Thursday, March 6, 2008

Material used for Jodhaa Akbar review

While watching Jodhaa Akbar I realised that it was a movie I would really like to review as I had some pre-conceived negative thoughts on it and these changed into positive thoughts immediately after the first few minutes . So then me thinks perhaps a review will help to dispel some of the bad air which seems to enshroud Jodhaa Akbar.

But wonder of wonders I did not have any paper at hand to take notes on, and nobody else seemed to either,so I had improvise and the next thing you know the nachos box which was being shared around amongst our group was flatened and folded out and voila we have a writing surface....

Jodhaa Akbar Review

Review of Jodhaa Akbar

Coming of age, Love between a couple after marriage, Religious tolerance
There are some notes at the end of this review of Jodhaa Akbar about how to know more on the historical aspects of Jodhaa Akbar and also on how one can still witness some of this history.

Caution: I am not a film maker. This review of Jodhaa Akbar is an arm-chair review.

Jodhaa Akbar is about the love which blossoms between a husband and a wife after marriage and how it happens . It is about pernicious court intruge (something which the Mughals did better than anybody else in the world). It is about coming of age and taking up responsibilities and making decisions for one's self. It is about religious tolerance and harmony.

Jodhaa Akbar is not about historical accuracy (the producers make it quite clear with a disclaimer to this effect right at the begining). This movie is not about the magnificense of emperor Akbar (even though Abul Fazl would have his readers believe that his glorious benefactor was the Ever Refulgent Light of the Universe even before being born). In an interview director Ashutosh Gowariker was asked if history was central to Jodhaa Akbar and his reply was "It is not central, but it is not incidental either". And this is exactly how one feels during the movie, the historical aspects are in the frame narrative but they are not the main theme of the Jodhaa Akbar.

Timeline - As per my calculations Jodhaa Akbar's core story talks about events from 1559AD to 1562AD and then ends circa 1566AD. This timeline becomes important later on.

Plot summary - The boy king Abdul Fateh Jalal Ud Deen Muhammad finds himself at the helm of the fast receding Mughal Empire in India and he must find a way to put its stars of fortune back on the path of ascendancy. To this end he takes the help of loyal and not so loyal courtiers, crushes rebellions, enters into marriages of alliance, takes cognizance of the ground realities faced by the common folk of his realm, initiates religious tolerance, dances with boys in skirts on his marriage night, and manages to earn the sobriquet "Akbar".
Okay alright, those dancing boys in skirts were in fact the Sufis and probably the warmest part of the movie, but more of that later. Jodhaa Akbar is well made, pleasing to the senses, and sports some good songs.
Let's talk about the good parts:

Good Stuff, ney GREAT STUFF:

1. Hrithik Roshan-
Yes Sir, Jodhaa Akbar will always be counted amongst Hritik Roshan's finest performances, while thankfully Main Prem(s) Ki Diwani Hoon, and Na Tum Jano Na Hum will be relegated under the carpet forever; at least I hope so. Make no mistakes this is the seminal event of his career. This is his English Patient, his Omkara, his Guru; Jodhaa Akbar has changed the way in which even the staunchest of Hritik Roshan’s critics think of him. The respect and admiration he has earned at being able to do justice to a serious role in Jodhaa Akbar will spill over to the whatever other projects he may undertake from now on. Even those who did not understand half of the dialogues due to the slightly Persianised Urdu came out of the cinema halls happy because of Hrithik's role.

