढल जायेगा
ढल जायेगा ढल जायेगा

Look, how the once famous have vanished from our memories,
The grave has devoured (what were once) dashing young heroes

Listen you, who are proud of your youth today, you might repent tomorrow,
The sun that is rising now, will slowly but surely set

तू यहाँ मुसाफ़िर है ये सराये फ़ानी है
चार रोज की मेहमां तेरी ज़िन्दगानी है
जुन ज़मीं ज़र ज़ेवर कुछ ना साथ जायेगा
खाली हाथ आया है खाली हाथ जायेगा
जानकर भी अन्जाना बन रहा है दीवाने
अपनी उम्र फ़ानी पर तन रहा है दीवाने
किस कदर तू खोया है इस जहान के मेले मे
तु खुदा को भूला है फंसके इस झमेले मे
आज तक ये देखा है पानेवाले खोता है
ज़िन्दगी को जो समझा ज़िन्दगी पे रोता है
मिटनेवाली दुनिया का ऐतबार करता है
क्या समझ के तू आखिर इसे प्यार करता है
अपनी अपनी फ़िक्रों में
जो भी है वो उलझा है
ज़िन्दगी हक़ीकत में
क्या है कौन समझा है
आज समझले
आज समझले कल ये मौका हाथ तेरे आयेगा
गफ़लत की नींद में सोनेवाले धोखा खायेगा
चढ़ता सूरज धीरे धीरे ढलता है ढल जायेगा
ढल जायेगा ढल जायेगा

You are a traveler here
The taverns enroute are just an illusion
Life is short and your days numbered
Time, fame, wealth, jewellery,
nothing will accompany you
You came empty handed, and empty handed you shall leave
You know this , but remain ignorant O’ fool
You think you will live for long
The way you lose yourself in the worldly carnival
And have forgotten God in this illusory maze
Many have realized (that)
Those who accumulate pelf, will lose it
One who understands this (meaning of life), cries
and laments over wasted opportunities and the vanishing world
Why do you love and crave this?
All those who are engrossed in worry
Have they understood the real meaning of this life?
Understand today and seize the opportunity
If you stay in slumber, you will lose this opportunity
The rising sun will slowly but surely set

मौत ने ज़माने को ये समा दिखा डाला
कैसे कैसे रुस्तम को खाक में मिला डाला
याद रख सिकन्दर के हौसले तो आली थे
जब गया था दुनिया से दोनो हाथ खाली थे
अब ना वो हलाकू है और ना उसके साथी हैं
जंग जो कोरस है और उसके हाथी हैं
कल जो तनके चलते थे अपनी शानशौकत पर
शमा तक नही जलती आज उनकी क़ुरबत पर

Death has taught the world this lesson
Even great warriors have been reduced to dust
Alexander (the great) came with lot of vigour
but when he died, he departed alone
and not with his famed cavalry and elephants
And those who strutted proudly due to fame and wealth,
Today, not a lamp is lit near (their graves)

अदना हो या आला हो
सबको लौट जाना है
मुफ़्हिलिसों का अन्धर का
कब्र ही ठिकाना है
जैसी करनी
जैसी करनी वैसी भरनी आज किया कल पायेगा
सरको उठाकर चलनेवाले एक दिन ठोकर खायेगा
चढ़ता सूरज धीरे धीरे ढलता है ढल जायेगा
ढल जायेगा ढल जायेगा

Whether you are a noble or a commoner
Everyone has to return,
to return finally to the grave
What you sow today,
so you shall reap tomorrow
If you walk with arrogance today,
tomorrow you will bite the dust  
The rising sun will slowly but surely set

मौत सबको आनी है कौन इससे छूटा है
तू फ़ना नही होगा ये खयाल झूठा है
साँस टूटते ही सब रिश्ते टूट जायेंगे
बाप माँ बहन बीवी बच्चे छूट जायेंगे

Death comes to all
for who escaped its grasp?
So banish the thought which is a lie
that you’ll not die 

When your breath leaves
So will your relations –
father, mother, sister, wife, kids, all  

