Meda ishq vi toon meda yaar vi toon – Meda deen vi toon eeman vi toon
Meda jism vi toon meda rooh vi toon – Meda qalb vi toon jind jaan vi toon
Pathanay Khan (real name: Ghulam Muhammad; 1926–2000) was a great Seraiki folk singer from Pakistan. He sang mostly Kafis or Ghazals (inSeraiki), usually drawing on the Sufi poetry of Khwaja Ghulam Farid and Shah Hussain. He was born in 1926 in the village Basti Tambu Wali, situated in the heart of the Thal Desert, several miles from Kot Addu (Punjab).
STORY BEHIND THE NAME
When he was only a few years old, his father brought his third wife home, so his mother decided to leave his father. She took her son along and went to Kot Addu to stay with her father. When the boy fell seriously ill, his mother took him to a syed’s house. The syed’s wife looked after him, and advised his mother to change his name because it seemed too heavy for him. Her daughter commented that he looked like Pathana (in that region, a name symbolising love and valour), and so from that day onwards he was known as Pathanay Khan. His mother credited the new name for saving the child’s life.
Pathanay Khan was very attached to his mother. She took good care of him and tried to educate him. However, he, like his father Khameesa Khan, spent his time wandering, contemplating and singing. His nature lured him away from school after the seventh standard. He began singing, mostly the Kafis of Khwaja Ghulam Farid, the saint of Bahawalpur. His first teacher was Baba Mir Khan, who taught him everything he knew. Singing alone did not earn him enough, so the young Pathanay Khan started collecting firewood for his mother, who used to make bread for the villagers. This enabled the family to earn a very modest living. It is said that remembering those days brought tears to his eyes and he believed that it was his love for God, music, and Khwaja Farid that gave him strength to bear the burden. Pathanay Khan adopted singing as a profession in earnest after his mother’s death. His singing had the capacity to bewitch his listeners, and he could sing for hours on end.