Tag Archives: classical

Pandit Ravi Shankar – “Today, World Came to Standstill! Today, Many Hearts Missed a Beat!”

By Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom

Today, the Sun did not rise! Today, the Moon too went mourning! Today, the stars ceased to twinkle! Today, Maestro who refurbished with longing and yearning the souls of the seekers of Truth has passed away! Pandit Ravi Shankar jee has reinvented and rejuvenated Raaggu Sindhi Bhairvee.

اَڄُ نَہ اوطاقُن ۾؍ سي طالِبَ تَنواريِن؍

(شاھُ ڀِٽاٸيؒ)

“Acju na otaaqun mein, sei taliba tanwaareen”

(Shah Bhittai)

“Alas! Worthy devotees found not in courtyards today”

(Shah Bhittai: Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom)

Such GREATS are born once in a lifetime! All lovers of Raaggs and Kalaams and Classical music will forever miss the MAGIC of Maestro Ravi Shankar. May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace!

Sitar is an instrument which really perplexes most Westerners. Using this musical instrumeny, Ravi Shankar helped connect the world through music. The sitar virtuoso hobnobbed with the Beatles, became a hippie musical icon and spearheaded the first rock benefit concert as he introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over nearly a century.

پريمَ اَکَرُ پاڙھي؍ سَتِ گُرَ مَنُ سِيتَل ڪَيو؍ (ساميِ)

“Preima akharu paarrhei, SatiGura manu seetal kayo” (Saamee)

“Taught me lessons of love assiduously,

True Master enlightened my soul graciously”

(Saamee Chanrai: Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom)

Ravi Shankar was the legendary Indian instrument ‘sitar’ maestro and composer. He was most esteemed musical Ambassador and a singular phenomenon in the classical music worlds of East and West.

“Ravi Shankar has brought me a precious gift and through him I have added a new dimension to my experience of music. To me, his genius and his humanity can only be compared to that of Mozart’s.” (Yehudi Menuhin)

Listen and be enamoured, enriched and enlightened by the super rendition of Sindhi Bhairavee by the great Maestro here….

Pandit Ravi Shankar jee was always ahead of his time. He has written three concertos for sitar and orchestra, last one of which in 2008. He has also authored violin-sitar compositions for the world renowned Maestro, Yehudi Menuhin and himself, music for flute virtuoso Jean Pierre Rampal, music for Hosan Yamamoto, master of the Shakuhachi and Musumi Miyashita – Koto virtuoso, and has collaborated with Phillip Glass (Passages).

آديسي اُٿي ويا؍ مَڑھيۇن مۇن ماريِن؍

(شاھُ ڀِٽاٸيؒ)

“Aadeisee uthee wayaa, marrhiyuun muun mareen”

(Shah Bhittai)

“Noble disciples gone forever, their solemn absence does slay”

(Shah Bhittai: Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom)

As a performer, composer, teacher and writer, he has done more for music than any other musician. He is well known for his pioneering work in bringing Indian music to the West. This however, he did only after long years of dedicated study under his illustrious guru Baba Allaudin Khan and after making a name for himself in India.

Always ahead of his time, Ravi Shankar has written three concertos for sitar and orchestra, last one of which in 2008. He has also authored violin-sitar compositions for Yehudi Menuhin and himself, music for flute virtuoso Jean Pierre Rampal, music for Hosan Yamamoto, master of the Shakuhachi and Musumi Miyashita – Koto virtuoso, and has collaborated with Phillip Glass (Passages).

اَڄُ پڻ اُتَرَ پارَ ڏي، ڪارا ڪَڪَرَ ڪيسَ؛

(شاهه ڀٽائيؒ)

“Acju pinnu utara paara ddei, kaaraa kakara keisa”

(Shah Bhittai)

“Gloom ‘n darkness here ‘n there abound , today as well;

Black murky clouds on Northerly horizon, today as well.”

(Shah Bhittai: Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom)

Ravi Shankar is an honourary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is a member of the United Nations International Rostrum of composers. He has received many awards and honours from his own country and from all over the world, including fourteen doctorates, the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan, Desikottam,Padma Bhushan of 1967, the Music Council UNESCO award 1975, the Magsaysay Award from Manila, two Grammy’s, the Fukuoka grand Prize from Japan, the Polar Music Prize of 1998, the Crystal award from Davos, with the title ‘Global Ambassador’ to name some.

