The Poet: Khwaja Ghulam Farid خواجہ غلام فرید was born in 1845 at Mithan Kot مٹھن کوٹ (currently in District Rajanpur راجن پور of Punjab, Pakistan). His ancestors were Arab traders who had settled in India. His mother passed away when he was only 4-5 years old. His father, Khwaja Khuda Bakhsh, also passed away when he was 8 years old. Then his older brother, Khwaja Fakhar-ud Din took care of his education. He learned the Holy Quran by heart at a young age. He was 27-28 years old when his older brother died. By that time he had completed his religious education. He then spent many years in the Rohi روہی Desert (also called Cholistan چولستان ). People have nomadic life style in that area. His life was spent teaching religion to his murids and writing poetry in Urdu and Saraiki سرائیکی, and prose in Farsi. He performed Haj in 1876. He knew many languages including Arabi, Farsi, Saraiki, Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Brij Bhasha, and Urdu. He and his poetry is deeply loved by the Saraiki speaking people of Southern Punjab in Pakistan. Like Punjabi and Sindhi, Saraiki is a member of the Indo-Aryan subdivision of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. Khwaja Ghulam Farid passed away on 24th July 1901. His tomb is in Mithan Kot. His Saraiki Divan consists of poems called kafis, which are full of sufi themes. His works include: Divan-e Farid Saraiki دیوانِ فرید سرائیکی (published 1882), Divan-e Farid Urdu دیوانِ فرید اردو (published 1884), Manaqib-e Mahbubia مناقبِ محبوبیہ (Farsi prose), and Fawaid-e Faridia فوائدِ فریدیہ (Farsi prose).
In this Kafi (# 132), the refrain (radeef) is "vi toon" (وی توں), meaning "are also You". In the first 42 of the 46 lines sung here, the beloved is called 112 different things, including love, friend, religion, faith, body, spirit, heart, soul, sorrow, happiness, reason for joy, cause of pain, shame, grandeur, beauty, criterion, understanding, the part in the hair, henna, kohl (mascara), lipstick, Rohi, Cholistan, etc. Then in the last 4 lines, the poet makes a turn and addressing himself says: if the Friend accepts, Farid, you are the boss, the king. If not, you are the useless, the low, the worthless, the humble, the nothing, the impossible.
The Singer: Pathaney Khan پٹھانے خان was born in mid 1920's in Kot Addu کوٹ ادو , District Muzaffargarh مظفر گڑھ (Punjab, Pakistan, then in British India). He mostly sang sufi poetry, including poems (kafis) of Khuwaja Ghulam Farid on radio and television in Pakistan for over 25 years. He also sang Urdu ghazals. He was (and still is) very popular, especially in the Saraiki areas which form the Southern third of Western (Pakistani) Punjab. He was awarded the Pride of Performance Award in 1979. He was a simple man who never cared about money throughout his life. He was very ill in his final years and his financial position was not good. He passed away on 9 March 2000. He put his soul into his singing, which makes a lot of people happy.