Shah Hussain (1539-94), known more popularly as Lal Hussain, was born in Lahore. He was a sufi in the Qadiri order, prone to expressing his devotion through song, mystical dance and exuberance. Naturally, he had a rough time with some of the elders in Lahore who looked askance at his public repudiation of beards and proclivity to wine. Prince Dara Shikoh’s Hasanat al-`Arifin describes Hussain as being above religion (neither Hindu nor Muslim) along with some other sufi-tastic details on miracles he performed. But it is Hussain’s love for Madho – a Brahmin youth (later converted) – which raised the most eyebrows. The tombs of Madho and Lal Hussain remain a central node in spiritual Lahore.
I pointed earlier to this ka’afi. Thought, I’d reproduce it in full now.
O mother! Who can I ask? Of this pain of separation
The smoky fire of my Murshid, glows red like flowers
When I go near.
Thoughts assault me like pricking thorns. Drive me mad.
A bread of sorrow. A meal of anxiety. My sighs the fire to cook.
In forests, in jungle I wander, seeking never finding, Lal.
Says Hussain Faqir, he is my treasure, yet unseen.
ماۓ ني! ميں کيهنوں اکھاں، درد وچھوڑے دا حال
ُُُُُدهواں دهکهے ميرے مرشد والا، جاں پهولاں تاں لال
سولاں مار ديواني کيتي، برهوں پيا ساڈے خيال
دکهاں دي روٹي، سولاں دا سالن، اهيں دا بالن بال
جنگل بيلے پهراں ڈهونڈيندي اجے نە پايو لال
کهے حسين فقير نمانا، شوە ملے تاں تهيواں نهال
He also has a slightly different version that has this oft reproduced line:
رانجهن رانجهن پهراں ڈهونڈيندي رانجهن ميرے نال
ني ميں کيهنوں اکهاں
I roam looking for Ranjha, Ranjha next to me
O who should I ask?
This particular Kaafi is sung most gorgeously by Abida Parveen (who sings Sufi kalaam [poetry] like few could).
update: I linked to the wrong file. The audio is of Abida Parveen singing Bulleh Shah’s Saday Weray Aaya Kar (Come to my doorstep, Lover, day and night). Still, it does incorporate the above couplet. I will check Bulleh Shah’s kalaam to see if he is the one sampling (it would be early modern sampling) or Abida Parveen. More later.