Delhi

A musical delight from across the border

Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad Qawwal &brothers performing at a qawwali concert hosted bythe High Commission of Pakistan in Delhi onMonday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad Qawwal &brothers performing at a qawwali concert hosted bythe High Commission of Pakistan in Delhi onMonday. Photo: Special Arrangement  

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Much like the current state of India-Pakistan relations, the qawwali concert by Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad Qawwal and brothers started in darkness. But the enchanting voices of the famous qawwals from Karachi did not disappoint the audience at the concert hosted by the High Commission of Pakistan. The qawwals belong to one of the best known gharana of qawwali: ‘Qawwal Bachon ka Gharana’ of Delhi, which is about 705 years old and was started by a student of Amir Khusrau.

Listeners were in awe of the sheer energy of the performers and the impact it had with the minimal use of musical instruments. The musical brilliance of qawwalis like Mast Kalandar, Mera Piya Ghar Aya and the Rajastnani folk song Padharo Mhare Desh demonstrated why the group is known across the world. The qawwals dotted their performance with references to Nizamuddin Auliya, Amir Khusrau, Kabir and other pioneers of Sufi music to trace the history of their style.

Abu Muhammad, commenting on the experience of playing in front of a Delhi audience, said there is not much difference between performing in Delhi and anywhere in Pakistan. People of both the countries love their music. Farid Ayaz hoped that the musical connection between the two countries would be able act as a sweetener in the peace process and said they would keep spreading the ‘mithas’ to overcome the bitterness so that issues can be sorted out.

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who enjoyed the evening performance, said that 30 years ago when he was posted in Karachi, he had the opportunity to listen to a lot of qawwali music and this performance reminded him of those days.

Tania Khosla, who had only experienced this style of music at wedding functions, was in awe of the performance. To sum it up, she said: “The experience was truly sublime.”



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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:01:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/a-musical-delight-from-across-the-border/article6675110.ece

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