Alam and Arif Lohar: Jugni

Posted on June 10, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, People, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Adil Najam

Let me repeat something I wrote last year: Rohail Hyatt’s Coke Studio is one of the best things that has happened to Pakistan music in a long time. Needless to say, I remain a big fan. Arieb Azhar’s Husn-i-Haqiqi is something that still mesmerizes me every time I listen to it: and I listen to it every time I can. The big hit from this year’s (Season 3) Coke Studio is Arif Lohar’s (with Meesha Shafi) singing Jugni: “Alif Allah Chambay di Booti

This is an absolutely captivating song from Coke Studio. In many ways this may be the ultimate Coke Studio song. Like so many other Coke Studio productions, but maybe more than most others this song would just not have happened this way were it not for Rohail Hyatt and Coke Studio. The fusion is not just in the instrumentation, the composition and the set, it is in every sound and every placement of emphasis of the song. It remains Arif Lohar’s song to its core, but it would just not have been the same without Meesha Shafi. For all of this one has to thank Arif, Meesha, and of course Rohail.

But in some ways, we must also thank – and remember – Alam Lohar with this song. I have been meaning to write about Alam Lohar for a long time (and let me say, that I still owe him that post). In essence, Alam Lohar was the ultimate showman. A giant in a generation of great folk artists (here, here, here). And the Jugni was one of his signature songs.

I must confess that I have never ever heard anyone sing the Jungni without Alam Lohar’s (Arif’s father, for those who may bot have guessed) sound track playing at the back of my head. For those who are unfamiliar with the great showmanship of that soundtrack, here is a dusty glimpse. The quality is not that good – one just wonders what Alam Lohar could have done in Coke Studio! – but the mastery is all too evident.

If Alam Lohar was alive today, I am sure he would agree that his son has done him proud!

36 Comments on “Alam and Arif Lohar: Jugni”

  1. Arifa says:
    June 10th, 2010 2:51 pm

    I have become lifelong fan of Arif Lohar after this performance. I looked for his previous work completely loved everything he did in last 20 years. He has been amazing with Jugni, “Ek Phul”, “Naam Moula Naam” and others.

  2. Anwer says:
    June 10th, 2010 2:53 pm

    It is interesting to compare the simplicity of Alam Lohar’s clip with this new one produced with the help of all the modern music production technology. I think Lohar senior still has an upper hand.

  3. Zaheer says:
    June 10th, 2010 4:48 pm

    Excellent. Although I wish it had been Arif Lohar alone maybe with only the chorus.

  4. Vinnie says:
    June 10th, 2010 11:17 pm

    That was a Fantastic episode and I loved it. The chorus made it more lovely to listen and Hats off to Arif Lohar’s singing. Fabulous.

  5. shuaib says:
    June 11th, 2010 1:09 am

    Ver nice but
    I thought Ali zafar and Tufail ahmed sung the same song better than Arif and Meesha.

    I really like Meesha. she has a very strong and powerful voice but on occasions she sounds like a man :-)

  6. AHsn says:
    June 11th, 2010 3:46 am

    I belong to old generation and I still prefer Alam Lohar. His ChamTA music perfectly accompanies the song and his simple body movement conveys the message of the words.

  7. darweesh says:
    June 11th, 2010 5:48 am

    Both Arif and Alam are true representative of real Punjabi culture,both have excellent command on”Sur ,Taal” (vocal cord/rythem)which mostly is missing in all our modern super star singers.
    Indian singers rightly crticise them, but its all commercialization so “sub Chalta hai.”

  8. Imran says:
    June 11th, 2010 6:07 am

    I was wondering why I was feeling uncomfortable and I think AHsn explained it well. With both Arif and Alam Lohar it is clear that they are ‘into’ the words and they are feeling what they are saying. With the girl in the new video it seems she is enjoying the music but not feeling the words. And the less the singer feels the words the less the words do for me.

    I love both versions, but I have been repeat playing the old one for the last one hour now.

    Thanks for posting both.

  9. Lala says:
    June 11th, 2010 6:17 am

    Love the song.
    But I also think that Arieb’s song yesterday was tops.

  10. Mrs. Ashraf says:
    June 11th, 2010 8:19 am

    Nice selection. The future of music in Pakistan is secure. Actually there is some great music happening in Pakistan today. And Coke Studio is great.

  11. nausheen fatima says:
    June 11th, 2010 9:06 am

    simply saying coke studio rocks…listening to the musical compositions you can say that there is a genius behind all this…my personal favourite is noori’s “saari raat jaaga” from the 2nd season. simply amazing!

