In Conversation with Parvaaz talking about Baran

I have had a string of Kashmiri posts now, but it came quite by fluke in this order. I am a big Zeb and Haniya fan, some like Biwi Sanam Janam (in Daari), and had Tweeted a while back that someone needs to do this to Kashmiri music too. By this I meant, we needed our own Zeb and Haniya bringing in new influences to existing tunes that are beautiful but also set far back in time. Most of these are also saved as poor recordings from Radio Kashmir and the versions available on the Internet are usually bad. Some covers done by artists like Rasheed Hafiz (who we failed to find time with on our December night) are nice but they largely still stick to the old melodies. Mar00ned Rohit introduced me to Parvaaz and said, “Roz Roz is special”. In conversation with Parvaaz talking about Baran felt oddly familiar. As if the Gods were watching my Twitter feed and decided to hand me a wish.

Parvaaz talking about Baran music
Screenshot via website

Parvaaz music released their first LP called Baran (rain in Persian) with delightful melodies, the one that specifically spoke to me quite obviously came with Kashmiri lyrics thrown in for the right amount of effect. Having said that, just all of the songs in Baran are interesting. Baran is a long track in itself with very interesting pieces including a speech like component combined in with the track. Because Kashmiri in its current format uses so much Persian/ Urdu, the words just made everything sound a tad Kashmiri to me. Parvaaz music is four-piece act comprised of: Khalid Ahmed, Kashif Iqbal, Sachin Banandur and Fidel D’Souza coming together in 2012 as per the stories on their site. Baran, the first full album was released in 2014, the production being entirely crowd-funded. Parvaaz is based in Bangalore.

Roz Roz Boz Myaein Zaar Madano (has had a famous version sung by Ghulam Hassan Sofi – perhaps 1950s Radio Kashmir and Shamima Dev – perhaps 1970s/80s Radio Kashmir) and also parts in Gul Gulshan (Walo Ha Bagawano..) are lyrical gems originally written by Kashmiri poet Mahjoor. I was about to say how Gul Gulshan sounds phenomenal and given the lyrics sounds uplifting and freedom seeking, but I have to admit that once I hear Roz Roz, I tend to play it back on a loop. Somehow it feels like rain that soaks you and reaches through to the hollowness of bones deep within. There’s something exceptional about the voice as well as the composition. It’s almost haunting.

The Parvaaz boys take liberty with the placement of the lyrics and work them around a bit in their version, while the earlier covers have stuck to the original order of verses by Mahjoor.

Roz roz boz myaein zaar madno ( Stay, listen to my torment, my beloved)

Daadiy chaaniy rowum aaram madno ( I’ve lost all my peace with your affliction)

Tchiy ha tchiy chuk balgaar madno ( You are the wrap to the wounds)

Chaaniy pattae rowum laukchaar madno ( I’ve lost my youth after you, my beloved)

Although, the meanings and context changes considerably because of the new order of the verses IMHO. I asked them why, and they said, it was musically aligned so…

In Conversation with Parvaaz talking about Baran

Is it Baran from the movie? How did the name come about?
Parvaaz Music: It is a coincidence that there is a movie by the same name. “Baran” means rain in Persian and we thought it was an apt title as we have had a love/hate relationship with rain over the past year and a half.

Roz Roz spoke to me the most personally. Why did you sing the verses in the order that you choose? Why did you not stick to the original?
Parvaaz Music: We chose to do Roz Roz in that order because it made sense musically and also it’s a part of “Baran”, the 17 minute title track, which we broke into two sections with Roz Roz becoming the first. We like the previous versions of the song but wanted to experiment and see where we could take it. Our whole idea of music is pushing boundaries and breaking norms.

(Mahjoor in his times was known as a revolutionary for Nazms and Ghazal would be so proud)

Is there a specific story on why you chose Roz Roz (I love it but there are a thousand other songs too)?
Parvaaz Music: No specific story. The band started playing a tune which was atmospheric and Khalid started humming the lyrics and it was one of those rare instances when everything just falls into place quickly.

(For you Ipshita, on our how Rock musicians make music conversation 5 years ago 🙂 and what soulful voice you, Khalid Ahmed )

More such Kashmiri songs in the offing? 
Parvaaz Music: Depends. If we get inspired by something we will go ahead. But again, it should make sense musically.

The Mahjoor verses in Gul Gulshan are retained as such without many changes. For this one, I had to get to mother to get a translation because some words just got me thinking without reaching anywhere all by myself :). I decided to put these down also because on my tenth loop I realized I could no longer decide between Gul Gulshan and Roz Roz. Maybe I even like this one more.

Walo ha Baagparvaaz talking about baran musicwano (Come forth, Gardener)
Nov bahaaruk shaan paida kar  (Create the magnificence of  a new spring)

Pholan Gul gath karan Bulbul (The flowers would bloom, with songbirds circling around them )
Tithuy saamaan paida kar (Create things like that )

Chaman varaan, wadaan shabnam (The Garden is desolate, the dew weeps )
Tchatith jamae, pareshaan Gul   (With torn robes, the flowers are distraught…)
Gulan tay bul gulan andar, dubaray jaan paida kar ( Inside those lifeless flowers and songbirds, create a new life again)

Walo ha Baagwaano (Come forth, Gardener) 
Nov bahaaruk shaan paida kar (Create the magnificence of  a new spring)

Pholan Gul gath karan Bulbul (The flowers would bloom, with songbirds circling around them )
Tithuy samaan paida kar (Create things like that )

Gar wuznaawakh basti gulan hunz traav zeerobam   (To awaken this settlement, let go of the soft melody of flowers & songbirds  )
Bunyul kar, Vaav kar,  Gagraay kar , ta baiyi kar toofan paida kar (Create an earthquake, thunder, and then rake up a storm… )

Walo ha Baagwano (Come forth, Gardener)
Nov bahaaruk shaan paida kar  (Create the magnificence of  a new spring)
Pholan Gul gath karan Bulbul (The flowers would bloom, with songbirds circling around them )
Tithuy samaan paida kar (Create things like that )

We were in West Park this weekend, and I said I’d like to go to Nashville, Tennessee, and it was pointed out that I rarely listen to any Western country music these days at all. It is increasingly true of me outside of India. I may write in English, but my heart is set to folk tunes that speak languages that I hear my mother and grandmothers singing. As if they speak to my heart more. Mother was distraught with this tune that didn’t go with the one she remembered and sang. Grandmother had Naseem Akhtar & Raj Begum, mother had Shamima Dev, I think I am going with Parvaaz :).

You can stream the songs perhaps on Saavn and buy them from OKListen and iTunes.

End note:

Balraj Sahni made a movie called Shayar-e-Kashmir, Mahjoor based on the poet’s life, however, I am unable to find the songs or the movie itself anywhere, tips are welcome. My mother wanted me to hear the originals and I could not find them anywhere.

  1. This is a great post. Thank you for writing. The translation to Parvaaz’s Gul Gulshan led me here. My heart is set in folk too.

  2. I loved reading this (I have read this like 3 to 4 times :3 )
    I can’t stop listening to this album.
    And I can’t choose either Roz roz or gul gulshan..
    And thank you for the lyrics makes it even more beautiful..

    If you are interested There is this Pakistani Rock band E.P(Entity Paradigm) their album Irtiqa is pretty much a must listen. Their whole album was based on ‘Insaan’

Comments are closed.