"Ay, Every Inch a King" (sans sacrasm)
Hrithik looks and acts royal. He moves and gestures with regal dignity and blue blood purpose (does that sentence mean anything???). He may never be Emperor Akbar in the minds of some of the more puritanical aficionados of history but he looks, acts, feels emperor-like.
One of my personal grudges with Jodhaa Akbar has always been that there is a lot of difference between the physique of the 5feet 11 inches-muscled-to-the-hilt, chiseled-for-the-Greek-Pantheon Hrithik Roshan and that of the character he plays in this movie, the 5feet 4inches odd barel-chested-stocky-mole-sporting-mongoloid-round faced- frame of emperor Akbar. The Lord knows Prithiviraj Kapoor is always going to remain in my mind as the pot bellied Akbar just as any mention of Moses, Judah Ben Hur or any Israelite for that matter conjures up a torrential flood of Biblical proportions in the form of a bearded Charles Heston, clothed in coarse fabric, flinging down God's commandments engraved in stone, from far atop a mountain on the unbelievers, with dark skies and lightening in the background....okay I went too far I know. Sorry. But you get the idea and if you don't here's them photos an'all to help y'all:
= Zill-e-Ilahi, Badshah Salaamat, Jahanpanha-e-Aalm

= Sex on Toast

One look at the excited and ultra positive reception Hrithik has received in the minds of movie goers and you realise immediately that Hrithik has created and cemmented a new youthfull image of Akbar. And another things is that the younger generations seem to identify more closely with Hrithik Akabr than Prithivi Akbar.

Jodhaa Akbar makes liberal use of slightly Persianised Urdu words and Hrithik's Urdu/Persian pronunciation is perfect. Speakers of Hindustani and Urdu would know that in these languages there is a distinction between the sounds "g" and "gh" as in "gana" (song) and "ghareeb" (poor) and also the same is the case with "k" and "q" as in "kaam" (work/task) and "qalam" (pen) and Hrithik Akbar hits both the "gh" and "q" perfectly. Even his intonation is very purposeful. "Ma Shaa Allah Roshan Sahab" is all I can say for his Urdu diction. Me impressed.

Powerful, gentle, ecstatic, sad...all done well. There are shades of his earlier movies in many dialogues but he's doing fine. Also look at intro paragraph above.

2. Camera Work -
Jodhaa Akbar boasts of some pretty good camera work throughout the movie. The technical standards of Indian cinemas keep rising with every new production and Jodhaa Akbar has raised bar a bit further in this respect.

Angles are utilized to great effect; in fact the wide angles have been used with great frequency often to show not only the character but also to highlight the work done by the art direction team. This adds to the "feel" of the times immensely though on one or two occasions I felt that close ups of the actors would have been better.
The camera angles used in the long shots for all the battle scenes, be they ultra tele-shots of the cavalry approaching the battle ground or top down shots of the troop formations or even shots of infantry running in to clash with the opposition all have been executed with a certain degree of mastery. Though on one occasion somebody did remark that it all looked like screenshots from Age of Empires and that is the honest truth as far as the battle views from top of the hills are concerned but let it not distract us too much from the fact that the work is well done. The hand to hand combat scene between Akbar and Shareef Ud Deen is top notch even if it seems to borrow heavily from Troy in the first few moments.

Use of Screens
Throughout the movie one can experience a sense of mystery and excitement created by use of curtains, marble screens, fine translucent muslins, and jaali work objects placed between the camera and the actor in question. And all such shots add significantly to the experience, though bad lighting or wrong positioning could have easily ruined most of these shots but then they've pulled it off well.

Must see scenes:
(some of these can be seen on the official website, check under trailors.)
(Not in any order of precendence)

1. Akbar Hrithik standing next to tree in Mo'eein Ud Deen Chisti's dargah - This will always be one of my favourite scenes ever. This is the last shot of this scene. Low camera angle showing a larger than life Akbar (do I hear Orson Welles chuckling at back). Emperor Akbar in simple clothes with a pilgrim's scarf on his head, standing in front of a balding tree with white ground and a clear blue sky framing most of the visible background. Even the opening shot of this scene which shows Akbar in supplication at the dargah is a pretty nice shot especially the way the camera comes in...

2. Morning shot of Jodhaa Aish coming out of her room onto the balcony of Amer fort for the last time with pigeons on the balcony. The soft light with not even a hint of Sunlight is perfect. Great dawn shot. Another good shot of her with pigeons is when she is sitting with the pigeons in Amer on a huge cushion looking lost and lonely( after she has traversed over the Aravallis from Agra back to Amer in a huff).

