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