  12. Waqas says:
    June 11th, 2010 9:30 am
  13. Asim Kaleem says:
    June 11th, 2010 9:51 am

    All the songs in the first episode were awesome but Bibi sanam and Jugni by Arif & Meesha is rocking ………….. what a blend of drums, guitars, ……….. all praise to Rohael …….. Im listening it all day

  14. SJH says:
    June 11th, 2010 5:17 pm

    Very impressive – while the simplicity of Alam Lohar is beautiful and nostalgia-inducing, the new sound from his son and others is remarkably lush. Sometimes modernity adds a new dimension. My test, listen to the audio without the video, really works well for both these songs.

  15. sidhas says:
    June 11th, 2010 7:26 pm

    can someone translate this beautiful naat

  16. Jawed says:
    June 11th, 2010 9:43 pm

    Amazing. I think Coke Studio is doing a tremendous job for Pakistan music.

  17. Umar says:
    June 11th, 2010 9:54 pm

    I have been enjoying both videos. Had never heard the father before, now I know where Arif Lohar gets his magic from.

  18. Dr. Azra .S .Haq says:
    June 12th, 2010 4:28 am

    Coke Studio and its ‘Jugni’ epitomize the culture cancer afflicting the youth of Pakistan. Take the name of the Almighty and His Messenger in vain; take Islam to the discotheque; and make the ‘Niswaan–e Islam’ gyrate and make sexy eyes in public to infiltrate and beguile the soul, mind and psyche of the nation – a far more powerful weapon to enslave a people than any armed invasion.
    Haram prevails in Pakistan.

  19. Nostalgic says:
    June 12th, 2010 4:57 am

    Yes Dr. Haq, haram prevails in Pakistan, haram like the Taliban and the Najdi biddat called Wahabism espoused by haram mongers like the JI… the temptation to add an “i” after haram is overwhelming, but this unfortunately is a family-oriented forum and one must rein oneself in…

    Folk musicians have been taking God’s name (and the Prophet’s, and Ali’s, and the saints’ ) in vain for centuries, and long may they prosper… also Coke Studio isn’t Bolywood (thank God for that) so the only disco element will be Aunty Disco Project’s act…

    The youth’s penchant for beards and burqas and Farhat Hashmis and Zakir Naiks is the real “culture cancer” they are afflicted with… talk about a mid-faith crisis: after centuries of being Muslim, suddenly we aren’t Muslim enough…

    Someone should email the “Niswaan-e-Islam” comment to Meesha Shafi… she will get a kick out of it for sure… if only she really could “infiltrate and beguile the soul, mind and psyche of the nation,” our country would be a happier place than it is…

  20. Lateef says:
    June 12th, 2010 6:14 am

    Wonderful selections, both, but this version from an earlier Coke Studio is also worth listening, but very different treatment

  21. Tahir says:
    June 12th, 2010 6:20 am

    Mubarakbad. You do as proud, as usual.
    I noticed you have also aded the “ATP 4 Years Ago” button on the middle column. I always look at these every day because it is fun to travel back to what we were talking about 1, 2, 3, 4 years ago… sometimes it looks like it was a totally different world then!

  22. Rajesh says:
    June 12th, 2010 6:23 am

    Beutiful music. I do not understand all the words because I do not speak Punjabi, but the sound captures you.

  23. Eidee Man says:
    June 12th, 2010 11:36 am


    nice, funny response.

  24. ShahidnUSA says:
    June 12th, 2010 2:42 pm

    Good music!
    I also liked the Nostalgic response.
    If this was played in the discotheque I would danced to it all night long. If she (the babe) runs(which they normally do) to join me, she would learn that my perfect moves are because of my eastern influence.
    Unfortunately some doctors are not exposed to the real world. What a pity.
    Thank you Allah for giving us an opportunity to loose extra
    calories by dancing.

  25. Nihari says:
    June 12th, 2010 3:00 pm

    @Dr. Haq

    Aapkay comments say aankhon ko thandak aur klaeejay ko sakoon mila

    Thanks God after centuries, our ummah discovered the fine methods of inquisition that only Christian history was proud off for so many years. We are proud of not only inventing various ingenious ways of defining who is muslim and who is not but also to send the other haramis to the place they belong i.e either jahannum or to a political asylum to the place of kaana dajjal that is the western world. Music, respect and self and others, common sense and making life good for others have no place in the land of the pure. They are tools of Shaitan and every good Muslim should try to save him and his family from it…Ameen.