3. Jodhaa Aish in highly colorful translucent veils especially the yellow coloured veil during Dushera, red coloured veil on marriage night, red coloured veil while serving Rajput food to the inner clique of the court, and green coloured veil right at the end while seated with Akbar. Much of the movies colour riot is in part due to Aishwarya's costumes. Though it's not as great a colour riot as Paheli.

4. Choreography of the song Azeem O Shaan Shehenshah. Circles upon circles upon circles involving hundreds of dancers and they've done it beautifully.

5. Sword fight between Akbar Hrithik and Jodhaa Aish. Ah the chemistry there is close to perfect. In fact it's through scenes like this one that the true romantic aspects of the movie get highlighted. This is where their love blossoms after their marriage. One of my favourite dialogues also takes place here, when Jodhaa Aish almost gains the upper hand over Akbar Hrithik during the sword fight and then Akbar Hrithik is quick to remind her "Malika-i-Hindustan, yeh mat bhooliye ke hum aapke suhag hai."

6. Morning sunrays bouncing off bejeweled mirror in the Khwaab Gah

7. Khawaja Mere Khawaja
See below :)

3. Khawaja Mere Khawaja
The zenith of Jodhaa Akbar

(To see the Correct Lyrics for Khawaja Mere Khawja click here . Most of lyrics available onlin seem to be incorrect. I have given the lyrics in transliterated English as well as in Urdu. I have also given the meaning of the song and some of the Sufi terms used in Khawaja Mere Khawaja.)

Hmm...What can one say? The beauty of this song itself is ineffable. Mesmerizing, touching, deep, soothing, connecting, divine...these are some of the words you may hear when talk about this song. One has to hear it to know what I am talking about. I usually listen to this song on a loop atleast 30 to 40 times in a go. Such is its salubrious effect. It is what I would call as a great Sufi song. The lyrics are sublime, peaceful, and establish camp in your heart before you can say "Walla A R Rehman Sahab". He has done a fantastic job. Khawaja Mere Khawaja will forever be my favourite A R Rehman song. I don’t want to write too much about it because I am sure most would have experienced what I am talking about. And make sure you check out the instrumental version of Khawaja Mere Khawaja which can hold its own in front of the best instrumental compositions ever.
The choreography is good, the dresses may not be historically accurate (leaning more towards the whirling dervishes of Konya,Turkey than the Chistis of Ajmer) but never the less the songs has been shot well. I loved the part when Akbar Hrithik gets up at the end and starts whirling with the Sufi dervishes and I believe many people felt good about this part. It is at that moment that the viewers almost fall in love with the spirituality of Akbar. This really helps bring Akbar to life and to paraphrase Abul Fazl "makes the divine light of the Emperor's love enter our hearts".
Just a little something I would like to add about this song. I think it's a type of Manqabat i Khawaja. Traditionally Sufi Sama' and Qawwali programs have had a sort of warrant of precedence which starts with a Hamad (praise to God), then Na't (praise for the Prophet Muhammad), then Manqabat (praise for Ali) and then Manqabat i Khwaja (praise for the founder of the concerned sufi order). In this case the founder of the Chistiya order in Hindustan being Hazrat Khawaja Mo'een Ud Deen Chisti, the Manqabat is for him and one can hear him being addressed as "Ghareeb Nawaz" (a very very popular epitaph of Hazrat Khawaja Mo'een Ud Deen Chisti). Another very popular epitaph is "Mehbob i Illahi" for Hazart Nizam Ud Deen Auliya one of the greatest Pirs of the Chistiya order.

4. Costumes and Jewllery
The costumes for Akbar (Hrithik Roshan) are the best. Although the costumes for Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) come second, they are a distant second. Sure Akbar does repeat a couple of his costumes but truly such rich work, amazing colours, intricate jacquards, merging embroidery (in the words of a vendor of marriage lenghas from Karol Bagh his clothes have "aaal o'er umboideree jaal"). Best Jewellery obviously for Jodhaa Aish. I loved the peacock necklass she wears in the kitchen scene for the Rajputi Dawat.

