Mekaal Hasan Band

Mekaal Hasan Band

 Lahore, Punjab, PAK
BandWorldRock

The spiritual longing and mystical travails of revered Sufi poets live on in the rock-driven, harmonically complex sound of the Mekaal Hasan Band.MHB builds on Eastern classical music with prog ingenuity, led by guitar, traditional flute (bansuri), and compelling vocals.

Biography

The spiritual longing and mystical travails of revered Sufi poets live on in the rock-driven, harmonically complex sound of Mekaal Hasan Band, a unique international Sufi Rock band which has played major stages in India, Pakistan, Europe and North America, won praise from the American,European and Subcontinental press. 

Featuring musicians of international calibre, MHB builds on Eastern classical music with prog ingenuity, led by guitar, traditional flute (bansuri), and compelling vocals.


Lyrics

Ghungat

Written By: Bulleh Shah,Mekaal Hasan Band

Bulleh Shah (1680 -1757), real name Abdullah Shah, was a Punjabi Sufi poet, a humanist and philosopher, who was born in the small village of Uch, Bahawalpur, Punjab, now in Pakistan.

Ghungat is a Sufi Kaafi by Bulleh Shah

Hide not behind the veil, my love,
I long to have a glimpse of you.

Without my love, I feel lost,
People around me laugh at me.
He should come and cheer me up,
This alone remains my plea,

Hide not behind the veil, my love,
I long to have a glimpse of you.

Your slave is being auctioned free
Come my love and rescue me
No longer can I perch elsewhere
I am the Bulbul of your tree

Hide not behind the veil, my love,
I long to have a glimpse of you.

Ranjha

Written By: Bulleh Shah,Mekaal Hasan Band

Bulleh Shah (1680 -1757), real name Abdullah Shah, was a Punjabi Sufi poet, a humanist and philosopher, who was born in the small village of Uch, Bahawalpur, Punjab, now in Pakistan.
'Ranjha' is a Sufi ‘Kaafi’ written around the folk legends of Heer and Ranjha, the doomed lovers who are betrayed and thereby perish.
Bulleh Shah uses the story of Heer and Ranjha as a means to allude to the devotee’s longing for God’s love and charity.

The lyrics paint a picture of Heer pining for Ranjha and thinking so much of him that she feels that they are one person. In the last verse, Bulleh Shah advises Heer to not be concerned with worldly pursuits since they only lead to pain and Heer, whose family will not let her meet her lover, still implores him to take her to her Ranjha.

Day & night pining for Ranjha (my beloved)

I myself have become Ranjha

You should call me Dhido* Ranjha

No more should I be called Heer.

I am Ranjha and Ranjha's me

No difference remains

I have ceased to exist

He lives in me. He believes in me

O maiden, throw away the white apparel

And put on the Sufi's garb

A blemish is so evident on white but

Never on black

O Bulleh! Take me to Takht Hazara**

For me here there is neither hope, comfort

Or support.

*Dhido was Ranja's real name. Ranjha was the caste, but that's the name that endured

** Takht Hazara was Ranjha's home

Sajan

Written By: Shah Hussain,Mekaal Hasan Band

Shah Hussain (1538 -1599), was a Punjabi Sufi (mystic) poet was born in Lahore (present-day Pakistan).
He is considered a pioneer of the ‘kafi’ (short poems, usually four to ten rhyming lines).

'Sajan' is a Shah Hussain ‘kafi’ that like all spiritual communication, deals at more than one level. In this beautifully written poem the comparison is ostensibly between two lovers but at a spiritual level it is the desire of a mortal to seek a lasting relationship with God.
Shah Hussain talks of the need for a ‘wakeel’ – a mediator, someone who understands and helps. The reference is to the Prophet and seeking his help in finding true salvation. The concluding lyrics refer to Shah Hussain as a ‘fakir’ or mendicant who laments the transitory nature of life on earth and the ultimate reconciliation of man with his destiny.
In treating this deeply spiritual message, MHB has approached the melody like a soft and lilting ballad that tugs at the heartstrings, making us reflect on life and in doing so finding that moment that soothes the soul.

My beloved has my hand in his,

How can I tell him to leave my hand

The night is dark & stormy,

Without a companion I am lost.