  26. Nostalgic says:
    June 12th, 2010 4:19 pm

    Wow Nihari, you dropped the H-bomb (no, H is not for hydrogen) on a family forum… tip of the hat in your direction, Sir (or Ma’am)…

    I think a change of name for our country is in order: The Thoroughly Unislamic Republic of Pakistan… you see, we are a Kaafir-majority country… Ahmadis are de jurre non-Muslim, Shias de facto, there are whispers in pious Saudi-funded circles about Brelvis and Sufis, and the less said about Sindhis, liberals, leftists, Jiyalas and Meesha Shafi (that fine Dukhtar-e-Islam gone astray) the better… I think together all of us Infidels are a majority still, the Saudi-funded mid-faith crisis among the Fidels (not Castro, fidels as in the opposite of infidel) notwithstanding…

    Can I apply for a liquor permit now?

  27. sidhas says:
    June 12th, 2010 11:26 pm

    yaar Nostalgic & Nihari kamal ka response hai. parh kar maaza agaya.

    lekin aik durkhuwast mein karoon ga wo ye kay, kuch Adab o Aadab ko bhi malhooz rakhnay chaheye.

  28. MQ says:
    June 13th, 2010 1:14 am

    For the first minute or so, I thought it was going to be the standard Arif Lohar performance, but the mood, the rhythm and everything changes the moment the girl in bright lipstick (Meesha?) and the girls in the background join in with the chorus: Jugni ji. Te eh vay Allah waliyan di, te eh vay Nabi Pak di. Jugni ji…

    It’s a delightful song and wonderful performance.

  29. Nostalgic says:
    June 13th, 2010 1:25 pm

    Sidhas, Adab O Adaab are swiftly relegated to the backburner when Dukhtaran-e-Islam gyrate before the eyes and infiltrate and beguile the soul, mind and psyche…

    It is a Yahoodi conspiracy, I tell you… Gumby the drummer and Zoe Viccaji, one of the backing vocalists are both Christian, and Jaffer Zaidi the keyboard player is Shia… coincidence? No! Put two and two together! Also Zaidi is the son of Nayyara Noor, known to gyrate all over the stage in her day… I repeat, all this is no coincidence…

  30. Naseem Malik says:
    June 19th, 2010 12:07 am

    I suggest we leave religion alone… and let it stay pure…as defined, practised and instructed by the Holy Prophet (saws)…because Deen is only as much as can be traced back to him (saws). Let’s not adulterate the pristine purity of Islam with our personal interpretations, interpolations, precepts and practices. There is no music, no singing and no female performers.
    We also tend to wrongly associate Sufis with music. The real Sufis never played or listened to music. Even the Samaa’ in Sufi assemblies was governed by strict principles, some of them being: no music, no singing, no female performer, the recitation to comprise decent/ reverential poetry and be delivered by an adult, male, practising Sufi.

  31. sidhas says:
    June 19th, 2010 3:50 pm

    Finally I got the translation:

    Alif allah chambay di booti, tey meray murshid mann vich lai hoo
    My master has planted the fragrant seed of love in my heart
    Ho nafi uss baat da paani dey kay
    Which flourished with modesty, piety and acceptance of his existence
    Har ragaay harjai hoo
    My God is present in every throbbing pulse
    Ho joog joog jeevay mera murshid sohna
    My spiritual guide is ever-present
    Hathay jissay booti lai ho
    The one who blew life into me
    (chorus # 1)
    Pir meraya jugni ji
    I have the spirit of my guide
    Ae way allah waliyan di jugni ji
    The spirit of all the messengers who brought His message to this Earth
    Ae way nabbi pak di jugni ji
    The spirit of Holy Prophet
    Ae way maula ali wali jugni ji
    The spirit of Ali and his followers
    Ae way meray pir di jugni ji
    The spirit of my saint
    Ae way saaray sabaz di jugni ji
    The spirit of all his words
    Dum gutkoon, dum gutkoon, dum gutkoon, dum gutkun… karay Saeein
    Everytime I think of you God, my heart flutters
    Parhay tay kalma nabi da parhay saeein pir merya
    So recite the kalma whenever I think of God
    (chrous #1 repeat)
    Jugni taar khaeein vich thaal
    O my creation, share whatever you have
    Chad duniya dey janjaal
    Remove yourself from worldly concerns
    Kuch nai nibna bandiya naal
    There is nothing that you can get from other human beings that you can take to the after-life
    Rakhi saabat sidh amaal
    Just keep your actions and intentions pure
    (chorus # 1 repeat)
    Jugni dig payee vich roi
    So absorbed was the creation that she stumbled into a ditch
    Othay ro ro kamli hoi
    There she wailed relentlessly
    Oddi vaath naye lainda koi
    But there was no one who enquired about her
    Tey kalmay binna nai mildi toi
    Remember, there is no salvation for anyone without remembering your creator
    (chorus #1 repeat)
    (chorus # 2)
    Ho wanga charha lo kuriyon
    Put on your bangles, girls
    Meray daata dey darbaar diyan
    Those that you get at your Master’s shrine
    (chorus # 2 repeat)
    Ho naa kar teeya khair piyari
    Daughter, don’t be proud of your youth
    Maan daindiya galaryaan
    Your mother scoffs and scolds you
    Din din talhi juwani jaandi
    That with each passing day, your youth slips by
    Joon sohna puthia lariyaan
    Even gold when put in the furnance moulds itself, there is absolutely no permanence
    Aurat marad, shehzaday sohney
    Women, men are so beautiful
    O moti, O laa lariyaan
    Like pearls, like gems
    Sir da sarfa kar naa jairey
    Those who are not self-absorbed
    Peen prem pya lariyan
    They are the ones who truly love the humanity
    O daatay day darbaan chaa akho
    Whenever you visit the darbar of any saint
    Pawan khair sawa lariyan
    God fulfils all your wishes and showers you with his blessings
    (chorus # 2 repeat)
    O wanga charha lo kuriyon meray daata tey darbar diyan
    Put on your bangles, girls … Those that you get at your Master’s shrines
    O wangha charha lo kuriyon meray daata tey darbar diyan
    Put on your bangles, girls … Those that you get at your Master’s shrines
    (chorus # 2 repeat)
    (chorus # 1 repeat)
    Jugni ji
    Jugni ji
    Jugni ji…

  32. adeel says:
    June 27th, 2010 8:24 am

    This is awesomeness par excellence. :-)

    I came across this only yesterday and have been listening to this over and over. Wonderful work Coke Studio team… especially the lead Arif Lohar and Meesha Shafi.

  33. Watan Aziz says:
    June 29th, 2010 8:24 pm

    Ho mera jugni kandi aye
    Alam Lohar, sucha lohar aye
    Chota Lohar, bara “cute” aye
    Nannay dey yaad dilanda aye
    Alif milLay tae noon aye

    Ho mera jugni kandi aye
    Ho mera jugni kandi aye

    Translation for Punjabi lovers:
    Ho mera jugni kandi aye
    Alam Lohar is true ironsmith
    Young Lohar is very cute
    Reminds me of “Nana”
    And if with “Alif”, then is “Noon”

    Ho mera jugni kandi aye
    Ho mera jugni kandi aye

    Really, Arif Lohar has a very cute and a shy smile. See for yourself.

  34. Aliya says:
    July 19th, 2010 3:20 am

    The season had started so well, specially with this song. But Coke Studio has been going down ever since. Each episode now is worse than before, including the new song by Arif Lohgar this week which was quote bad and an insult to Alam Lohar’s memory. I think now Rohail is overdoing his ‘fusion’ thing.

  35. zeeshan says:
    September 27th, 2010 4:01 am

    i love panjabi song

  36. daveuk says:
    November 10th, 2010 8:46 am

    I was born and bred in the UK. My mother is English and Father from Pakistan. One of the few things he did for me was to make sure I spoke Punjabi and Urdu like a native. Although on a personal level I don’t agree with all the lyrics in the song but the combination of traditional and modern instuments is one of the best I have seen. I have a few comments for some of the earlier posters.

    Dr. Azra .S .Haq
    I wouldn,t call it gyrating, it was just a bit of bopping.

    I’m guessing you’re late teens early twenties on a student visa

    ” It is a Yahoodi conspiracy, I tell you… Gumby the drummer and Zoe Viccaji, one of the backing vocalists are both Christian, and Jaffer Zaidi the keyboard player is Shia… coincidence? No! Put two and two together! Also Zaidi is the son of Nayyara Noor, known to gyrate all over the stage in her day ”

    I don’t think you should point out individuals and their religious persuasions. Yahoodi conspiracy is a term used by us to paste over our own shortcomings. We don’t need Yahoodi conspiracy we are doing quite well ourselves.

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