Malika –e-Hindustaan all ready to fly off on her honeymoon. Wonder how she’ll negotiate airport security though, hmmmm….

And while speaking of costumes there is a glaring error which I would like to point out. Sonu Sood who plays the role of Suja Mal has been made to don the most ill fitting costumes I have ever seen in a movie. The ungainly creases and bulbous folds all over his costumes give a telling picture of how corners have been cut while making Jodhaa Akbar.
Hrithik Akbar's armour and also most of the horse amour was reasonably authentic.
5. Support Cast
Well this one’s a sitter as far as I am considered. The best supporting role has been played by Ila Arun as Maham Anga. I have been reading books on Akbar for more than a decade now and by now I have a fairly detailed mental picture of Maham Anga. Ila Arun is that very picture. Cunning, scheming, plotting….She’s the Prince of Machiavelli’s Prince. The Mughals were probably the best at Harem intrigue and Maham Anga was the best Mughal in this respect. It took Akbar the Great to bring about the downfall of Maham Anga and Jodhaa Akabr depicts th Ila Arun should definitely be nominated for her portrayal of Maham Anga.
Sonu Sood comes second but he is a distant second. Next to Maham Anga it is Suja Mal who is the most important support character and Sonu Sood should have been metted out more professional treatment. These ill fitting costumes are visible even in the promo shots available on the official site of Jodhaa Akbar.
On the other hand tied with Sonu Sood for second place in the supporting cast is the towering personality of Niktin Dheer who lends his leviathan of a frame to the role of Shareef Ud Deen Hussain. This giant even dwarfs Hrithik Akbar’s presence while both are in the same shot and the hand to hand combat sequence between these two at the end has to be one of the best filmed in Indian cinema. I hope to see more of him in the future.

6. History
Jodhaa Akbar, despite director Ashutosh Gowariker’s claim of history not being central to the movie, has a largely accurate chronological sequence of events. Almost all of the events which one may come across in any standard biography of Akbar till the date of 1562-1564 AD have been depicted in Jodhaa Akbar. Accession of Akbar at the age of 13 years, the Second Battle of Panipat, the forced exile of Bairam Khan to Mecca, Akbar’s visit to Ajmer Shareef (though a very famous incident of Akbar single-handedly slaying a tigress protecting her cubs on his return journey from the Sufi shrine does not find mention), elephant fights, Akbar’s marriage with the daughter of the Rajput king of Amer Bhar Mal (duh...), assassination of Atka Khan by Adham Khan, execution of Adham Khan and Maham Anga’s subsequent death, abolition of the Jizya (the religious tax imposed on the Hindus) by Akbar in early 1564, all find mention in the Jodhaa Akabr. Well done Mr Gowariker.
7. Jash Ne Bahaara
Nice humable tune which absolutely refuses to vacate one's mind and indeed does establish a permanent presence in one's heart.

What’s Not So Great (in no particular order of preference) :

1. Historical Inaccuracies

There are many and they don’t really matter as it’s a love story first and a historical movie second; some of the more glaring ones are listed below:

1. Akbar was NOT assigned the sobriquet Akbar by the people of Agra. There is ample documentary evidence to believe that he was called Akbar from a very early age if not from birth.

2. I have not as yet come across any references to a near fatal assassination attempt on Akbar circa 1564.
15th of Sept 2008 - I have recently come across a reference to an assassination attempt on Akbar in an old book on Delhi's history published in the 1950s. The attempt was made in 1566 in the vicinity of Khair Manzil (a madrasa founded by Maham Anga) near Purana Qila in Delhi (not Agra, hence the movie gets this wrong). The assassin was a Central Asian archer employed by Shareef Ud Deen Hussain and he managed to shoot Akbar in his shoulder, though Akbar, as we all know, survived.
Hence this is not a historical inaccuracy at all and I humbly take back my objection :)

3. There was no significant rebellion (as shown to be headed by Shareef Ud Deen Hussain in Jodhaa Akbar) circa 1564- 1565. In fact the first such rebellion was the Uzbek rebellion in favour of Akbar’s half brother Muhammad Hakim in 1564 followed by two more Uzbek rebellions in subsequent years.

