Qawwali homage to Hazrat Khusrau | music | Hindustan Times
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Qawwali homage to Hazrat Khusrau

Concert celebrating 11th century royal poet to be held in city today, with artistes including Delhi qawwals Ajmeri Borthers and more.

music Updated: Jun 17, 2011 14:47 IST
Sharin Bhatti

City-based music curators, Banyan Tree, are reviving Works by famous 11th century poet, Hazrat Amir Khusrau. In its third consecutive year, the tribute concert to Khusrau will be held tonight and this time around, the focus will be on five music forms attributed to the artiste – qawwali, ghazal, sawan sangeet, khayal and tarana.

Director and Khusrau follwer Nandini Mahesh describes how his music and rhythm innovations have impacted the idiom of contemporary Hindustani classical music. “This is a little-known fact, but he was a poet, a sufi saint and he contributed greatly to the inclusion of sitar and tabla in the royal courts of three sultans in medieval India,” says Nandini, who has been giving a history lesson each year reintroducing Khusrau’s music.

“This year the focus will be on his love songs and monsoon ragas. He was a very sensitive poet, who wrote a lot about women and their feelings. In that era, to have that deep a sensibility, is quite something,” says Nandini, recounting a song Kai biyahi bidesh… which narrates the emotions a newly-wed girl feels when she has to leave her family to live with another man. “We have four celebrated artistes who will be performing their renditions of his songs. Rajashree Pathak will be narrating his love songs. Jaswinder Singh will be singing ghazals. Pt Ajay Pohankar will sing his monsoon ragas and the Ajmeri Brothers will be singing qawwali,” says Nandini.

Delhi’s celebrated qawwal, Shamim Naeem Ajmeri considers Khusrau his guru. “I started writing qawwali after I read his Bahut khatin hai… I perform that song every time I play and of course, will be recreating it for the concert as well,” says he.