तेरे जितने हैं भाई वक़तका चलन देंगे
छीनकर तेरी दौलत दोही गज़ कफ़न देंगे
जिनको अपना कहता है कब ये तेरे साथी हैं
कब्र है तेरी मंज़िल और ये बराती हैं
ला के कब्र में तुझको उरदा पाक डालेंगे
अपने हाथोंसे तेरे मुँह पे खाक डालेंगे
तेरी सारी उल्फ़त को खाक में मिला देंगे
तेरे चाहनेवाले कल तुझे भुला देंगे
इस लिये ये कहता हूँ खूब सोचले दिल में
क्यूँ फंसाये बैठा है जान अपनी मुश्किल में
कर गुनाहों पे तौबा
आके बस सम्भल जायें
दम का क्या भरोसा है
जाने कब निकल जाये
मुट्ठी बाँधके आनेवाले
मुट्ठी बाँधके आनेवाले हाथ पसारे जायेगा
धन दौलत जागीर से तूने क्या पाया क्या पायेगा

चढ़ता सूरज धीरे धीरे ढलता है ढल जायेगा

All whom you consider ‘Brothers’
Will bide their time,
Snatch all your wealth,
And leave a shroud to cover
Those whom you call your own,
Were they ever your companions?
For your journey’s end is the grave,
And these folks are your procession party.
They will shower petals on your body,
And with their own hands, throw dirt on your face (in the grave)
All your achievements, will dissolve in the mud
And your loved ones will, tomorrow forget you
Which is why listen to me,
Think hard and long
Why have you tangled
your life in this mess?
Give up your sins of the past,
And come back to reality
Come back to reality.
Life is uncertain, for you
never know when your breath ceases
when your breath ceases.
You, who came (in to this world) with fists closed
Will go with your palms open (on death)
Money, wealth, property,
what did you gain and what did you profit (from them)?

The rising sun will slowly but surely set.

Disclaimer:  It’s not easy to translate Urdu and Hindi to English without losing the subtle meaning and nuances that it conveys. Let me know if you have better translation of these lyrics. Thanks.


Faiz Ahmad Faiz, 1911-1984

Faiz was one of Pakistan’s most famous poets, intellectual and a prominent Marxist. In July 1977 General Zia ul Haq seized power in Pakistan through a coup.

Hum Dekhenge was written in Urdu in 1979. It is considered Faiz’s response to General Zia ul Haq’s repressive dictatorship and a critical commentary of Zia’s brand of authoritarian Islam. Faiz ended up being  imprisoned by Zia.

It was then famously sung by Iqbal Bano at a Lahore stadium full of 50,000 people, wearing a black sari in defiance of Zia’s ban on the sari. Zia had banned the sari as an un-Islamic dress, as it was considered an attire of the Hindu India.

Here are the lyrics in Hindi and translation in English.

हम देखेंगे
लाज़िम है कि हम भी देखेंगे
वो दिन के जिसका वादा है

जो लोह-ए-अज़ल में लिख्खा है
जब ज़ुल्म-ओ-सितम के कोह-ए-गरां
रुई की तरह उड़ जाएँगे
हम महक़ूमों के पाँव-तले
ये धरती धड़-धड़ धड़केगी
और अहल-ए-हक़म के सर-ऊपर
जब बिजली कड़-कड़ कड़केगी
जब अर्ज-ए-ख़ुदा के काबे से
सब बुत उठवाए जाएँगे
हम अहल-ए-सफ़ा, मरदूद-ए-हरम
मसनद पे बिठाए जाएँगे
सब ताज उछाले जाएँगे
सब तख़्त गिराए जाएँगे

बस नाम रहेगा अल्लाह का
जो ग़ायब भी है हाज़िर भी
जो मंज़र भी है नाज़िर भी
उट्ठेगा अन-अल-हक़ का नारा
जो मैं भी हूँ और तुम भी हो
और राज़ करेगी खुल्क-ए-ख़ुदा
जो मैं भी हूँ और तुम भी हो

हम देखेंगे

We shall witness
It is certain that we too, shall witness
the day that has been promised
of which has been written on the slate of eternity

When the mountains of torment and tyranny
are blown away like cotton in wind.

Under our feet- the feet of the oppressed-
the earth shall shiver and tremble violently
and lightning will smite the head of our tormentors;

From the abode of God
When those on pedestals will be removed;

Then the faithful we; we who have been barred out of sacred places
will be elevated to our inalienable legacy.

Every crown will be flung,
And all thrones brought down.

Only His name will remain; He
who is both unseen and omnipresent; He
who is both the vision and the beholder.

When the clarion call of ‘I am Truth’
(the truth that is me and the truth that is you)
will ring out, all God’s creatures will rule,
those like me and those like you.

And we shall witness it.

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