Thursday, December 25, 2014

QAISER QALANDHAR , KASHMIRI MUSIC AND OPERA VITASTA




      (A scene depicting Mehndi Raat function of Vyaeth in Dina Nath Naadim’s Opera VITASTA)

Sonna shraan kaaertoss Ropp Kaayaaye __

Az Vitastaa ye Maanzi Raat...
Laganie Logg Soaz Harmukh Gangaaye __
Az Vitastaa ye Maanzi Raat.

( Dina Nath Naadim from Opera Vitasta )


"Wash her silver body with golden water .

Today is Mehndi Raat of our Vitasta .
Water of Ganga-Bal Near Harmukh Peak
Started Playing Musical chimes ,
Today is Mehndi Raat of our Vitasta .”


Poet Farooq Nazki informs ,


“ This opera also featured in Radio Kashmir’s annual Drama Festival of 1968.It was a great effort by Naadim sahib in experimentation and extension of form and Content in kashmiri poetry. VYAETH was the original name of the opera which was later changed to VITSATA for performance on stage . It was a Qaiser Qalandhar Production for Radio .Qaiser sahib was a Musicologist . He had a deep understanding of Kashmir’s Traditional Music that includes Sufiana and Folk . Infact he also wrote a Book on Music that was released in London by his friends and well wishers . This Radio opera became a talk of the town. The song “ Sangruv Gaash Hyot Lolli Lallavun ye --- Vyaathh aayii Mahaarin Soann ye ” was on every lip in Kashmir. The stage adaption of the opera was done by Academy of Art Culture and languages .”

WHO WAS QAISER QALANDHAR ?
                                                                           


Sayyed Qaiser Qalandhar (1926-1998 ) was a well known  Broadcaster , Poet , Writer and Musicologist from Kashmir . Bespectacled , he was always smartly dressed and presented a scholarly look . He spoke less and was publicity shy . 

                                                                                   
(This photograph  was clicked in  1943 at S P College Srinagar during annual Drama function .  Qaiser Qalandhar ( 
Standing  in second row from L to R last person) and Pran Kishore  ( Sitting in  chair  third person  from L to R ) also acted in the college play NEELAM  performed   in 1943. )

Qaiser Qalandhar contributed significantly during the initial / Formative years of Radio kashmir Srinagar .
He served at various locations including Srinagar , Amritsar , Calcutta and New Delhi and rose to become Deputy Director General of Prasar Bharti ( AIR ). His Travelogue to Europe appeared in a serialized version in Urdu Weekly Chaman in 1970. This Travelogue Gives a Grand peep into Life and Culture of Western Civilization ( Europe ) . It also appeared in Soan Adab ( our Literature ). For AIR , He also recorded an Interview with Begum Akhtar when she was in srinagar .

I am informed that it was Qaiser sahib who got the last song of 1968 Radio Opera Vyaath ( Stage Opera VITASTA ) “ Sangruv Gaash Hyot Lolli Lallavun ye --- Vyaathh aayii Mahaarin Soann ye ” sung in kashmiri Vanvun style on a tune that he personally created . Naadim sahib and others wanted to use Roff style of kashmiri singing for this song. When the final recoding in Vanvun form appeared , the song became instant hit. He wrote a Book on Indian Music titled “ HAMAARI MAUSEEQUI “ that was well received and rated .
Not many of us know that some Great songs sung by Naseem Begum ,Naseem Akhtar, Zoon Begum and Raj Begum were composed by Qaiser Sahib for Radio Kashmir Srinagar . I quote …
1) Vesiye Gulan Aawaye Bahaar Az Saal Auntan Baalyaar( Poet Maqbool Shah Qraalwari )…By Naseem Begum who was from Jammu but resided in Kashmir .
2) Vesiye Gulan Aawaye Bahaar Az Saal Auntan Baalyaar (Poet Maqbool Shah Qraalwari ).. By Raj Begum.
3) Mashraavthhuss Janaan Tche kar yaad Pyamaai Baa ( Poet Rasa Javidaani )
4) Ruum Gayyam sheeshus Begurr guvv Baana Myon ( Poet Mirza Arif ).. Duet sung by Raj Begum and Naseem Akhtar . Naseem Akhtar was from Kashmir.
5) Laalus Vantaai su sawaal Saalus anna tanna Balliye ( Poet Rasool Mir ) singer Aasha Bhonsale .

I end this brief post with lines from a Gazal of Qaiser Qalandhar ...

Yaadon ko Sulaa duun ki lamhon ko pukaaroon
Iss Raat ke sehraav mein akela hi khadaa huun
Phoolon ki na yeh seij na kaanton ka hai Bistar
Kis naam se mein umr e gurezaan ko sadaa duun

( Autar Mota )

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