4. Jodhaa – though many of us have Jodhaa Bai as the name of Akbar’s first Rajput wife (and Jahangir’s mother) in our minds and the ASI insists on calling a part of Fateh Pur Sikri as the “Palace of Jodhaa Bai” yet no historian of any significance would use the name Jodhaa for this person. I wonder how much K. Asif’s Mughal- e- Azam has to do with creating this impression in our collective imagination. The controversy may seem a bit senseless to some but it holds immense significance to the Rajputs and hence the ban on the Jodhaa Akbar in Rajisthan and Uttar Pradesh.

5. Rajput honour – There has been quite a lot of criticism that the Rajputs have been shown in a very poor light. Some say that it is unfathomable for a Rajput queen (Jodhaa’s mother) to suggest anything dishonouring the word of husband. Further she is shown suggesting suicide as a course of action to her daughter though this would lead to dishonouring her own kingdom (Amer) and would go contra the safety and security of her own subjects. I do not feel myself to be adequately equipped to reply to this criticism and although a case supporting Ashutosh Gowariker’s interpretation can be made by citing the logic of ‘exceptions always been there’ yet it is not very easy to explain this away.

6. The narration in the beginning of Jodhaa Akbar mentions 1450 AD as the date of commencement of Mughal conquest of Hindustan. By no stretch of imagination is this date correct. If Babur is taken to be the founder of the Mughal dynasty in India then the date has to be 1505 AD at the earliest as that is the year of Babur’s first incursion into India. If however Timur is taken to be founder the date has to be 1398-1399 AD and no later than that. In either case the date of 1450 AD is wrong.

7. Bairam Khan’s very active rebellion against his ward, Akbar, is not shown, instead a possible rebellion by him is only hinted at in the movie.

2. Movie Length and story pace – Though almost everybody has been complaining of the extraordinary length and very slow pace of the Jodhaa Akbar (run time is approximately 3 and a half hours) personally I found the movie to be quite well paced and I cannot see a shorter run time doing justice to the story.

3. Language – Again as above a lot of people have had a problem with the level and frequency of Urdu words employed in Jodhaa Akbar and yet I only see the language as adding to the ambience and “feel” of the setting. To be fair Jodhaa Akbar does sport a lot of “massarrat, mukhaalfat, and mashaqqat” et al but then it’s nothing compared to the very very highly Persianised Urdu used in Razia Sultan (in fact Hema Malini did a pretty decent job with her Urdu diction in that one).

4. Aishwarya Rai – Well she’s okay in Jodhaa’s role, but then that’s about it, she’s okay. Nothing more. Bit of a Guru hangover there perhaps.

5. Suja Mal’s clothes – already discussed in the heading Costumes and Jewellery. Really shoddy work there.

6. Some of the close ups in the shots of the Second Battle of Panipat are poor quality.

7. Gowariker’s Akbar’s personality a shadow of the Akbar of history – Akbar’s penchant for the arts, culture, architecture, the sciences, invention etcetera do not find any mention at all in Jodhaa Akabr, although he had acquired a taste for these at a very early age. This in my mind distances Hrithik Akbar from the real Akbar the most, even more than the disparity in the physical features of the two. Thankfully his religious and spiritual proclivities have been depicted very well throughout Jodhaa Akbar.

