Mittar Pyare Nu – The beloved friend, is originally a Shabad in Gurbani (Holy verses in sacred text of Sikhism) written by the 10th and last Master Teacher, Guru Gobind Singh, in forest of Machhiwara where he is alone and separated from everyone, post battle with Mughal Army.

Earlier in the day, he had seen his two elders sons being killed in battle with Mughals (other two younger sons are also killed by Mughal forces later) fighting for their beliefs of Khalsa Panth/Sikhism. The verses are as below taken from Sikhiwiki forum.

ਮਿੱਤਰ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਨੂੰ ਹਾਲ ਮੁਰੀਦਾ ਦਾ ਕਹਿਣਾ ॥
ਤੁਧੁ ਬਿਨੁ ਰੋਗੁ ਰਜਾਈਆ ਦਾ ਓਢਣ ਨਾਗ ਨਿਵਾਸਾ ਦੇ ਹਹਿਣਾ ॥
ਸੂਲ ਸੁਰਾਹੀ ਖੰਜਰ ਪਿਆਲਾ ਬਿੰਗ ਕਸਾਈਆਂ ਦਾ ਸਹਿਣਾ ॥
ਯਾਰੜੇ ਦਾ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਸੱਥਰੁ ਚੰਗਾ ਭਠ ਖੇੜਿਆ ਦਾ ਰਹਿਣਾ ॥

mithr piaarae noo(n) haal mureedhaa dhaa kehinaa ॥
thudhh bin rog rajaaeeaa dhaa oudtan naag nivaasaa dhae hehinaa ॥
sool suraahee kha(n)jar piaalaa bi(n)g kasaaeeaaa(n) dhaa sehinaa ॥
yaararrae dhaa saanoo(n) saathhar cha(n)gaa bhat(h) khaerriaa dhaa rehinaa ॥

Tell the beloved friend (the Lord) the plight of his disciples.
Without You, rich blankets are a disease and the comfort of the house is like living with snakes.
Our water pitchers are stakes, our cups have edges like daggers.
Like the suffering of animals at the hands of butchers.
Our Beloved Lord’s straw bed is more pleasing to us than living in costly furnace-like mansions.

Alternative translation:
Tell the condition of the believers to my Beloved friend.
[Tell Him that] Without You, using bed sheets is like a sickness and like living as being wrapped by snakes.
The pitcher is a thorn and the glass is a dagger which are like tolerating being butchered.
Death bed with my Beloved is better than body burning [living with vice] without Him.

Many well known and renowned singers have sung these verses in past, but I never observed or listened to them till 2017. When it was sung by Punjabi Folk legend Gurdass Mann. I follow him, listen to his songs and Sufi poetry, he is a Sufi teacher to me, educating me on many aspects of life and helping me create moral compass through his songs (even though like every student, I do fail sometimes).

The concept of the video showcases two major recent events in Indian history from the perspective of a Sikh man, namely the bloodied partition of India (which killed millions and 1984 Sikh riots in Delhi, which was post assassination of then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, a grave political miscalculations on her part.)

The emotional quotient added and scenes showcased in it are truly heart-wrenching and moves one deeply. There are particular few moments to point out for me.

  • The moment when, the 1971 Indo-Pak war martyr’s son is burned alive by the mob in Delhi in 1984. The widow of soldier tries to convince rioters that the father of young boy was true Indian patriot by bringing his war decorated photo, begging that her son must be spared from the killing.

  • Young girl blindfolded so that she cannot see the carnage

  • A young Hindu boy helping old Sikh man(Gurdass Mann) push the struck van caring old man’s dead son, showcasing all people are not communal and youth especially.

  • There are flashes of Pakistan partition, when a Muslim couple is butchered and their toddler is crying alone. Gurdass Mann’s young son is shown giving away his toy to console this orphaned Muslim boy.

  • Old Sikh man, placing his dead son’s hand on his toddler grand-daughter’s head who is not aware of the seriousness of events, that her father is no more.

  • A neck locket being shared by 3 generations of the family.

  • The walk to Delhi in 1947 in hope of better future and walk in 1984 holding hand of baby girl among the burning and killings in the background.

  • Finally, this baby girl grows up and becomes Indian ambassador giving a speech in London on futility of fighting each other and killing in the name of communalism.

The verses are particularly significant in today’s scenario, in which the entire world is affected by despair, anxiety and people are dying in thousands. Leaving many loved ones mourning over them and thinking about unfulfilled future.