Thursday, February 10, 2011

Maili Chadar

Maili Chadar is a heartwarming song written and sung by the late Sri. Hari Om Sharan. He remains one of the most popular bhajan singers in India. His bhajans are straight from the heart, sung without any exaggeration and simplicity. Pandit Jasraj once compared his style of singing to that of a "fakir" (saint).

"Maili Chadar" is one of Hari Om Sharan's most popular bhajans.

This bhajan is a touching description of a devotee's feelings towards God. The lyrics go in the form of a one-to-one conversation between a devotee and the Lord.
Standing at the doorstep of the Lord's chamber, the devotee here draws a comparison between a precious human life as a soiled blanket (maili chaadar) given by God in a pure form, which we, in our quest for materialism, bring it down to a state that we ourselves are ashamed to even stand in God's presence.
With purity in thought, word and action, God sends us into this world. But we tend to forget the very purpose of life and only seek to cultivate vices and emit negativity. What can we sing to Him, when we have broken the strings of this human instrument. What can we garland Him with, when we have just lost and failed in our own eyes?

As a young school-going girl growing up in Bombay, I remember this particular recording used to be my father's favourite, and was played almost every morning. My father, a person ruled more by his heart than the head, would never fail to be moved and would wipe a tear at the end of this song.
This used to be a constant source of amusement for me as a school kid. I realized much later what actually made my father wipe a tear when I actually understood the true meaning of this song and when I started performing it.
At the time of a performance, I would get so involved in the overall feel of the song that it would even make me forget the lyrics :)
This beautiful bhajan has wonderfully worked its charm on both my father and me and I'm sure for most people who have heard it.