Young qawwal’s power-packed performance

Staff Correspondent

The music took

the audience to

a different world

HUBLI: During a winter night people would prefer staying indoors rather than venturing out.

However, in Hubli it was different on Thursday night.

Wearing sweaters, shawls, and monkey caps, people, mainly Muslims, stepped out of their houses after supper and headed towards the Bharat Mill Ground in groups.

Notwithstanding the chilly weather, they wanted to be part of the “Naatia Qawwali”, a programme organised to mark the 593rd Urs of Hazrat Syed Fateshavali Dargah.

Another reason for their enthusiasm was that one of the youngest Sufiana qawwals in the country, Rais Anis Sabri and his brother, Nazar Ali Sabri, were performing in Hubli.

Probably expecting a large turnout, the organisers of the event, Tipu Sultan Welfare Association, and its patron, the former Mayor of Hubli-Dharwad, Anilkumar Patil, had made elaborate arrangements. And, the crowd was beyond their expectation.

By the time a formal inaugural function was over at 11.15 p.m., the Bharat Mill Ground was jam-packed. Women in burkha, children in “shervani”, jeans-clad youth in skull-cap, middle-aged men clad in traditional “jubba-pyjama” were there to listen to the youngest qawwals rendering songs written in praise of Prophet Muhammad. As 12-year-old Rais Anis Sabri, a native of Najimabad in Uttar Pradesh, began his concert by taking the name of Allah at the height of his voice, the crowd responded with a thunderous applause.

Anis Sabri’s performance was beyond the expectation of the crowd, which enjoyed every bit of the celebration of Prophet Muhammad through music.

The power-packed performance by Anis and later by Nazar Ali took the crowd to a different world. It was the ability of the young artistes to involve the crowd in the performance that made the programme lively. Inspired by the young artistes’ performances, Mr. Anilkumar Patil also belted out some “shayaris”.

The songs that Anis presented with apt support from his accompanying artistes were not just some verses of some great poets. There were some which related to today’s trends starting from cricket to films to teleserials. One such which drew spontaneous applause was the “mobile phone” analogy where Anis wanted “Iman ka sim card” to be given to him.

The emotionally charged ambience made many admirers to walk up to the artiste, mid-performance, to shower on him currency notes and garlands. However, the nazranaa (offerings of money made to a qawwal by the audience) did not make the performers miss a beat. As a result, many were reluctant to leave the place at sunrise when the programme inched towards its conclusion hoping that the Sabri brothers would sing another song.