Qawwali in classical tradition
The Nizami brothers ... regaling the audience Pic. by K. V. Srinivasan.
THE SPASTIC Society of Tamil Nadu, committed to empowering disabled persons for the last 23 years, presented the Nizami Brothers in an evening of Sufi Qawwali at the Music Academy recently. Khusrau Nizami, Ghulam Sabir, the Aastana singer from Hazrat Nizamuddin Mehboobe Elaahi, Ghulam Waris and others belonging to the legendary Sikandra Gharana regaled the audience with their powerful Qawwali rendition.
The high points of the evening were a range of highly sustainable rhythmic patterns to the powerful accompaniment of the chorus.
Perpetuating the classical tradition, the Nizami Brothers sang in different ragas like Yaman, Shivranjani, Pahari, Kirwani, Bhimplas and Bhairavi projecting an animated and energetic voice.
The traditional Qual, "Man Kunto Maula" was sung in the Sufiana style, the building of the passionate rendition to a climactic point resulting in `raqs', that is, eternal happiness.
"Kirpa karo maharaj" and Chhap Tilak "Naina meelaike" of Hazrat Amir Khusro exuded a spiritual vocabulary associated with Sufism.
The items which followed addressed divergent groups: Hindu-Muslim unity was explained through a semantic conjugation of the two Urdu alphabets, `h' and `meem', each representing Hindu and Muslim but combining to form `hum', that is `we' as against the egoistical `I'.
In the bhajan sung in qawwali style, the artistes' delivery complimented the lyrics and uplifted the spirit.
Light hearted couplets such as "Ishk Shahon se na chhoota, na gadda se chhoota; hamse kya chhootega jab khuda se na chhoota" (none could be free from the guile of love; neither rich nor poor; neither God nor I) were well-received.
The different styles of "Naubet" were executed with precision on the tabla and the two dholaks.
The evening ended on a deceptively simple but deeply true and universal statement: "Kashtee ke muhafiz hee kashtee ko dubote hain" (the leader sometimes misleads.)
JYOTI NAIR BELLIAPPA
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