Friday, June 13, 2014





I would see him walking to his office or returning from his duties along the Residency Road , Srinagar.Probably, he lived across Budshah Bridge in Shaheed Ganj locality . His communication style , dress and appearance was more of a Dervish than a singer or musician .He would sing , mimic and  dance,.  He could play Noatt ( Matka ) ,Tumbaknaari , Harmonium and Taanpura . He had a strikingly distinct voice when he sang in a group. He is credited with bringing Raj Begum and some other female singers to Radio Kashmir at a time when no woman would come out of her home for such activities . Lively , humorous and sharp , he always maintained a low profile . Walking in typical style ,some friends called him ‘Kashmiri Michael Jackson’. He knew  the basics of Sufiana singing and Hafiz Nagma dance . Once he told me that his grandfather was a mimic artist while his father was a Sufiana singer and Santoor player . Both,  his father and grandfather performed at the Darbar of Maharaja Hari Singh.



      ( Ghulam Qadir Langoo with Vijay Malla)

Ghulam Qadir Langoo has performed before Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru ,Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad . On many occasions , he has sung before Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad .Once i suggested to him that he should give up smoking . To this he replied , ‘ tse vuchh shankar maharaj kyah karie or Let you see what Lord Shiva shall do ‘.

When I brought ‘Hindustani Classical Music’ into our discussion , he was all praise for Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori who gave him some professional training and made him familiar with some Ragas of Hindustani classical music . When i switched over to contribution of Radio Kashmir towards creating quality in traditional Kashmiri music , he was full of praise for Mohan Lal Aima who,according to him ,revolutionized Kashmiri music and singing .

Ghulam Qadir Langoo was employed  at Radio Kashmir, Srinagar where he mostly played Taanpura for eminent performing artists like  Lata Mangeshkar, Mohinder Kapoor and  Begum Akhtar  . A Taanpura supports and sustains the melody of another instrument or singer by providing a continuous harmonic drone. Syed  Zeeshan Fazil , who retired from a very senior position in Doordarshan has this to say :-


“ First time, I interviewed him in 1986 soon after my return from DDK Jalandhar. It was a great production by Naseem Khan.I had an another chance to book him for New Year programme  of  1989, this time in a special  appearance  singing a Kashmiri song in a pop tune which turned to be a super duper item of the show. Langoo Sahib used to give Taanpora accompaniment to Begum Akhtar. He introduced many female voices in the field of music. He is himself a versatile folk singer. Fazil memorial has honoured him with an Award for his outstanding contribution some years back.”

Noted Kashmiri singer Rita Kaul says this :-

"Whenever I used to sing in Radio Kashmir ,he used to play Taanpura . Really a great  artist who always gave blessings. I have great regards for him .God bless Langoo Sahab.”

And  Arti Tiku Kaul ,another well known  singer  from Kashmir says this  :- 

“ Brings back so many memories of him sitting with his Taanpura and accompanying me on so many radio programs and recordings and other stage shows. He was such a spiritual being in the Radio Kashmir’s musical fraternity and would always put his hand on my head and say words of blessings before and after my performances. He would sometimes also entertain the artists with his mimicry acts of different styles of music especially Western music, using gibberish words but keeping the musical style which threw everyone into laughter. He was also very appreciative of Mohan Lal Aima who helped him and other artists  to get identity and respect.”

He is credited with giving the Kashmiri music some of the finest female voices like Raj Begum, Zoon Begum and Naseem Akhtar. He brought these female singers  to  the  Radio Kashmir , Srinagar  . It was a real tough task in view of the orthodox nature of  the Kashmiri society at that point in time.

In 2015, he died at a ripe age of 100 years . He was living  at his younger son Mohammad Ramzan's residence in Aloochi Bagh area of Srinagar  city.


“Assavun soantaa iyee taara tarith

Aeissi praraan teihendiss deedarus

Vizi vizi bormuut ath  lol panun

Sheenus taapus maagus haarus” …………( Dina Nath Nadim )


(A blushing spring shall soon cross over this side

We too are waiting to spot it over here .

We offered love’s warmth every time to it ,

Even during snowy winter month of Maagha

or the summer month of Haara .)


( Avtar Mota )

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