Sufi songs for the soul: Jashn-e-Khusrau: A Collection

Sufi songs for the soul: Jashn-e-Khusrau: A CollectionJashn-e-Khusrau: A Collection
Roli Books & Aga Khan Trust For Culture
Pages 221. Rs 1,995

Home to the 13th-century Sufi master, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, also known as Mehboob-e-Ilahi or Beloved of God, the Nizamuddin basti (meaning settlement) is a repository of a real, lived, Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb. The first qawwwalis were composed here and it was here that Amir Khusrau, the saint’s closest disciple, handpicked a group of singers – the qawwal bachchas – and trained them to sing in a new sort of way. As a celebration of pluralism, the festival of Basant was celebrated with joy and the whole area decorated with yellow flowers – a practice that continues to this day to mark the end of a bitter North Indian winter and the herald of a balmy though short-lived spring.

During the Jashn-e-Khusrau Festival, this legacy of syncretism is remembered in different ways: through performances of qawwalis from qawwals belonging to different khanqahi traditions; discussions with the singers to explore the nuances of their repertoire which consists largely of the songs, qawwalis, poetry in Persian, Braj and Hindavi composed by Amir Khusrau; heritage walks in the historically-rich area by volunteers from among the basti’s youth; as well as academic discussions and paper presentations.

More The Sunday Tribune – Spectrum.

Author: ismailimail

Civil society media.   Find Ismailimail blog on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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