The Navratnas / Navratnas Controversy

Finally I must write a little on the criticism of the absence of the Navratnas / Navratanas of Akbar’s court as shown in Jodhaa Akabr. To me this objection seems very naive. The Navratnas were the 9 jewels of Akbar’s court who together with Akbar have long been a firmly established part of Indian folklore. There is criticism to the effect that Jodhaa Akbar does not show any of the Navratanas baring Raja Toda Mal (Akbar’s finance minister played a tad insipidly by Pramod Moutho). However this is where the timeline becomes so important. The story of Jodhaa Akbar ends around 1564 AD and one needs to ask the question “exactly how many of the Navratnas had become a part of the Akbar’s court by 1564-1565AD?” The answer is “not many”. Ashutosh Gowariker could not have shown most of the Navratnas, even if he wanted to, as most of them were not yet a part of the top political echelon of the Mughal court. One must remember that emperor Akbar the Great (along with Ashoka) is the only ruler of India to have been given the title “Great.” One must also remember that Akbar ruled till 1605 AD, that’s almost 50 years of reigning over Hindustan and Jodhaa Akbar shows only about 7 to 9 years of that long drawn out period so how much of the magnificence of Akbar’s life and court can one show in a movie depicting only 1/5th of the total time of his reign. Exactly how much of the “greatness” of emperor Akbar is the director expected to stuff into the script of Jodhaa Akbar? This movie is about the very early political events of Akbar’s career and the love between Jodhaa and Akbar and not about the length and breadth of the vast ocean that was his life.

This movie is worth a watch. Infact in my case it's not worth a watch, not two watches, not even three watches; to satisfy my own viewing-lust and appease certains friends and relatives I will end up watching it alteast four times. Yeah that's right 4 times.

Why did I give 4 and a 1/2 stars and not 5? Because the historian in me refuses to be completely mollified.

Bottom Line: One can see Jodhaa Akbar atleast once, if not for Hritik, if not for the technical mastery....then at least for Khwaja.

How do I get to know more about these guys? I want to read.

If like me movies can sometimes induce you to know about the subject or at least this is what has happened in the case of Jodhaa Akbar then you can refer to the following material to learn about Emperor Akbar, the Mughals, and the history of the time. There are plenty of resources and here is a very brief list of some of them (all in English):

1. Wikipedia on Akbar – A good place to start but lacks adequate quality control and prone to changes without notice
2. Richard Von Garbe – A short but very nice and very panoramic booklet on the life of AKbar written in 1909 but still relevant today. Worth a read. Download for free.
3. Emperors of the Peacock Throne A Early – A great read about the rise and fall of the Mughals with a large portion dedicated to the life of Akbar. Written more like a novel than a history text
4. Peacock Throne Wardemar Hansen – Probably one of the best history books ever. Focuses on the period from the last stages of Akbar’s rule down to Aurangzeb. Rife with tales of harem intrigue, incest, power play, chicanery, blood sugar sex UNPUTDOWNABLE TABLOID OF THE MUGHAL RULE.
5. Jadunath Sarkar’s Fall of the Mughal Empire – The definitive work on this topic. Approaches epic proportions.

If you would like to discuss more on these resources or would like to know about more advanced resources then please email me. I would love to be of help to you.

Where are they now? I want to see.
One can witness some of the history of the movie Jodhaa Akbar with quite a bit of the glory and dazzle intact. Some of the places mentioned below are actually related to events depicted in Jodhaa Akbar.

