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Creative Geniuses At Their Best
May 05, 2011 11:46 AM 9064 Views
(Updated May 05, 2011 11:46 AM)

Compiling a list of top 20 non-filmi ghazals is no mean task; admittedly more so when most of the A-grade ghazals still remain outside the realms of cinema on account of obvious reasons.


However, couldnt resist the temptation to share some of my all time favorites. These ghazals have been shortlisted primarily on the merit of the ghazal itself; followed by its expression by respective singers; and lastly by personal appeal. The usual disclaimer applies - these are my favorites based on what I can recall today. They may change depending on mood and time :-P


Let me start with a bit of Bacchanalia, to set the mood.


(1) Mastana Piye Jaa


Lyrics - Akhtar Shirani


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - Quite the song for getting tipsy. With lines like "Mainoshi ke aadaab se aagah nahin tu, Jis tarah kahe saaqi-e-maikhaana piye ja" and "Maikhane ke hungame hain kuch der ke mehman, hai subah kareeb Akhtar-e-deewana piye jaa", its more hard hitting than the wine.


(2) Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa


Lyrics - Daag Dehlvi


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - One of the most popular ghazals. "Us Mai Se Nahi Matlab, Dil Jis se Ho Begana, Maqasood Hai Us Main Se Dil Hi Mein Jo Khichati Hai"


(3) Dil Me Ek Leher Si Uthi Hai Abhi


Lyrics - Nasir azmi


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - A personal favorite. A song of myriad flavours - melancholia, introspection and redemption. Sample this - "Kuchh to nazuk mizaj hain hum bhi, aur ye chot bhi nayi hai abhi.."


On to Romance - a genre dominated by one Mr Momin Khan Momin.


(4) Woh Jo Hum Me Tum Me Karaar Tha


Lyrics - Momin


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - When it comes to Romantic ghazals that ooze of 'lovelight', nobody beats Momin. "Kabhi hum me tume me bhi chaah thi, kabhi hum se tum se bhi Raah thi, kabhi hum bhi tum se they aashnaa tumhe yaad ho ke na yaad ho..." relives your youthful romance like nothing else does. Best romantic ghazal I've ever heard.


(5) Asar Usko Zara Nahin Hota


Lyrics - Momin


Sung by - Talat Mahmood


Highlights - Galib was willing to trade his entire Deewan for a couplet (Tum mere pass hote ho goya koi doosra nahin hota) in this Ghazal by Momin. Who are we to argue then ? Period.


(6) Ye Na Thi Hamari Kismat


Lyrics - Ghalib


Sung by - Jagjit Singh/Chitra Singh


Highlights - Whether it is "Koi mere dil se pooche tere teer-e-neemkash ko,


ye khalish kahaan se hoti jo jigar ke paar hota" or "Mujhe kya bura tha marna agar ek baar hota", the ghazal is choc a block full of wonderful expressions.


(7) Main Khayaal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka Mujhe Sochta Koi Aur Hai


Lyrics - Ghalib


Sung by - Mehdi Hassan/Ghulam Ali/Jagjit Singh


Highlights - Jahan khyaal hi itna umda ho wahan aur kya kaha jaaye ?


(8) Zehaal-e-miskeen


Lyrics - Khusrau


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - The ghazal is in Persian translated to lingua franca in every succeeding line. "Kise padi hai jo jaa sunave piyare pi ko hamari batiyan"and "Na neend naina na ang chaina na aap aaven na bhejen patiyan". Extremely subtle and well written.


(9) Dil Se Teri Nigaah Jigar Tak Utar Gayi


Lyrics - Ghalib


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - Trademark Asad - "Nazare ne bhi kam kiya wan naqab ka, masti se har nigah tere rukh par bikhar gai..."


Love and sarcasm dont usually go hand in hand but when they do, its Daag Delhvi doing what no one else can:-


(10) Uzr Aane Me Bhi Hai


Lyrics - Daag Dehlvi


Sung by - Mehdi Hassan


Highlights - "Zist se tang ho ae daag to jeete kyon ho, Jaan pyaari bhi nahin, jaan se jaate bhi nahin". Cruelly scathing, even on himself. Best ghazal I've ever heard.


(11) Tumhare Khat Me


Lyrics - Daag Dehlvi


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - "Wo qatl kar ke har kisi se poochte hain, ye kaam kis ne kiya hai ye kaam kis ka tha" and "Raha na dil men woh bedard aur dard raha, muqeem kaun hua hai makaam kis ka tha.."


(12) Yeh Jo Hai Hukm Mere Pass Na Aaye Koi


Lyrics - Daag Dehlvi


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - the matala is vintage Daag - Ye jo hai hukm mere paas na aaye koi, is liye ruuth rahe hain ki manaaye koi and the lines "aapne Daag ko munh bhi na lagaayaa afsos, usko rakhataa thaa kaleje se lagaaye koi" are just as stunning.


Some hard core Philosophy next.


(13) Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi


Lyrics - Ghalib


Sung by - Jagjit Singh


Highlights - Again the entire ghazal is full of some great lines including the matla "Hazaaron khwahishen aisi ke har khwahish pe dam nikle, bohot nikle mere armaan lekin phir bhi kam nikle" and "Khuda ke waaste parda na kaabe se utha zaalim, kahin aisa na ho yahan bhi wohi kaafir sanam nikle"


(14) Sakhtiyan Karta Hoon Dilpar


Lyrics - Iqbal


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - the matla "Sakhtiyan karta hun dil par gair se gaafil hun main. Hai kya acchi kahi, zalim hun main jahil hun main" and the last lines "Dhundhata phirta hun ai Iqbal apne ap ko, aap hi goya musafir aap hi manzil hun main"


(15) Dil Ki Baat Labon Par Laakar


Lyrics - Jalib


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - Woh Jo abhi is rahguzar se chaak gireban guzra hai, use aawaara deewane ko Jalib Jalib kehte hain !


Down to some heart breaking stuff.


(16) Ranjish Hi Sahi


Lyrics - Ahmed Faraz


Sung by - Mehdi Hassan


Highlights - Mehdi Hassan has rendered this ghazal immortal in his inimitable voice. Ranjish hi sahi dil hi dukhaanay kay liyay aa, aa phir say mujhay chhorr kay jaanay kay liyay aa. The way he drags through the last line and the poignant pause has to be heard to be believed. Ab tak dil-e-khushfeham ko tujh say hain ummeedain, ye aakhari shammain bhi bujhaanay kay liye aa...


(17) Zahid Na Keh Buri


Lyrics - Daag Dehlvi


Sung by - Malika Pukhraj


Highlights - Malika has a voice that gives me goosebumps. The entire song is scary but "Meh Boond Bhar Pila Kar Kyoun Hans Raha Hai Saki Bhar Bhar Ke De Ke Aakhir Paimaanay Aadmi Hain..." is the final nail in the coffin. Soul wrenching stuff !


(18) Shaam-E-Firaq Ab Na Poochh


Lyrics - Faiz


Sung by - Ghulam Ali


Highlights - "Dilse to har muwamila karke chale the saaf hum, kenhe me unke saamne baat badal badal gayi".


The caption says 20 ghazals, but I think I'll relegate myself to 18 for now, keeping two slots in hand for glaring omissions which I may have made. Would love to hear about your favorites.


Irshad Irshaad….in advance ;-)


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