It’s Spring Again!

Amir Khusro wrote several poems about Basant, a pre-Islamic Panjabi/South Asian/Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of spring by flying kites, wearing yellow, carrying yellow flowers. A legend goes that Amir Khusro’s shaykh, Nizamuddin, was mourning the death of his nephew when Amir Khusro came with a whole Basant procession to cheer him up. Chisti Sufis have celebrated Basant ever since.



Rejoice in the spring, beautiful bride,
Rejoice in the spring today.
Put make-up on your face and lashes
And comb your long hair.
You’re still dead sleep,
Get up, beautiful bride.
Destiny is knocking on your door,
Enjoy this spring, O bride.

A snobbish lady with arrogant looks,
That’s what you are.
The king of Amir, on seeing you,
Will cast glances of love towards you.

The spring is here again,
Rejoice in the spring today.



Aaj basant manaalay suhaagun,
Aaj basant manaalay;
Anjan manjan kar piya mori,
Lambay neher lagaaye;
Tu kya sovay neend ki maasi,
So jaagay teray bhaag, suhaagun,
Aaj basant manalay…..;
Oonchi naar kay oonchay chitvan,
Ayso diyo hai banaaye;
Shaah-e Amir tohay dekhan ko,
Nainon say naina milaaye,
Suhaagun, aaj basant manaalay.


Aaj Rang hai


Translation (of chorus and final section of the qawwal)

What a colour, oh what a colour
Oh beloved, please dye me in yourself;
Dye me in the colour of the spring, beloved;
What a glow, Oh, what a glow.



Main to aiso rang aur nahin dekhi ray
Main to jab dekhun moray sung hai,
Aaj rung hai hey maan rung hai ri.


Mohe apne hi rang mein



Colourful, come dye me in your own hue
You are my lord, Beloved of God
Dye me in your hue.
My scarf, and my love’s turban,
Both need to be dyed in the hue of spring;
Whatever be the price for dyeing, ask for it,
You can have my blossoming youth as payment;
Dye me in your hue.
I have come and fallen at your door step,
For you to protect my honor
You are my Lord, Oh beloved of God,
Dye me in your hue.





Mohay apnay hi rung mein rung lay,
Tu to saaheb mera Mehboob-e-Ilaahi;
Mohay apnay hi rung mein……
Humri chundariya, piyaa ki pagariya,
Woh to donon basanti rung day;
Tu to saaheb mera …….
Jo kuch mangay rung ki rungaai,
Mora joban girvi rakhlay;
Tu to saaheb mera…….
Aan pari darbaar tehaaray,
Mori laaj saram sab rakh lay;
Tu to saaheb mera Mehboob-e-Ilaahi,
Mohay apnay hi rung mein rung lay.




Sakal Bhun (The Yellow Flower)



The yellow flower is blooming in every field,
Mango buds are clicking open, other flowers too;
The koyal chirps from branch to branch,
And the maiden tries on her make-up,
The gardener-girls have brought bouquets.
Colourful flowers of all kinds,
In hands everyone’s bringing;
But the colour-lover, who had promised to come
To Nizamuddin’s house in spring,
Hasn’t turned up – its been years.
The yellow flower is blooming in every field.


Sakal bun phool rahi sarson,
Sakal bun phool rahi…..
Umbva phutay, tesu phulay, koyal bolay daar daar,
Aur gori karat singaar,
Malaniyan gadhwa lay aayin karson,
Sakal bun phool rahi…..
Tarah tarah kay phool lagaaye,
Lay gadhwa haathan mein aaye.
Nijamudin kay darwazay par,
Aawan keh gaye aashaq rung,
Aur beet gaye barson.
Sakal bun phool rahi sarson.






another beautiful song by Amir Khusro in the same Raag Bahar (springtime mode):

Hazrat Khwaja sung khayliye Dhamal



Let us play Dhamal with Hazrat Khwaja,
Everyone dresses up, the twenty two saints have come,
So let us play Dhamal;
Give respect to our exalted Messenger.
We celebrate spring for you, Oh Arab friend.
Keep the colourful spirit alive for ever.
Let us play Dhamal with Hazrat Khwaja.

(Dhamal could be a song or a musical genre that aroused ecstasy amongst the Sufis. It was usually performed at special occasions such as Basant.)




Hajrat khaja sung khailiye dhamal,
Hajrat khaja sung…….
Baais khaja mil bun bun aaye,
Taamay hajrat Rasool saheb-e jamaal
Hajrat khaja sung khailiye…….
Arab yaar tori basant manaayo,
Sadaa rakhiyo laal gulaal…..
Hajrat khaja sung khailiye dhamal.






Mughal Floral Miniature mughal_flower_aa63