He is possibly the most iconic of Delhiites to have left an imprint on the music scene across the Indian subcontinent. Ab’ul Hasan Yamin-ud-Din Khusrau, better known as Amir Khusrau Dehlavi, was an exponent of Hindustani music.
But did you know that Khusrau -- a devout of 13/14th century Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya -- also believed to have invented the Qawwali as we know it today, is the creator of several ragas and singing style/patterns including tarana, khayal?
A visit to an exhibition, which will continue till February 24, at India Habitat Centre can tell you not just more about his contribution to Indian music and history but also the salient features of an urban renewal project at Nizamuddin basti by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), being held as part of Jashn-e-Khusrau.
The panels showcase various facets of Khusrau, telling about his creations of several music instruments, including duff, tambur, dholak and kingra, and styles of singing.
Laxmi Narayanand, a retired government officer, said: “I had studied history, but it was generally about kings and never about people such as Khusrau. No history books give such details and I think every Delhiite should know about him.”
The panels on urban renewal showcases how AKTC has improved quality of life using culture as a catalyst for development. The programmes involve developing usable community spaces, model conservation practices and creating a healthy neighbouhood.