Patakha Guddi

Composed by AR Rahman, sung by Jyoti and Sultana Nooran


I first heard this song at a school function. A friend had invited me to watch her students perform for their parents. The children mostly took to the stage in groups. And then one girl with a ponytail stood alone nervously in front of the mike as club beats began in the background. All of a sudden, a deep voice boomed and filled the auditorium. The girl sang her way confidently through a song I had never heard but later discovered had been on top of the charts for weeks.

Patakha Guddi, which means a firebrand kite in Punjabi, is a song of freedom. It asks young women to be carefree and adventurous. To soar like a kite, to flow like rainwater, to be the peepal tree that no one can keep inside the house.

Ainve lok laaj ki soch soch ke kyun hai aafat daali

Why tie yourself down by thinking of social conventions

Composed by AR Rahman, with lyrics by Irshad Kamil, an Urdu poet born in Punjab, and sung by the Nooran sisters, Jyoti and Sultana, known best for their powerful Sufi singing, it embodies the best of Punjab’s syncretic spiritual tradition.

Tu le naam Rab da naam Sai ka Ali Ali Ali

Take the name of Rab, of Sai, of Ali

Naach le gali gali, le naam Ali Ali

Dance, dance away, taking the name of Ali