Monday, January 21, 2008

Amazing poetry!
And what an amazing history behind the song!
Not sure how Habib Wali Mohammad discovered this gem in Jalalvi’s poetry, but it is HWM’s musical genius that gave this ghazal the unique composition that made the song an instantaneous hit. And the saturnine music should not be listened to only in HWM’s voice and the harmonium, enjoy sarangi, tabla, and sitar too—in fact the song starts with the sarangi overture that sets the mood of the lyrics to come.
Back in the '80s the message of this ghazal was discovered by MQM and the song became MQM’s unofficial official song. Though later what MQM did to other ethnic groups in Karachi, it should be those victims who should be singing ‘kab mera nasheman ahl e chaman.’
This-he cannot find important information about Ustad Qamar Jalalwi. [Some information in Urdu is available here:
but it would be nice to get it from a credible source.]
Can someone kindly answer a few basic questions (citing credible sources)?
1. Was Ustad Qamar Jalalwi indeed born in the town of Jalali (near Aligarh)? What year?
2. When did he move to Pakistan?
3. Where did he live in Karachi?
4. Who were his intellectual friends?
5. Is it true that Ustad Qamar Jalalwi was not called Ustad because people accepted him as a master Urdu poet; that he was called 'Ustad' because, purportedly, he used to work at a bicycle shop and fixed 'punctures'?
6. How and when did he die?
[Back in 1994, in Karachi, I sought some office help from a young man called Rahbar Jalawi—he claimed to be Qamar Jalalwi’s grandson. At that time I had too many things on my mind and did not get to quiz Rahbar on Qamar Jalawi’s life. A golden opportunity lost!]

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