Break Free

Sufi music.. mesmerizing to the core.

The song Bandeya Ho from Khuda Ke Liye strikes one chord too many today… It speaks about the society’s reaction to Bulleh Shah’s association with his spiritual guru, the eminent Sufi saint, Shah Inayat Qadri. The raised eyebrows were due to Bulleh Shah’s direct descendance from Prophet Muhammad (and hence the honorofic title Sayyid) and his teacher’s Arain agricultural caste.

Bulleh Shah counters by indicating that he would rather denounce his clan than defame his guru. The barriers of clan and caste are man-made and self-destructive indeed…

The KKL version performed by Khawar Jawad and Faiza Mujahid… sung in Saraiki with fusion undertones.


Bullay Noun Samjhawan Ayaan
Bhenaan Tay Bherjaayaan
(Bullay’s sisters and sisters-in-law came to advise him)
Man Lay Bullaya Sada Kaina
Chad Day Pala Araiyaan
(“Listen to us and stop associating with that man of the Araain community”)
Aal Nabi Ulad Nabi Noun
Tu Kyoun Leeka Layaan
(“Why do you insult our tribe the descendants of the Prophet Mohammed”)
Jera Saanoun Syed Saday
Dozakh Milay Sazaiyaan
(Bullay replies: Those that call me a Syed (the tribe of the descendants of the Prophet) will be punished in Hell)
Bandeya ho, Bandeya
Araain Saain Sabi Thaain
(People of Araain and Saain clans are everywhere)
Rab Deeyaan Bay Perwaayaan
(God doesn’t care (about placing them together in this world))
Soniya Paray Hatayaan tay
Khoojiyaan Nay Gal Layaan
(Those that are beautiful (in heart and soul) do not find such differences (in castes), only ugly people do)
Jay Tu Looray Baagh Baharaan
Chakar Ho Ja Araiyaan
(If you desire paradise in the afterlife, become a servant of the Araiyan) (Indicating ‘serve the poor and downtrodden, if you seek heaven’)
Bullay Shah De Zaat Ke Puchni
Shakar Ho ya Razayaan
(Ask not what caste Bullay Shah comes from)

More on Sufism and New Age Spiritualism in posts to come.. I leave you with one of my favorite Bulleh Shah quotes..

I am free, my mind is free,
I am neither a sick person nor a physician
Neither a believer nor an infidel
Nor a mullah or syed
In the fourteen spheres I walk in freedom
I can be imprisoned nowhere.


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