Virasat 2017 – “Qawwali Evening”

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Virasat 2017 – “Qawwali Evening”

Friday, 17th November 2017

It’s not every day that one gets to listen to a Qawwali Concert, and the IIMB community got just that opportunity last Friday as we hosted Ustad Ateeq Hussain Khan Bandanawazi and his group, Bandanawazi Qawwal as part of SPICMACAY’s Virasat series of concerts.

Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music with a rich tradition that stretches back for more than 700 years. The great Sufi saint Amir Khusrao is credited with fusing Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Indian Classical musical traditions to create Qawwali as we know it today. Originally performed at Sufi shrines, it gained mainstream popularity and international audience in the late 20th century.

Ustad Ateeq Hussain Khan Bandanawazi, the son of Padma Shri recipient Ustad Iqbal Hussain Khan Bandanawazi trained in the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana, has performed at several prestigious events such as the Delhi Commonwealth Games and the International Sufi Festival, Turkey.

The Ustad began the concert with the caveat that the Qawwali as depicted in the good old Hindi films is really not the real thing, and he “god-willing” was going to present to the audience a taste of the traditional and authentic Qawwali. With this note, the Ustad crooned “Koi insan kisi insan ko kya deta hai” in his robust voice and the packed crowd sat mesmerized. The five accompanying singers and the two percussionists combined well to add to the transcendental effect that Qawwalis are known for, turning the evening into a truly memorable affair for all those present. This was followed by the “Yaad hai kuch bhi hamari, Kanhaiya”, a bhajan addressed to Lord Krishna and “Sanson ki mala”, a bhajan written by Meerabai, and popularized by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

There was also a Bollywood number in store for the audience as the Ustad launched into the popular “Khwaja mere khwaja” from the film, Jodha Akbar. The group finished their performance with the all-time favourite Damadam Mast Kalandar- a spiritual song written in honour of the Sufi saint Shahbaz Qalandar by Amir Khusrao earning a rousing ovation from all those present.

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