He holds my hand so tightly & with such passion-

How can I tell him to leave.

Every day you fill these pots with water

One day you will release me as you release them

Says Hussain, servant of God,

With just a glance you entered my heart.

Jhok Ranjhan (The Beloved's Abode)

Written By: Shah Hussain,Mekaal Hasan Band

Shah Hussain's 'Jhok Ranjhan De Jana' talks of undertaking a journey unaccompanied and finding the inner strength to face the many challenges along the way, while having faith in God and leaving all matters of life and one's soul to Him.

Many Sufi poems deal with the act of travelling to a lover or a destination, with the way being fraught with danger and difficulties. The journey is a metaphor for a spiritual quest and can also serve as a literal journey which one takes when one decides on a path in life.

I want to travel to my beloved's abode

Can someone please accompany me?

Am I to travel all alone

My beloved (Ranjha) is my only healer

Only he is aware of my pain

Yet it seems he doesn't think it necessary

To answer my prayers

Alas, no remedy is at hand.

I want to travel to my beloved's abode

Can someone please accompany me?

But I must travel all alone.

Andholan

Written By: Mekaal Hasan Band

One of the band’s most popular songs, Andholan is a largely instrumental song with a central vocal section. The song features solos from all members and has become a favourite with music fans over the years.

Andholan is an Eastern Classical Term for a style of singing which involves expressive use of 'Meend' or slides from one note to the next in a raag or melody. The word also means 'movement' or 'agitation' or 'revolution' depending on it's context in Hindi

There is no peace without you

I am in agony over memories of you

I spend the nights counting the stars

Your absence pains my heart

And brings suffering to my being

There is no peace without you

I am in agony over memories of you.

Sampooran

Written By: Amir Khusrau,Mekaal Hasan Band

A classical composition based on Raag Aiman, Sampooran is one of the most moving of all Raags. This particular ‘bandish’ is attributed to the legendary Hazrat Amir Khusro (1253-1325), the father of qawwali, an Indian musician, scholar and poet of Persian descent.
MHB’s interpretation of this ‘bandish’ is unique and reflects the band’s ability to give this ageless melody a new dimension. Largely instrumental, the melody is balanced by an improvised ‘alap’.

Waris Shah

Written By: Amrita Pretum,Mekaal Hasan Band

Amrita Pritam (1919-2005) was an Indian writer and poet, considered the first prominent Punjabi woman, poet, novelist, essayist, and the leading 20th-century poet of the Punjabi language with over 100 books to her name. Her poignant poem, Aj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu (Today I invoke Waris Shah) is an elegy addressed to the 18th-century Punjabi Sufi poet, capturing her anguish over the massacres in the Punjab during the Partition of India (1947).

Waris Shah (1722 - 1798) was a Punjabi Sufi poet, born in what is now Pakistan.
He is best-known for his work Heer Ranjha, based on the traditional and tragic folk tale of Heer and her lover Ranjha, considered one of the quintessential works of classical Punjabi literature. He was a consummate artiste, deeply learned in Sufi and local cultural lore. His verse is a treasure-trove of Punjabi phrases, idioms and imagery.

I implore Waris Shah, to speak from

His grave and add a new page to

His book of love

Arise, O friend of the

Afflicted; arise and see the state of

Punjab, corpses strewn on fields and

The Chenab flowing with blood

I implore Waris Shah, to speak from

His grave and add a new page to

His book of love

The flute that was tuned to love is lost

And all have forgotten the ways of love

And humanity

I implore Waris Shah, to speak from

His grave and add a new page to

His book of love

Blood has rained on the soil; the

Graves ooze with blood, the princesses'

Of love now weep in graveyards

Today all have become Quaidos*

Thieves of love and beauty

Where can we find another one like

Waris Shah to write about this calamity?

Waris Shah! I implore you. Speak from your grave and add a new page to your book of love

*Quaido, a maternal uncle of Heer in "Heer Ranjha" the love epic written by Waris Shah, is the villain who betrays the lovers.

Bandeya

Written By: Mekaal Hasan Band

Bandeya is a ‘kafi’ oriented song written by MHB and features a more funk and groove approach to the style of material the band is associated with.
The song also features some departures in terms of sounds and features flute solos laden with guitar based distortion creating a voice which is part sarangi and part guitar.

