Shah Jo Raag fakirs on Coke Studios (video: traditional Pakistani music)

On Sundays, most Pakistanis will turn away from their usual Indian TV consumption and catch Coke Studios on one of the many Pakistani channels that have syndicated it. I blogged about the show last year.

I wanted to share a new song that was in the second episode of the new season. The song is called Moomal Rano. I'm not familiar with the Sindhi poets and singers, so here's the description from the Coke Studios website:

Shah Jo Raag fakirs from Bhit Shah take centre stage with 'Moomal Rano', a sur from Shah Jo Raag Risalo. As they sing and chant 'Moomal Rano', the fakirs also mark a monumental first of collaborating their unique five-stringed dhamboora with western instruments.
The singers are natives to Bhit Shah, an area in the Sindh province that is known for the great poet Abdul Latif Bhithai. The men singing the sur are known as fakirs. The term fakir means many things. In colloquial Urdu, it can be used as a derogatory term for a street beggar. In the best sense, a fakir is someone who dedicated his/her time for the worship of God and lives a fairly ascetic life. From what I'm told, you can catch the fakirs performing at the tomb of Abdul Latif Bhitai.

The sur and translation follow...

O mian, Allah mian...
O God, my Lord


Russ ma russan ghoryo
Even if you are upset with me, I am still willing to lay down my life for you

Chudd raana raida-ee

My lord, speak to me once again

Lapay tij latif chay, kamil khachaie
My lord, forgive your Latif for all his faults and mistakes

Oooooo kar maaf madai
Forgive all the mistakes

Ta sodha sukhiyani theeyaanm mian
I will only be at peace when my Lord will reciprocate my love

O Allah, kar maaf madai
My lord, forgive all my faults

Waee (Vai)

Ao rana ruh raat tunjhi chaangul khay chandan chariyaan
My lord, stay with me tonight and I'll make sure that the Beast (camel) you ride is taken care of as well

Raatiyaan deehaan rooh-a mein tann tunhinjhi taat
My lips move all the time remembering you, be it day or night

Waithi nit niharyaan
I sit, gazing into the distance waiting for your return

Acheen jay pirbhaat
Waiting till the wee hours of the morning

Mookhay aeen mehndra waee tuhjhi waat
It is only the song of your remembrance (waee) that I have on my lips, my Lord

Adyun, Abdul Latif chaee daatar deedum daat
O sisters, the Lord will be forgiving and will shower his blessings on Latif

(Shah Jo Risalo by Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai)

(Lyrics and translation by Mohammad Qasim Maka, professor and director Institute of Sindhology)

Coke Studios


  1. cool, keepin’ us hip with what is fresh in Pakistan culture. love these posts from what is often a forgotten or marginalized part of our world.

  2. Consider my mind blown. Excellent site, I’ve never heard this sort of music other than Page & Plant, this is really different. Fantastic different. The people of Pakistan have good taste.

  3. This is great.. except the bass player. He’s showboating and too loud, and probably should have been playing fretless to better match a non-Western style. Everyone else is playing in a tasteful, minimal style..

  4. As a Pakistani, I am thoroughly embarrassed.

    These were some of the more dreadful noises I’ve heard since some time.

    1. You don’t have to own it any more than I own Britany Spears, but personally I think it’s marvelous.

  5. Thank you for this! I just spent a few hours on the site, and even bought a few albums (Zeb and Haniya are great!)… This is amazing music, and I love the fact that they are sharing all the videos and MP3s etc.

  6. Thank you ! I love this music. Became aware of Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan via Link TV and soon addicted. Funny music for an athiest but then I like Bach too.

  7. When an old and distinguished person speaks to you, listen to him carefully and with respect — but do not believe him. Never put your trust into anything but your own intellect. Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or has lost his hair, no matter whether he is a Nobel laureate — may be wrong. The world progresses, year by year, century by century, as the members of the younger generation find out what was wrong among the things that their elders said. So you must always be skeptical — always think for yourself

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