AR Rahman‘s qawalli numbers have produced fantastic moments of truth for may of us. It is quite evident that these songs are close to his heart; one of the reasons being his name is seen on almost all of them. These songs are unique, perhaps even more than the other impressive compositions of AR Rahman. We are gonna take a close look at some of them and find out what’s special.
Tere Bina – Guru
A romance set on top of a Qawalli composition, Tere Bina is perhaps the most poetically beautiful track from the list. The soul of the song in itself is AR Rahman‘s vocals and Chinmayi‘s occasional lines are hauntingly magnificent. The backup vocals, which also contribute to the chorus hold the song together and give enough freedom for the poetry and AR Rahman‘s nuances. There’s even more magic on screen with Mani Ratnam capturing Abhishek and Aishwarya’s love affair in the best way they would have wanted it.
Ariziyan – Delhi 6
Unlike his other Qawalli songs, Ariziyan doesn’t feature AR Rahman himself. Filling his shoes are the fabulous Javed Ali, who has gone on to become his second-in-command for such songs, and the ever-so-brilliant Kailash Kher. Together, the duo exchange lines between them and sometimes goes together to produce magic. The song reaches out to you demanding your belief, and the experience becomes intoxicating after a few listens. AR Rahman worships the tabla and the harmonium thoughout, but you are never close to getting enough.
Khwaja Mere Khwaja – Jodhaa Akbar
Appearing in a period film, Khwaja Mere Khwaja just had to be pitch perfect and needed to include lyrics that dated back years into the Mughal empire. And AR Rahman‘s effort in this one is seen immediately as you try to comprehend the verses. The lead up to the song with the solo, and the portion that follows with minimal guitars and pianos are breathtaking. Right at the end, the tempo goes up and enables more prominent percussion.
Kun Faya Kun – Rockstar
Most earnest and convincing, AR Rahman latest Qawalli composition from Rockstar is an attribute to the very heritage that represents this particular form of music. He and Javed Ali go hand in hand this time around, with the master standing back alongside the chorus and witnessing the fairy-tale he had brought to life. The highlight of the track appears between the main song in interludes, the first one featuring a wonderful assortment of guitar and the tabla, and the second where Mohit slowly turns into the mood of the song. You can’t stop appreciating the class on display.
Piya Haji Ali – Fiza
One of his oldest Sufi hits, Piya Haji Ali appeared back in 2000. Without bringing in a whole lot of instruments into play, AR Rahman‘s presents variations through percussion and free-flowing lyrics that transcend into the rhythm changing tone and emotion at the same time. It hits some low notes, more than any of his other Sufi songs. Without some of the improvisations from his more recent numbers, the song makes up for a pure conventional Qawalli number. It might have been forgotten by a few, but ardent fans sure know where to look for it.