1. Humayun’s Tomb Delhi – Akbar got it built for his father Humayu at the behest of his mother Hamida Bano Begum (played Punam Sinha ie Ms Satrughan Sinha in Jodhaa Akbar). Many say that it is the proto-type to the Taj Mahal and I would recommend it to all. The tomb and the garden settings around it are the best in Delhi. I could write pages on it.
2. Adham Khan’s Tomb Delhi – Both Adham Khan and Maham Anga are said to be buried here though there is only one cenotaph inside. The tomb itself is in a dilapidated condition and the walls are blanket by graffiti hewed in them by stupid people. But But But why it is important is because it is one of the most unique Mughal tombs as the design is more Lodi-Sayyid-Afghan than Mughal. It’s octagonal a la Isa Khan’s tomb in the Humayun’s Tomb complex and looks a bit like She Shah Suri’s tomb in Sasaram. Perhaps Akbar was so angry at Adham Khan that even after having him executed, by having him thrown him off the roof twice, he did not allow Mughal ideals of architectural perfection to grace Adham Khan’s grave. Also there is a disturbing lack of the ubiquitous Persian Char Bagh found in almost every Mughal tomb.
3. Red Fort Agra - A most beautiful fort. Must see. Most of the movie Jodhaa Akbar features scene setting in this very fort and the Khawb Gah with the huge golden mirror, Bawarchee Khana, Diwan I Aam etcetera can still be seen by visitors.
4. Fateh Pur Sikri –The Mughal enigma. Even contemporary historical records don’t shed much light on why it was abandoned and there are many versions of the story.What is termed as Jodha Bai’s Palace is housed inside this fort as are some of the other well renowned structures such as Buland Darwaza, Salim Chisti’s tomb, Ibadat Khana, Anup Talao, One of my favourite saying is inscribed on the Buland Darwaza and God Wiling I will post something on it very soon.
5. Amer Fort Jaipur – Just like the rest of the monuments in this list, Amer doesn’t need any introductions. Make sure you take the elephant ride from the foot of the hill on which Amer is built all way up into the main central square inside the fort on the top of the hill. The fortified walls which run along the surrounding hills from miles are so beautiful to look at !!! Jodhaa’s scenes in Amer are really well shot. See here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Khawaja Mere Khawaja - Correct Lyrics - English and Urdu with meaning

Here are the CORRECT lyrics to Khawaja Mere Khawaja from Jodhaa Akbar.
To read an extensive review of Jodhaa Akbar and also about some of the historical aspects click here

Most of the lyrics available online for Khawaja Mere Khawaja are wrong. Atleast that's what I feel. Without talking more about them I present what I think are the correct lyrics in Urdu, transliterated English along with the basic meaning. I have also given the basic meaning of certain Sufi terms used in this song.
Khawaja Mere Khawaja

Transliterated English (with meaning of Khawaja Mere Khawaja)
Khawaja Ji - exalted Khawaja
Khawaja Ji x 2
Ya Ghareeb Nawaz - O benefactor of the Poor (also the most popular epitaph of Hzrt Mo'een Ud Deen Chisti)
Ya Ghareeb Nawaz x 2
Ya Mo'een Ud Deen x 2
Ya Khawaja Ji x 4
Khawaja Mere Khawaja - Oh my khwaja
Dil Mein Sama Ja - reside in my heart
Shahon Ka Shah Tu - you are the king of kings
Ali ka Dulara - dearest of Ali
Khawaja Mere Khawaja
Dil Mein Sama Ja
Shahon Ka Shah Tu
Ali ka Dulara
Khawaja Mere Khawaja, Dil Mein Sama Ja x 2
Beqason Ki Taqdeer- the fate of the unfortunate
Tune Hai Sawaaree - has been restored by you
Beqason Ki Taqdeer, Tune Hai Sawaaree
Khawaja Mere Khawaja
Tere Darbar Mein Khawaja- in your court O Khawaja
Noor To Hai Dekhaa - shines the eternal light
Tere Darbar Mein Khawaja - in your court O Khawaja
Sar Jhukatein Hain Auliya - even the nearest to God bow down
Tu Hain Himal* Wali Khawaja - you are the carrier of those nearest to God
Rutaba Hai Pyaraa - your rank is most craved
Chaahane Se Tujhe Ko Khawaja Ji - desiring you is the path
Mustafa Ko Paya - to attaining perfect humanity (Prophet Muhammad)
Khawaja Mere Khawaja
Dil Mein Sama Ja
Shahon Ka Shah Tu
Ali ka Dulara
Mere Pir Ka Sadaqa x 2 - my master's charity
Hai Mere Pir Ka Sadaqa- it is my master's charity
Tera Daaman Hai Thama - i clutch the hem of your robe
Khawaja Ji Talee Har Bala Humaree- our miseries have disappeared
Chhayaa Hai Kumaar Tera - your beneficence wraps all
Jitna Bhi Rashk Karen Be Shak To Kam Hai Mere Khawja - no matter how much jealously your blessings on me may create in others it does not matter
Tere Qadamon Ko Mere Rehnuma Nahin Chhodna Gavara i cannot fathom abandoning your presence
Khawaja Mere Khawaja
Dil Mein Sama Ja
Shahon Ka Shah Tu
Ali ka Dulara
Khawaja Mere Khawaja
Dil Mein Sama Ja
Shahon Ka Shah Tu
Ali ka Dulara
Khawaja Mere Khawaja
Dil Mein Sama Ja
Khawaja Mere Khawaja Dil Mein Sama Ja
Beqason Ki Taqdeer, Tune Hai Sawaaree x 2
Khawaja Mere Khawaja
Dil Mein Sama Ja
Shahon Ka Shah Tu
Ali ka Dulara Khawaja Ji …
*Himal– this word maybe “Unal” or maybe “Himal” or maybe "Hinal" or maybe even something else. It is difficult to ascertain right now.
The following terms / concepts have special import in the Sufi lexicon (Tasawwuf). Please keep in mind that these are very basic, and in some sense simplistic, definitions.

