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Rhythms & Melodies of Kashmir 17th and 18th March 2003 at Kamani New Delhi

The credit goes to ICCR for organising Kashmiri Musical show in the similar fashion we used to conduct in Srinagar till 1989. The music we experienced at Kamani auditorium was not up to the mark except Ustad Ali Mohmad Sheikh and party, Bulbul and party and a few song numbers sung by Kailash Mehra, Ghulam Nabi Sheikh, Kaiser Nizami, Muneer Ahmed Mir and Abdul Rashid Pharash. The old famous numbers sung by Kailash and Ghulam Nabi mesmerized the audience. ICCR deserves all credit to hold such a great musical extravaganza in which eminent Santoor maestro Pundit Bhajan Sopori presented two scintillating orchestral presentations. The compositions were a mix of traditional and the modern. The modern element served as alink between the combinations of various traditional compositions and the traditional content of the melodies.

Kamani New Delhi was full with audience and all the artistes who presented their numbers were greeted with thunderous applause. The PF system was again of the average standard and the same spoiled all the numbers, even though the poetic content used by the participants made people enthusiastic. Overall presentation was appreciated. Below is the detail of 18th March 2003 show: -

†††††††††† Song††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Poet††††††††††††††††††† Singer†††††††††††††††††† Composer

1.     Madno Louluky Aalav Traawai Baawai Dilkee Haal- Mahmood Gaami- Kailash Mehra Sadhu

2.     Dui Na Gajim Mani Sui Na Vuney Me Aaw- Nyaamu Saeb- Ghulam Nabi Sheikh

3.     Pyaari Cham Nu Nender Yiwaan Yaaru Az Walo Soonuyea- Sochi Kraal- Kaiser Nizami

4.     Kaluwaalan Chownas Mas Tai- Samadmir- Munir Ahmed Mir- Composer Bhajan Sopori

5.     Dimayo Dilasu Gandyo Volasu Paaritho Gilasu Kulinui Tal- Traditional Song- Kailash Mehra

6.     Volu Vesy Az Aam Yaar Lo Lo Gari Panney Kor Me Dedaar Lo Lo- Khatoon Zaifa- Abdul Raheed Farash

7.     Lalvun Thovnam Naar Nyoonam Karaar Vesiye- Rasulmir- Kazi Rafi

8.     Bram Dith Saki Mashrovnas Tai Chanu Ros Pyalu Gom Khaliye- Gh. N. Sheikh

9.     Hyass Nyoonam Ha Baalyaari Jananu Zaari Bozya- Bashir Arif- Ghulam Nabi Sheikh

10. Panai Booziv Timan Kalaman Hosh Ha Hosh- Vasudeev Reh- Usha Kher & Kaiser Nizami- Bhajan Sopori

11. Ha Gulo Tohi Ma Sa Vuchvoan Yaar Myoan- Mehjoor- Munir & Kazi Rafi

12. Rythems & Melodies of Kashmir- two compositions viz. Vitasta and Meesha Pasha Meesha counducted by Pundit Bhajan Sopori and played by the members of the orchestra on Santoor, Saran, Rabaabm Nout, Tumbaknaer and supported by Sarangi, electronic santoor, Key Board, Tabla and Dholak.

These two compositions were based on the famous melodies of Kashmir like Pyari Cham No Nender Yiwaan, Rozu Rozu Bozu Myany Zaar Madno, Idd Aayi Ras-e-ras-e, Cholhama Roshe, Posh wala myani Dilbaro Poshan Bahara Yuoory Walo and many more. The composition named after Vitasta the streamline of the Kashmir Valley too was woven in such a way that audience got in tune to its playing and clapped on its each beat and rhythm. The experimentation by Shri Bhajan Sopori ji was worth experience. The soothing combinations of orchestra and chorus humming, Mesha Pasha Mesha and La La La Laa with again Pyari Cham No Nender Yiwaan included the beautiful rhythms created on Natu and Tumbaknari. This rhythm pattern reminds me of a devotional song recorded with Kaka ji Safaya long back in 70's in Srinagar in which I had the privilege to play and create similar beats on Natu. Bjahan Jiís passion for such creations were similar to what we used to listen to him in past. His in-depth orchestration is always experienced within. The soul becomes one with the composition and thus harmony plays its role.

The government seems to be taking care of and promoting the artistes of the valley and at the same time seems to be ignoring all those artistes who left the valley due to mass migration. These artists are not given their due place and ignored at each and every level even when the concerned agencies were contacted repeatedly. It seems that this time Shri Bhajan Ji has successfully awakened the agencies to promote Kashmiri Music, which is on the verge of extinction. Except Bhajan Jiís presentations there was nothing innovative or new in music that artistes presented. All that was presented was a repeated story. Kailash and Ghulam Nabi used their old is gold formula and received tremendous appreciation. We have lost that consistent adding of all innovative music, which was contributed by eminent musicians and cultural activists like Kishen Langoo, Tej Krishen Jalali, Nasar-Ullah-Khan, Kaka Ji Safya. Today Kashmries badly miss the songs of Ghulam Hassn Sofi, Vijay Kumar Malla, Shameema Dev Azad, Arti Ticku and ohters.

Now coming to the social aspect the audience present there was a mixed one 90% of Kashmiries and a 10% of non-Kashmiries. All enjoyed the night. Prominent personalities were there to witness the show. One thing was felt that after a long gap such concert was arranged for the Kashmiri audience and the same thing one could realise from the enthusiasm of public supporting each  artiste whether the song was good or an average one. All the artistes were greeted by heart, which is a dream of an artiste. On behalf of artistes singer Kaiser Nizami thanked the audience for their overwhelming support.At the concluding session Pundit Bhajan Sopori introduced the artistes and thanked DG ICCR for their arrangements and support. 

We could just realise that the organisers forgot all those artistes who used to be part of such concerts in past and also who are actively on their own promoting music of Kashmir on one or the other platform. The day is not far away when all those who ignore deserving artistes will realise their responsibilities and everyone will be included and invited for the good of Kashmiri Music. The shows should be organised for the benefit of all. One should not be biased or miser while inviting people. This is a great responsibility and when a chance is availed then it should be utilised in the best of its way. The performance at Kamani was good but again I would like to bring into the notice of the concerned ones that we found music of Kashmir at the same place where it was in 1989 even before, which is not a good sign for its development.Keeping Pundit Bhajan Jiís orchestral compositions aside the performances were a routine ones. We couldnít find any new good singers of whom we have heard that Kashmir have produced during past thirteen years.  

Talking to my fellow singer Kaiser Nizami I was told that in Kashmir there are many new voices emerged but unfortunately there is no teacher who can groom up all those talented ones. Yes Kashmir has started feeling the absence of Gurus the teachers all those revered people who at every level guided talented pupils who later set trends. In Kashmir change is felt at each and every department and the cultural front too is witnessing change. This is the proper time that all responsible individuals leaving all malice aside come to the forefront to regard and respect their own heritage, which needs to be nourished again after a long lapse of dark period. People from all walks of life are again changing definitions and patterns of individual recognition as a distinct society. We see in Delhi Kashmiri Pundits on the eve of ones marriage ceremonies invite Chakri groups from Kashmir for making the celebrations different. Everyone wants to forget the dark past, which create hatred and nothing else. Let us pray for the beautiful days to come to us again.