Abdul Kalam Sardar Fakir

Chakramprasad, Murshidabad

Come into my embrace, O Muhammad Kamli-wallah! (Ay re Mohammad Kamli-Wallah, Ayre Amar Bokkhe Aye)

Come into my embrace,
O Muhammad Kamli-wallah!(1)
Your slave beckons you
Bring peace unto my heart!
Bring peace unto my heart!

Fakirs, dervishes and emperors
Came to pluck that flower bud (2), 

Carrying the sack of hope (3) across their shoulder
They reside under the tree.

Come into my embrace…

The moon, the sun, the planets and stars
Djinns, humans and angels—
Keep singing through the day and night—
Of their desire to wear the flower around their neck.

Come into my embrace…

The universe is enchanted with the fragrance of the flower

Happy are those that have found it;
So Rajab (4) cries day and night in desperation

Searching the root of that flower. 

Come into my embrace…

Recorded 2nd May, 2013, at Jalangi, Murshidabad

1) Muslims in India and Pakistan often refer to their prophet as ‘Kamli-wallah’ or ‘Kamle-wallah’ Muhammad, meaning the one with the shawl. The shawl is usually black; hence, sometimes the phrase ‘Kali Kamli-wallah’ (‘the one with the black shawl’) is used. The meaning of the metaphor is varied. A popular interpretation is that the prophet accepts everyone under his shawl/ covering, irrespective of their blackness/ dirt/ sinfulness.
(2) This is likely a reference to the gul-i-paighāmbar or the ‘prophet’s flower,’ ‘rose or flower of the Apostle,’ (i.e. Muhammad). In India, the Muslims commonly refer to the Arnebia echioides (an east-Indian perennial herb having yellow flowers marked with five spots that fade after a few hours) as the ‘prophet's flower,’ both on account of its delightful scent but, more importantly, because the five dark spots on the corolla are said to be those of Muhammad’s fingers. 
(3) The Bengali word can either be āshā (meaning ‘hope’ hence ‘sack of hope’) or āNchlā (meaning the sack which is usually carried by Bauls and Fakirs on their shoulders).
(4) This is likely a reference to the saint of Rajab, who was a highwayman condemned by the prophet .Yet, after the highwayman’s death, when his body was thrown into a well, Allah ordered the prophet to recover the body, clean it and give it a proper burial. The prophet, extremely astonished, nevertheless did what he was told. He later found out from the diseased highwayman’s daughter that this man would rob and loot throughout the year, except for the holy month of Rajab, when he went into solitude for one whole month and devoted his entire attention to Allah.

Translator: Parjanya Sen
Producer Director - Shubra Dutta
Main Camera - Shubra Dutta
2nd Unit Camera - Suman Biswas
Camera assistants - Asim and Amit
Sound Engineer - Partho Pratim Barman
Sound Assistant - Tarun Mukherjee