sunday sounds

The final cut: Songs that never say goodbye

A long-time columnist bows out.

All good things must come to an end.

This trite truism pertains to everything from a honeymoon to an ice cream cone. The good times eventually do stop rolling.

And such a day has come for Sunday Sounds. Or at least, for my part as your weekly curator, host, evangelist, pracharak, deewana, companion and guide through the sensational music of South Asia and the desi diaspora.

Since the early days of this digital daily I have been granted a free licence to indulge my love of music while hiding behind the mask of a columnist. Such an opportunity is a rare and great gift and one for which I will always be indebted to the editors of Scroll.in.

For two-and-a-half years I have tried to excite readers with the fantastic musical heritage of this region while also promoting the work of musicians of South Asian origin around the world.

Though I have but scratched the surface of this rich endowment, the time has come for me to hand over the excavation to others.

To all the readers of this column I say thank you for coming along for the ride. It has been a privilege to share the fun and grooves with you each week. I will miss being part of your weekend but alas, other projects (some much-delayed) await my attention.

For my last column, I have selected some old favourites from across the Sunday Sounds world. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I have had putting them in front of you.

Nashenas
Choon Nay Ba Nawa Amad

Play

Mohammad Sadiq Fitrat is one of the great living voices in Afghanistan. Known ironically as "Nashenas" or The Unknown One, he has been enthralling audiences for more than half a century. His commanding voice is sonorous and instantly recognisable. Throughout his career, Nashenas has sung Pashtun and Persian folk songs, ghazals and Hindi film songs, which he fell in love with as a child in Raj-era India.

In a majestic performance, Nashenas pays a moving homage to Jalaluddin Rumi, perhaps the most revered and admired Sufi poet in history. Rumi was born in Balkh, in what is now northern Afghanistan, before heading Westwards to Turkey.

The ecstatic chants of “Allah Hu” toward the end of this composition bring to mind Jazz great John Coltrane’s repetition of “A Love Supreme” in the eponymous musical and spiritual tour de force.

AR Rahman
Kadhalenum Thervezhudhi

Play

That I was unable to penetrate the great publicity wall that surrounds AR Rahman, India's famed composer, singer and musician who's also an international face thanks to work on the soundtrack of the movie Slumdog Millionaire and remains one of my few Sunday Sounds frustrations.

While nearly everything Rahman has composed is delightful and worthy of serious attention, I am particularly partial to the scores he has made for Tamil movies. This track from the 1999 movie Kadhalar Dhinam (Valentine's Day) is vintage Rahman – melodious, beautifully layered and as colourful as a Kanchipuram sari. I listen to this song at least once a week just to remember what happiness feels like.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Je Tu Rab Nu Manan

Play

Get a load of the instrumental intro that opens this masterpiece from Pakistan qawwal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. There is enough funk and groove packed into this much-abridged alaap, or opening section (the original cassette version continues for several minutes) to resurrect original soul brother James Brown from the grave.

"Before you make up with God, make up with your lover."

This simple and profound advice is served up in an exciting confection of qawwali hand claps, snappy drumming and Khan's soaring vocals. This is about as close to heaven most of us will get in this life.

Purna Das Baul
Golemal Golemale

Play


Bob Dylan may not have visited India (yet) but he once fancied himself the Baul of America. And on one of his most humorous album covers, for John Wesley Harding, Dylan posed with Purna Das Baul and a fellow Bengali companion. Such is the adventurous spirit of India’s best-known and best-loved Baul. His music is filled with love and longing and there is always that cheeky trace of a smile on his face.

Amanat Ali
Inshaji Utho

Play

From the very moment I heard this song, on a cheap cassette in a bazaar in Rawalpindi, it has remained in my personal top ten. The mood of this song of fate, resignation, acceptance and futility, by the handsome scion of the Patiala gharana, Amanat Ali Khan, is absolutely haunting.

It is said that soon after recording and performing this song, perhaps his most popular, Amanat Ali died. His loss at the age of just 52 left a huge gap in the cultural space of Pakistan. Though his son and brother carried forward the torch, he was a truly unique and gifted artist whose reputation continues to shine down through the decades.

Kishore Kumar
Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna

Play

How credible would a final playlist be without this evergreen classic of Kishore da? And as the lyrics of the famous song go:

Chalte, chalte,
mere yeh geet yaad rakhna,
kabhi alvida na kehna.

Never say goodbye.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Get ready for an 80-hour shopping marathon

Here are some tips that’ll help you take the lead.

Starting 16th July at 4:00pm, Flipkart will be hosting its Big Shopping Days sale over 3 days (till 19th July). This mega online shopping event is just what a sale should be, promising not just the best discounts but also buying options such as no cost EMIs, buyback guarantee and product exchanges. A shopping festival this big, packed with deals that you can’t get yourself to refuse, can get overwhelming. So don’t worry, we’re here to tell you why Big Shopping Days is the only sale you need, with these helpful hints and highlights.

Samsung Galaxy On Nxt (64 GB)

A host of entertainment options, latest security features and a 13 MP rear camera that has mastered light come packed in sleek metal unibody. The sale offers an almost 40% discount on the price. Moreover, there is a buyback guarantee which is part of the deal.

Original price: Rs. 17,900

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Samsung 32 inches HD Ready LED TV

Another blockbuster deal in the sale catalogue is this audio and visual delight. Apart from a discount of 41%, the deal promises no-cost EMIs up to 12 months.

Original price: Rs. 28,890

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Intel Core I3 equipped laptops

These laptops will make a thoughtful college send-off gift or any gift for that matter. Since the festive season is around the corner, you might want to make use of this sale to bring your A-game to family festivities.

Original price: Rs. 25,590

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 21,900

Fashion

If you’ve been planning a mid-year wardrobe refresh, Flipkart’s got you covered. The Big Shopping Days offer 50% to 80% discount on men’s clothing. You can pick from a host of top brands including Adidas and Wrangler.

With more sale hours, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days sale ensures we can spend more time perusing and purchasing these deals. Apart from the above-mentioned products, you can expect up to 80% discount across categories including mobiles, appliances, electronics, fashion, beauty, home and furniture.

Features like blockbuster deals that are refreshed every 8 hours along with a price crash, rush hour deals from 4-6 PM on the starting day and first-time product discounts makes this a shopping experience that will have you exclaiming “Sale ho to aisi! (warna na ho)”

Set your reminders and mark your calendar, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days starts 16th July, 4 PM and end on 19th July. To participate in 80 hours of shopping madness, click here.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Flipkart and not by the Scroll editorial team.