In 1986 Ravi Shankar was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper house of Parliament.

Deeply moved by the plight of more than eight million refugees who came to India during the Bangla Desh Freedom struggle from Pakistan, Ravi Shankar wanted to help in any way he could. He planned to arrange a concert to collect money for the refugees. He approached his dear friend George to help him raise money for this cause.

This humanitarian concern from Ravi Shankar sowed the seed of the concept for the Concert for Bangla Desh. With the help of George Harrison, this concert became the first magnus effort in fund raising, paving the way for many others to do charity concerts.

ھۇجي جيٸَ کي جياريِن؍ سي لاھۇتي لَڏي ويا؍

(شاھُ ڀِٽاٸيؒ)

“Huu jei jeeya khei jiyaareen, sei laahuutee laddei wayaa.”

(Shah Bhittai)

“Filial ones nourished our souls, no more in motherland stay.”

(Shah Bhittai: Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom)

His recording “Tana Mana”, released on the private Music label in 1987, brought Mr. Shankar’s music into the “New age” with its unique method of combining traditional instruments with electronics.

He has been described as the ‘National Treasure of Sub-continent” by the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. There is never going to be another Maestro Ravi Shankar! A supreme legend, he was far above each and every legend in the field of arts, music and entertainment. And, there is never going to be another 12.12.12 – that day in History when the Master Sitarist breathed his last at the age of 92 years.

جي ساہ سنڀارَ، سي اَڄ

جن جي ساہ سنڀارَ، سي اَڄ پَنھوارَ پَري ٿِيا،

(سَچَلُ سَرمَست، سُر مارئي، ۱داستان پهريون)

“Jani jee saaha sanbhaara, sei acju panwhaaraparei thiyaa”

(Sachalu Sarmastu, suru Maaruee, daastaanu Pahriyon)

“Those beloveds in my soul preserved, alas! Away today afar they parted!”

(Sachal Sarmast, Melody of Marui, 1 Ch.1: Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom)

This is my humble tribute to the Guru who blessed the souls of many all over the world with his remarkable music and compositions. In grief and mourning.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, December 12, 2012.

Tribute to Jagjit Singh

‘Jagjit Singh was a great human being and friend’

– IP Singh

JALANDHAR: His alma mater, the city where he spent his youthful days and old friends were at loss of words while grappling with the news of demise of Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh. If his alma mater DAV College held a ‘shok sabha’ to remember and pay tributes to one of its most illustrious and famous alumni, his old friends shared the cherished memories of “good old days”.

“He was a great singer and much greater human being and friend,” said Iqbal Singh, Lt governor of Puduchery, an old co-actor in dramas and a fellow musician.

Read more » Times of India

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Courtesy» Duniya Tv News (Khari Baat Luqman ke Saath – 10th October 2011)

via » ZemTv → YouTube

In her novel “Aag Ka Darya”, a world class urdu writer, Qurattulain Haider, had raised questions about Partition and had rejected the two-nation theory

– The misfits of society

by Waseem Altaf

Qurattulain Haider, writer of the greatest urdu novel “Aag Ka Darya” had come to Pakistan in 1949. By then she had attained the stature of a world class writer. She joined the Press Information Department and served there for quite some time. In 1959 her greatest novel ‘Aag ka Darya’ was published. ‘Aag Ka Dariya’ raised important questions about Partition and rejected the two-nation theory. It was this more than anything else that made it impossible for her to continue in Pakistan, so she left for India and permanently settled there.

Sahir Ludhianvi, one of the finest romantic poets of Urdu language settled in Lahore in 1943 where he worked for a number of literary magazines. Everything was alright until after partition when his inflammatory writings (communist views and ideology) in the magazine Savera resulted in the issuing of a warrant for his arrest by the Government of Pakistan. In 1949 Sahir fled to India and never looked back.

Sajjad Zaheer, the renowned progressive writer Marxist thinker and revolutionary who came to Pakistan after partition, was implicated in Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case and was extradited to India in 1954.