The world and all it contains is mortal

There is no salvation without compliance

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Status and wealth will not help

Only good deeds will prevail here and

In the hereafter

Your sins will wear you down

And haunt you till the end

The worldly pleasures they are but temporary.

Mahi

Written By: Mekaal Hasan Band

Mahi is a tune written by MHB with shifting tonal centers around the melody.
It also features an intricate time signature (7/8) which makes it a musical challenge for the players.

You are my beloved

You are my life and you are my love

My world exists because of you

You are my peace of mind

You are my beloved

You are in every breath I take

How can I ever forget you my love?

My heart flutters with the very mention

Of your name

You are my beloved

Without you there is no life, only desolation

With you comes spring

With you comes joy and happiness

Raba

Written By: Shah Hussain,Mekaal Hasan Band

Shah Hussain (1538-1599), a renowned Punjabi Sufi poet, is also regarded as a Sufi saint and a great ‘kafi’ master (a Kafi is a refrain with rhymed lines). He wrote some immortal pieces, amongst which is Raba, an invocation to God.

For Mekaal Hasan Band, Raba was first featured on Sampooran, the debut MHB record. The song has a wide fan-following. It inspires great hope in times of difficulty and MHB’s rendition remains well-rooted in creating the right musical ambience for a most lyrical melody that is sung from the heart.

My God, you are my everything, you are everything

Without you, I am but nothing.

My God, you are the keeper of what’s in my heart, you live in my heart,

In my soul, in my very being – you are everywhere,

The keeper of what’s in my heart.

My very being, my reason to be is because of you – only you,

The keeper of what’s in my heart.

Says Hussain who serves the Lord,

You are everything that I am or can be –

The keeper of what’s in my heart.

Sanwal

Written By: Mekaal Hasan Band,Farhat Shah

Sanwal is an original MHB song written around Raag Charokashi. The song has been a favourite on many talent shows in both India and Pakistan and has been one of the most played cover songs on music channels in Pakistan.

O my beloved!

Please come to me

Listen! Can't you hear the wailing

of my soul?

I am forlorn. I am torn

My beloved is nowhere to be found

I have no way of going to him

O my beloved,

Please come to me

Can't you hear me wailing?

Desolate am I

Hanging aimlessly. Neither here nor there

I have lost everything. I have lost it all

O my beloved!

Please come to me.

Ya Ali

Written By: Mekaal Hasan Band,Ustad Salamat Ali Khan

This is a fervent appeal to Hazrat Ali, seeking his intervention in easing the suffering of his devotee.
This invocation is a traditional masterpiece popularised by Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and has been sung in various genres by musicians over the years. It has immense appeal and is usually the finale in the Mekaal Hasan Band’s repertoire. Largely improvised, the band has performed Ya Ali with resounding passion over and over again.

Oh Ali, help me overcome my suffering

Please ease my difficulties

I have been turned down and rejected just because I am poor

Please do not turn me away from your door for the same reason

If you do not bless me, whom will I turn to?

If you do not listen to me whom shall I then seek?

Oh Ali, help me please.

Discography

Mekaal Hasan Band : Sampooran (2007) on EMI-Virgin

Mekaal Hasan Band : Saptak (2010) on EMI-Virgin

Mekaal Hasan Band : Andholan (2014) on Times Music

Albums available on :

CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/MekaalHasanBand

INDIA : https://itunes.apple.com/in/album/andholan/id914577747?uo=4&at=1l3v5zu

USA :   https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/andholan/id914577747?uo=4&at=1l3v5zu

UK   :   https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/andholan/id914577747?uo=4&at=1l3v5zu


Set List

Set List for 2015: Set Length is normally 90 mins to 120 mins.
Songs in no particular order played are:


1. Ghungat

2. Bandeya

3. Ranjha

4. Sayon

5. Chaap Tilak

6. Sanwal

7. Dilamdar Ashique

8. Chu Kunum

9. Andholan

10. Sampooran

11.Ya Ali

12. Jhok Ranjhan

13. Mahi

14. Namidanum

15. Sampooran

16. Chaap Tilak

17. Para Para