7 comments on “Some Favorite Noor Jehan Film Songs Related to Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (and some other Qalandars too)

  1. Interesting post – I have heard a few of these songs, but not rendered by Noor Jehan. In fact, I am surprised (though why I should be, I don’t know) that Noor Jehan rendered Dam a dam mast qalandar. You have introduced me to a lot of ‘new’ Noor Jehan songs, so thank you.

    And a belated Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and yours, Richard.

  2. Hello, Anu. Thank you for the good words and good wishes. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and yours also!

    It’s great to know that I have introduced you to a lot of new Noor Jehan songs! I think there are at least a few more of these than I posted… Qalandar Noor Jehan; it’s like a whole different sub-genre. :)

  3. Richard, I think you were the one who introduced me to Noor Jahan’s rendition(s) of Laal Meri Pat – prior to that, my abiding memory of the song was in the voice of Runa Laila, whose rendition was wildly popular in India.

    This was so enjoyable. Thank you! And thank you also for clearing up one misconception of mine: I hadn’t realized Jhulelal was supposed to be a different, Hindu, deity. I’d always assumed it was just another name for Laal Shahbaaz Qalandar.

  4. You’re welcome, Madhu. Did I really introduce you to Noor Jehan’s renditions? Once again, I am always happy to do that. :) I do recall your talking about Runa Laila’s version, which I probably did not hear until well after I heard Noor Jehan’s.

    Regarding Jhulelal, yes, that is the Hindu deity, but I don’t think that references to Jhulelal in the songs are meant to be a conscious acknowledgement of the Hindu deity vs. the Sufi saint; Jhulelal is also simply used as an alternative name for Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in a basic sense. I guess people just freely acknowledge that they were the same person – nobody feels a need to hide that. :) That’s my reading of it anyway.

  5. Richard,
    Thanks a lot for this very interesting post. Your affirmative statement that, Mast Qalandar and Jhulelal are the same, confirms what I always thought in my mind.

    Is ‘Jhulelal’ a Hindu deity? This would be quite confusing to a Hindu because if you ask one to name 20, 30, 40 or 50 or any number of deities he can remember, I am sure Jhulelal would not be one of them. Our deities/gods have changed from the Vedic period to the Epics and Puranas. Jhulelal has to be much later than the last of these ancient texts. Let us say by the 4th century, most well-known and popular Hindu deities had acquired name, form, mythology and iconography.

    More correct statement would be Sindhis (it is perhaps more correct to say, ‘especially the Hindu Sindhis’) revere Jhulelal as a God. Sorry for this digression, as that was not the principal theme of your post. And I must also admit I am not an authority on this.


  6. AK,

    You’re welcome, and thanks for your interesting comment with the interesting distinctions that you’re making.

    I have glanced at a few sites discussing the history and significance of Jhulelal. It is all quite complicated. :) Wikipeida refers to Jhulelal as a “Hindu deity” and then declares that Jhulelal is a “the most revered deity of Sindhi Hindus.” You wrote in your comment that Sindhi Hindus “revere Jhuelal as a God” (although if you don’t mind if I nit-pick a little, I think that “god” should be lower-case in this case :) since “God” capitalized usually refers to one single supreme being above all others, not one god among many in a pantheon). But a “god” by most definitions is the same as a deity, so I think maybe it can be said that he is, indeed, a Hindu deity, but just among Sindhis?

    Then there is a site called “Hindu Facts” which says, “For unknown reasons, he is not commonly worshiped by Hindus other than the Sindhi community. Also, he is not mentioned in any Hindu religious texts. The information available is based on folklore.” I think that that pretty much echoes much of what you said – without denying that he could be called a Hindu deity (of sorts).

    This site does say, though, that he is regarded as an incarnation of Varuna, who would qualify as a Hindu deity in the broader sense.

    That site, by the way, is here: https://www.hinduismfacts.org/hindu-gods-and-goddesses/jhulelal/

    There is stuff that it says later that I haven’t tried to understand yet… The writing becomes more confusing, at least to me. And I think the capitalization of “God” on this site is just plain random. :)

    Meanwhile, different sources and different people seem to have different opinions about whether Jhuelal really was Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. I am, indeed, convinced that they were the same person. But I glimpsed a thread somewhere in which someone said, no, they are not historically the same person but Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is considered an incarnation of Jhuelal. Wikipdia just separates the Sindhi Hindu Jhulelal from the Sufi/Muslim Jhelelal and says that Jhulelal is simply an alternate name for Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, and I don’t see a connection made between the Jhulelal of the two different religions. But I think they are ultimately just avoiding that question. :)

    Anyway, I am typing this very late at night in my time zone (which is different from the time zone that appears in the comments), so I better stop there for now!

  7. Richard,
    On God or god you are right. But there was a tradition to capitalise God without necessarily meaning one supreme God. However, I would go along with you.

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