This ghazal is sung by the famous Afghan ghazal singer Ahmad Fanous, accompanied by his son, pianist Elham Fanous and by Ravi Albright on tabla. The father-son collaboration creates one of the most successful fusions of the traditional ghazal with Western classical harmonies. Their unique blend of Indian and Western melodic styles owes much to the fact that Elham grew up with his father’s music in his ears and also began his own study of Western classical music at an early age in middle school.
“Tanhayi” was composed by Ahmad Fanoos himself when he was living in Kabul in 2015. His friend, Masood Zarab, wrote lyrics to match his music.
The song, sung in Dari, is a meditation on the situation in which the musician found himself, when the society around him did not value music, which mattered so much to him. It expresses the feeling of loneliness that comes when no one else around you shares your most profound thoughts.
When you think deep thoughts, you feel lonely because no one else has these ideas.
These are ideas that, if you say them, you will get into trouble.
Ghazals are a traditional genre of poems set to music. Though they originated in Arabic poetry, the popular versions of ghazals sung in South Asia today can be traced to the 13th century Delhi Sultanate (present day India)poet/musician Amir Khusrau.
The ghazal is fundamentally romantic, often including overtones of both love and the pain of separation from love. The lyrics may also have a hidden double meaning that suggests another story which must be kept hidden.