Ranjha JogiRa - The Ascetic Lover (Voice & Harmonium)

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The Ascetic Lover

After a really long break from music, I returned this morning to revisit a composition I did almost 20 years ago for Sabiha Sumar's Khamosh Paani. The voice was a bit edgy and brittle and showed signs of prolonged musical disuse. The emotion, perhaps, was somewhat Although this composition remained unused in the film, it kept returning to me as my emotional bond to Baba Bulle Shah's Ranjha JogiRa with which my poem is in a dialogue of a faltering disciple with his

Ranjha (the beloved divine) had come disguised as a Jogi (ascetic)
He had come from afar, a dark curling tress and a face full of reflection
His body was as if bathed in moonlight.
He set up the sacred bonfire and had me mesmerized.
It was a nightly forest and the stars were shimmering in the distance
Nightly forest it was where Ranjha set up his little tent in transience
O Heer (the woman who is in love with Ranjha) what good deeds he must have earned
Ranjha, the ascetic stepped into the Black Garden (the Garden of Desire)
The moonlight peered through the foliage here and there
How his face was so luminous, aglow it was in layers of darkness
Whence had that bit of light come about.
My beloved had come disguised as an ascetic.

Poem, composition, Vocal & Tr Madan Gopal Singh
Photos from Monica Dawar, Moti & Suman Kashyap, PD Singh
Recorded at home amidst virtual lock-down.
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