Have you decided your final playlist for Holi yet. Well, don't worry, we're here to help you with our amazing playlist.
Several Sufi couplets, written over the ages, echo the joy and the zest of the festival of colours. Also add them to your Holi playlist this year.
Tuning into iconic Bollywood numbers such as Rang Barse and Hori Khele Raghuveera, to usher in the zeal of Holi has become as much a ritual for many of us, as the festival itself. However, for those looking to add a different musical twist to their Holi celebrations this year, addding some qawwalis to the playlist may be a fresh idea. In fact, several musical programmes, centered around Holi qawwalis are being organised in the city (see box).
Since time immemorial, several qawwalis have been penned qawwalis that speak of a mystical Holi between the Almighty and his worshipper. In fact, colour has been used as a metaphor by the Sufi saints in their kalams to express their profound love for the Almighty. Hazrat Amir Khusro, a disciple of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, is credited for introducing qawwali as a medium to connect with the Almighty, and one of his famous kalams, Aaj Rang Hai Ai Maan, Aaj Rang Hai Rii, in honour of his mentor speaks of colour and joy. “In Sufism words have much deeper meanings, and a lot depends on how one conveys it,” says Nasir Hussain Sabri, a qawal from Bhopal.
Another couplet by Khusro on Holi says, Chal Re Sakhi Holi Khelenge, Khwaja Piya Ke Sang, Jeet Gayi Toh Khwaja Milenge, Hari Toh Sang. Syed Rumman Nizami, a descendant of Hazrat Nizamuddin, says that Khusro’s writings can be divided into four parts — divani (collection of poems), masnavi (poetic form), chutkule paheliyan (phrases and idioms) and qawwali.
Saqlain Nizami, a qawal at Nizamuddin dargah, whose father Ustad Mirza Ahmed Nizami is credited for including Kabir’s dohe and Meera’s bhajan in qawwali, recites another famous kalam on Holi — Shyam Sunder Toh Se Khelungi Holi, Saans Nanad Poche Kaha Laga Itni Der, Khelungi So Holi, So Holi Piya Ki.Qawwalis celebrating Holi have been used in films as well. Mera Murshid Khele Holi, a song penned by Niranjan Iyengar in the film D Day, is such a song. "In the song, I refer to emotions as colours and how God is playing with them," says Niranjan.