Traditionally, Sufi music has always been an ode to the Almighty. But through the years, some remarkable artistes have taken Sufi music from its classic milieu to contemporary society to enjoy and appreciate it.
In recent times, artistes such as A R Rahman, Kailash Kher and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan have made this art accessible to today’s generations. Sufiaana is another endeavour in that direction – a five-CD compilation of film and traditional Sufi songs. The songs have been categorised as Sufi Love, Sufi Euphoria, Soulful Sufi, Timeless Sufi and Traditional Sufi.
The first compilation Sufi Love comprises 14 songs, mainly popular film tracks such as Sajdaa from My Name Is Khan, Jashn e bahara from Jodha Akbar, Tere bina from Guru and Teri ore from Singh Is Kinng. But what makes this list truly special is the inclusion of gems such as the highly underrated Bol na halke from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Kavita Seth’s marvellous rendition of Iktara from Wake Up Sid and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s soulful O re piya from Aaja Nachle. The icing on the cake is definitely Kailash Kher’s Saiyyan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Tere bin nahin lagda.
Sufi Euphoria is a compilation of 12 songs including the poignant qawwali Khwaja mere khwaja from Jodha Akbar and the stirring Noor e khuda from My Name is Khan. Other tracks on this list are Ha raham (Aamir), Bandya (Khuda Kay Liye) and Mitwa from KANK.
Two other qawwalis, Noor un ala noor (Meenaxi) and Aaya tere dar par (Veer Zaara) are also on the list. They are sparkling yet, given the intense nature of the compositions, may find limited takers. But the inclusion of average tracks like Dua (Kurbaan) and Zindagi ye (Dil Kabaddi) is slightly disappointing.
Quite a few people felt cheated after watching Wake Up Sid. They were surprised to find a male version of the song Iktara in the film, which was not to be found in its audio CD. That track makes its way into this compilation of 13 beautiful songs aptly titled Soulful Sufi.
Singer Tochi Raina (last heard in Dev D’s Pardesi) does complete justice to Amit Trivedi’s super composition Iktara. That and other marvellous songs like the deliciously mellow Ek lau from Aamir (Shilpa Rao is awesome in this one), Maula mere lele (Chake De India), Ali maula (Kurbaan) and Tu hi haqeeqat (Tum Mile) makes you want to put this compilation on a loop.
But the pick of the lot is undoubtedly Timeless Sufi – Kailash Kher’s Teri deewani and Allah ke bande, Rekha Bharadwaj’s Tere ishq mein, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Afreen afreen and Heer by Sukhwinder Singh. Can’t get better than this!
And that’s not all, Gurus of Peace (A R Rahman & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan), Maula mere maula and Javeda zindagi (OST of Anwar) and two of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s most popular songs, Mann ki lagan (Paap) and Jiya dhadak (Kalyug) find a place on this priceless compilation.
And finally, Traditional Sufi – for all those who like their Sufi music pure! Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Allah hoo, Abida Parveen’s Mast kalandar and Tere ishq nachaaya, Shubha Mudgal’s Bahut rahi babul ghar and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s Man kunto maula feature on this list. Legendary stuff!
Verdict: Highly Recommended!