1. Khawaja – A special exalted Sufi master who has attained a very high level in the Sufi heirarchy. Usually a term associated with the founder of a Sufi order and his nominated successors. Eg- Khawaja Mo’een Ud Deen Chisti Ghareeb Nawaz, Khawaja Nizam Ud Deen Auliya Mehboob Illahi, Khawaja Salim Chisti.
2. Sama – Although here “Sama” is the imperative form of the Hindi / Urdu verb “Sama Jana” which means to occupy or reside in something, there is another association which I can establish with the inclusion of this word in the lyrics. Sama is also the word for the mystic trance sessions which Sufis all through the world partake in as a means of coming closer to God. It comes from the Arabic word Sama’ which means sound and these Sama sessions always have music and songs such as Manqabats and Qawalis in them. The lyricist for Khawaja Mere Khawaja may or may not have worked on this line of thought but I do construe a secondary meaning to “Sama” in the song.
3. Ali – Cousin and Son in Law of Prophet Muhammad. Almost all the Sufi Khawajas trace their roots back to Ali and through him to Prophet Muhammad. Khawaja Hazrat Mo’een Ud Deen Chisti has a double relationship with Ali, through two of Ali’s sons: Hasan and Husain.
4. Noor – This is a very important Sufi term. It goes much beyond the concept of physical ‘light’. This is more akin to spiritual light passed on from God to Muhammad to Ali and thence to the various Khawajas who trace their lineage back to Ali.
5. Auliya – Auliya is short for Wali Allah ie Friend of God, a higher Sufi rank.
6. Mustafa – This is another name for Prophet Muhammad and can often be found in Sufi and Islamic devotional poetry.
7. Pir - An exalted Sufi, dervish, mystic, saint, babaji generally.
I could be wrong about many things and I would like to know if I am.

Just a little something I would like to add about this song. I think it's a type of Manqabat i Khawaja. Traditionally Sufi Sama' and Qawwali programs have had a sort of warrant of precedence which starts with a Hamad (praise to God), then Na't (praise for the Prophet Muhammad), then Manqabat (praise for Ali) and then Manqabat i Khwaja (praise for the founder of the concerned sufi order). In this case the founder of the Chistiya order in Hindustan being Hazrat Khawaja Mo'een Ud Deen Chisti, the Manqabat is for him and one can hear him being addressed as "Ghareeb Nawaz" (a very very popular epitaph of Hazrat Khawaja Mo'een Ud Deen Chisti). Another very popular epitaph is "Mehbob i Illahi" for Hazart Nizam Ud Deen Auliya one of the greatest Pirs of the Chistiya order.

Here are the lyrics of Khawaja Mere Khawaja in Urdu:
(if you would like the lyrics in a word document then please email me at and I will email them to you)

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