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was a Pakistani citizen, regarded as one of the greatest classical singers of the sub continent, was so disillusioned by the apathy shown towards him and his art that he applied for, and was granted a permanent Indian immigrant visa in 1957-58. He migrated to India and lived happily thereafter. All of the above lived a peaceful and prosperous life in India and were conferred numerous national awards by the Government of India.

Now let’s see the scene on the other side of Radcliff line.

Saadat Hassan Manto a renowned short story writer migrated to Pakistan after 1947. Here he was tried thrice for obscenity in his writings. Disheartened and financially broke he expired at the age of 42. In 2005, on his fiftieth death anniversary, the Government of Pakistan issued a commemorative postage stamp.

Zia Sarhadi the Marxist activist and a film director who gave us such memorable films as ‘Footpath’ and ‘Humlog’, was a celebrity in Bombay when he chose to migrate to Pakistan. ‘Rahguzar’, his first movie in this country, turned out to be the last that he ever directed. During General Ziaul Haq’s martial law, he was picked up by the army and kept in solitary confinement in terrible conditions. The charges against him were sedition and an inclination towards Marxism. On his release, he left the country to settle permanently in the UK and never came back.

Faiz Ahmad Faiz, one of the greatest Urdu poets of the 20th century was arrested in 1951 under Safety Act and charged in the Rawalpindi Conspiracy case. Later he was jailed for more than four years.

Professor Abdussalam the internationally recognized Pakistani physicist was disowned by his own country due to his religious beliefs. He went to Italy and settled there. He could have been murdered in the holy land but was awarded the Nobel Prize in the West for his contribution in the field of theoretical physics. Meanwhile his tombstone at Rabwah (now Chenab Nagar) was disfigured under the supervision of a local magistrate. This was our way of paying tribute to the great scientist.

Rafiq Ghazanvi was one of sub-continent’s most attractive, capable and versatile artists. He was an actor, composer and singer. He composed music for a number of films in Bombay like Punarmilan, Laila majnu and Sikandar. After partition he came to Karachi where he was offered a petty job at Radio Pakistan. He later resigned and spent the rest of his life in seclusion. He died in Karachi in 1974.

Sheila Ramani was the heroine of Dev Anand’s ”taxi driver” and “fantoosh” released in the 50’s. She was a Sindhi and came to Karachi where her uncle Sheikh Latif was a producer. She played the lead in Pakistani film ”anokhi” which had the famous song ”gari ko chalana babu” However seeing little prospects of any cinematic activity at Karachi, she moved back to India.

Ustad Daman, the ‘simpleton’ Punjabi poet had flair of his own. Due to his unorthodox views, many a times he was sent behind bars. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru offered him Indian citizenship which he refused. The reward he received here was the discovery of a bomb from his shabby house for which he was sent to jail by the populist leader Mr.Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

Had Mohammad Rafi the versatile of all male singers of the Indian sub-continent chosen to stay in Pakistan, what would have been his fate. A barber in the slums of Bilal Gunj in Lahore, while Dilip Kumar selling dry fruit in Qissa Khawani Bazaar, Peshawar.

Ustad Salamat Ali a bhagwan in Atari turned out to be a mirasi in Wahga all his life. Last time I met him at his rented house in Islamabad, he was in bad shape.

We also find Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan who went to India and was treated like a god. His compositions recorded in India became all time hits not only in Pakistan and India but all over the world. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Faakhir, Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam frequently visit India and their talent is duly recognized by a culture where art and music is part of life. Adnan Sami has even obtained Indian citizenship and has permanently settled there. Salma Agha and Zeba Bakhtiar got fame after they acted in Indian films. Meanwhile Veena Malik is getting death threats here and is currently nowhere to be seen. Sohail Rana the composer was so disillusioned here that he permanently got settled in Canada. Earlier on Saleem Raza the accomplished singer immigrated to Canada. I was told by a friend that Saleem Raza was once invited by some liberal students to perform at Punjab University when the goons of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba attacked him and paraded him in an objectionable posture in front of the students.

