19 June 2013

Pakcik Reminisces ( Pt 31 ) – In Sentimental Mood

It was past midnight and I was alone in the house; ‘For once – deserted’ as I wrote on 01-06-13.  On the TV  screen standing hardly two meters away was an Arabic musical programme, and held in one hand was a book, one of Adibah Amin’s. I do not think I was truly concentrating on the book nor the TV programme. Out of a sudden I was startled out of my reverie when a very familiar voice was singing an old favourite. It was the unmistakable Arabic song by none other than the late singer, Farid el Athras ( 1915 – 1974 ).  

“ Ya zahratan fi khayali; raaituha fi fua’di, ( “Oh flower in my imagination that I guarded with my heart and soul”
 The opening line was being repeated several times.

Instantly those lines flew me way back to the days of the early 1950’s when I was struggling with my Arabic, the anticipated passport to my future – the aborted dream of further studies in Egypt. I reckon those days were the beginning of an age when I think most young people go through; I call it the age of romanticism, when one begins to dream and fantasise. The lyrics of some Arabic songs and the like of P Ramlee’s Merak Kayangan and Indonesian keroncong, Bengawan Solo, helped to open the door into my fantasy world. 

In black-and white film Farid el Athras, looking very smart, was singing for a young couple swaying on the dance floor to the rhythm of tango, smooth and graceful. My eyes hardly blinked staring at the screen.


Farid el-Atrash 

 Oh Flower in My Imagination
Oh flower in my imagination that I guarded with my heart and soul

The nights damaged her
And their hands caused her to wilt
And their eyes bothered her
And thus died the magic of her eyelids (meaning her petals perhaps?)

She was my passion, I've lost everything
So I've removed the love from my heart and soul
I've given my chords and my melodies to the ages
I sang to heal my wounds
I am a bird in the hills of art singing for the birds, for the flowers, and for the branches
فريد الأطرش - يا زهرة في خيالي
يا زهرة في خيالي رعيتها في فؤادي
جنت عليها الليالي وأذبلتها الأيادي
و شاغلتها العيون فمات سحر الجفون
يا غرامي كل شيء ضاع منى فنزعت الحب من قلبي و روحي
و وهبت العمر أوتاري و لحني و تغنيت فداويت جروحي
أنا طير في ربى الفن يغنى للطيور للزهور للغصون

Past fleeting scenes came through my mind’s eye with clarity; but they were no more than just scenes of happy moments. It ended with a strange tinge of regret that it all had to have an end.

C’est la vie.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


ahmad humairi said...

السلم عليكم ورحمة الله

C'est la vie!

Lirik nan indah pastinya meruntun kalbu pabila dialun dalam irama dan melodi yang mengasyikkan!!!

Indahnya alam percintaan sehingga menghasilkan bait-bait yang tak terduga :
- Kalau kau burung, aku sangkar,
- Kalau kau bunga, aku tangkai,
- Kalau kau cincin, aku jari, dsb.

Memang seronok untuk kembali ke masa silam......kembalilah untuk ke masa hadapan.

Back to the future - itulah kehidupan!

naniasda said...

As Salam Pakcik,
The only Arab singer that came to my mind was Ummi Kalthum (don't know if you ever hear her sing) and that was because my mother told me whenever her songs was played on the radio in the 60s. You must be watching the ART channel on Astro but pity they don't provide subtitles or else it would be one of my favourite channel. Happy Days Pakcik :)

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
Fancy life caught up with you again. I would love it when it's all nice and nostalgic. Early 50's was way too early for me. Maybe early 60's with the coming of rock-n-roll the on scene.It was fun for teenagers then.Thanks for the memories!


Al-Manar said...

Cikgu Humairi,

Walaikum Salaam.
Kita layari masa lampau untuk menguatkan keyakinan siapa PERANCANG TERAGUNG.

Al-Manar said...


Walaikum Salaam
Ummi Kalthum is the unparralleled female Arabic singer of all time. Her name lives forever in the Arab world. I do not wonder your mother is her fan as well.

ninotaziz said...

The power of a song - and beautiful words.

Al-Manar said...

Dear Hank,

A stage comes in one's life when memories are mainly pleasant or otherwise. Thank God I have more of the former. Perhaps we will see how you express yours in haiku.

Al-Manar said...

Dear Ninot,

Those beautiful words are not mine, unlike those beautiful'hikayats' which have successfullyblaunched you into international circle. Before long you will look back and see the rough paths you have stepped through.

Incidentally, AG is our house guess right now.

School Of Tots said...

Nice posting Tn Al-Manar as always..Assalamualaikum.

Memories as a state of mind link to the past. Depending on the size and capacity, some may have quite a short memory. We can only recall so much. Talking about falling in love or chasing someone to love, should be nice. Those songs certainly bring back memories. How time passing by all this years. What if? aaahh..No need to think of what if anymore. Appreciate life and those memories. It's definitely a big gift from Allah.

SSR will do. SYUKUR atas segala nikmat Allah. SABAR atas segala ujian-NYa. REDHA atas ketentuan-NYa.

Al-Manar said...

School of Tots,

Waalaikum Salaam.
SSR. Yes that will do indeed. What is life without ability to recall past memories? It is hard to imagine; but accepting it as a real possibilty and inevitable is part of our belief in HIS gifts.

Temuk said...

I was able to listen to that lovely song when I copied
فريد الأطرش - يا زهرة في خيالي
from your posting and web-searched it.

The singer was certainly very "hencem", and his voice, so beautiful!

Al-Manar said...


I am pleased to hear that you had managed to web-searched that great Arab singer. He came after the legendary Mohamed Abdul Wahab, our P Ramlee equivalent.

ninotaziz said...

Salam to Sir Awang Goneng if he is still there!