Ali Sethi’s new song Khabar-e-Tahayyur-e-Ishq released on Saturday and will leave you wanting more.
The lyrics of the songs are from the 18th century poet Siraj Aurangabadi’s famous ghazal, the title of which translates to listen to the confounding story of love.
The song’s music is an original composition of Sethi and Grammy award-winning producer Noah Georgeson. Through it, Sethi explores the mystical wordings of a love poet and aims to achieve greater understanding of its meaning.
The song is melodious and soft, the perfect mix of Georgeson’s mellow tunes and Sethi’s firm vocals. Combined, they take listeners to the land of magic and love.
Right after the release, the singer became a top trend on Twitter as people both praised and critiqued his new song.
“Ali Sethi songs are vintage tea cups held delicately by women in red banarsi saris and gajray in their hair. His songs are young broken men closing cloth covered books after putting dried roses in them. His songs are the first and last touch between two lovers,” one of his fans tweeted.
Ali Sethi deserves all the appreciations. A Living Legend for sure— ♪ (@Ledeadass) January 12, 2020
ali sethi songs are vintage tea cups held delicately by women in red banarsi saris and gajray in their hair. his songs are young broken men closing cloth covered books after putting dried roses in them. his songs are the first and last touch between two lovers.— 🔪 (@stillnotdoingok) January 11, 2020
Khabar -e- tahayuur-e-ishq— Tanzila Anis تَنزِیلَہ اَنِیس 🇮🇳 (@aaliznat) January 12, 2020
Ali Sethi does it again. Makes me cry in The morning I mean. https://t.co/7jmpVosOyr
Others compared the song with its previous versions sung by Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad. They called Sethi’s version “flagrantly off-track”.
Ali Sethi’s take on Siraj Aurangabadi’s ‘Khabar-e-Tahayurr-e-Ishq’ was mellow and well-intended.— duchess difficult (@ladychaos_1) January 12, 2020
But how can anyone be expected to recover from the spell of what Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad have done to make this ghazal larger than life?
I can’t and I certainly don’t want to.
I’m so tired of Pakistani elites—including Ali Sethi—romanticizing a vintage culture they don’t understand and of which they neatly package away the aesthetics, but never experience or can capture the pain, precarity or passion in it https://t.co/8iaQFS6LQn— Iman S. (@karachiiite) January 11, 2020
Prior to its official release, the song was sung by the Sethi and Georgeson at a small concert at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto last year. The concert was a collaboration between the singer-producer duo and Sethi’s professor Dr Ali Asani who teaches Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Culture at Harvard University.
Sethi has credited the professor for helping him understand the true meaning behind these poems and ghazals. He recently thanked him for “shedding light on these mystical dimension of Siraj Aurangabadi’s poem” in an Instagram post.
View this post on Instagram
chali samt-e-ghayb se ik havaa, keh chaman zahoor ka jal gya (‘A sweeping wind came from the invisible world, setting aflame the garden of physical appearances’) —————— magar ek shaakh-e-nihaal-e-gham jisse dil kahein so hari rahi (‘On the branch of the tree of grief, a single bud, let’s call it the heart, remained green’) —————- Is grief a gift? Is loss a kind of gain? And what is that “lone green bud” on the “tree of grief” supposed to signify? My guru Ali Asani — Prof of Indo-Muslim Religion @harvard — sheds light on these mystical dimensions of Siraj Aurangabdi’s famous poem 🖤🖤🖤🖤 #khabare #ghazal #thesecretsofsufipoems #comingsoon #alisethi #aliasani @noahgeorgeson @imranbabur
Khabar-e-Tahayyur-e-Ishq’s music video has been directed by Imran Babur.