After returning to Pakistan the chhote ustads of “star plus” who achieved stardom in India have gone into oblivion, while Amanat Ali and Saira Reza of “sa re ga ma” fame have disappeared. And ask Sheema Kirmani and Naheed Siddiqui, the accomplished dancers how conducive the environment here is for the growth of performing arts.

A country gets recognition through its intelligentsia and artists. They are the real assets of a nation. The cultural growth of a society is not possible without these individuals acting as the precursors of change. Unfortunately this state was not created, nor was it meant for these kinds of people. It was carved out for hypocrites and looters who could have enjoyed a heyday without any fear or restraint.

Read more → ViewPoint

Ae Ishq hamein Barbaad Na kar (Nayyara Noor)

Wo sunta to main kehta, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha, wo pal bhar ko jo ruk jata, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha. kamai zindagi bhar ki, usi k naam to kar di, mujhe kuch aur karna tha, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha. kahan us ne suni meri, suni b un-suni kar di, usay maloom tha itna, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha. meray dil main jo dar aya, koi mujh main b dar aya, waheen ik rabta toota, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha. rawan tha piyar NUS NUS main, bohat qurbat thi apis main, usay kuch aur sun-ana tha, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha. ghalat fehmi ne baton ko barha dala younhi warna, kaha kuch tha,wo kuch samjha, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha.

You Tube

Tujhy Aadam nahi milta Khuda ki Justaju Kaisee

Asad Amanat Ali Khan (September 25, 1955- April 8, 2007) was a very popular classical, semi-classical and ghazal singer from Pakistan. Hailing from famous Patiala Gharana, Asad was son of famous musician Amanat Ali Khan. Asad Amanat Ali Khan died relatively young of heart attack on April 8, 2007 in London.

He had started his musical career performing “Thumri” and then went on to record some of his most popular Punjabi numbers and Ghazals, such as “Umra Lagian”, “Zara Zara”, “Kal Chaudwin Ki Raat”, and “Ghar Wapas Jab”. One of the songs that featured in almost every concert he performed, arguably his biggest hit, was “Insha Ji Utho” (Originally sung by his father).

Asad worked for PTV for several years. Nisar Bazmi, composer and PTV producer, who died one week before him, gave him his first break, introducing the artist to the world on live television, recording over 1,000 songs. Asad also contributed to the Pakistani film industry, featuring on a number of soundtracks. Moreover, he caught the attention of neighboring Bollywood and contributed to soundtracks there too.

Asad owed much of his early recognition to his late father’s famous numbers. Quite often his concert would round off with “Insha’a Jee utho, abb cooch karo” (Get up O Insha! It’s time to leave the world) — a song that finds another ironic reference in Asad’s death. Ibn-e-Insha.

Asad Amanat Ali was also famed for his “soz-o-salam” recitations in Urdu describing the events of Karbala during Ashura in Muharram, and appeared on many radio and television specials about Karbala over the years before his death.

His Work

Some of his superhit songs are listed below.

* Awaz Who Jado sa (Saheli) * Insha Ji Utho (Originally Sung by his father) * Ghar Wapis Jub ao gai tum * Umraan langiyaan pabbaan paahr * Pyaar Nahii Hai Sur Se Jisko * Abhi Kalion Mein * Diyaar Yaar Geya * Doob Gai Sub * Ghum Tera Hum Ne * Jo Bhi Dil Ki * Kal Chowdhwein Ki Raat * Zara zara dil meiN dard huaa * Apne haathoN kii lakiiroN meiN * Piya dekhan ko tarseiN morey.

You Tube Link

685th death anniversary of Amir Khusrow

Amir Khusrow was a musician, scholar and poet. He was an iconic figure in the cultural history of the Sub- subcontinent (South Asia). A Sufi mystic and a spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi, Amīr Khusrow was not only a notable poet but also a prolific and seminal musician. He wrote poetry primarily in Persian, but also in Hindavi.

He is regarded as the “father of qawwali” (the devotional music).He is also credited with enriching classical music by introducing Persian and Arabic elements in it, and was the originator of the khayal and tarana styles of music. The invention of the tabla is also traditionally attributed to Amīr Khusrow. …

Read more >> Wikipedia