Thursday, April 6, 2017



                                         ( Ustad Bimillah Khan In srinagar... September 2005 )


It looked as if summer was refusing to wane .  July and  August  were unbearable . In  early July ,Door Darshan Kendra Srinagar had organized a Theatre Festival that was attended by the  then CM  Mufti Mohd Syed ,Faisal Alkazi , K K Raina,  Ila Arun and  DDG  Door - Darshan Mandi House . Tagore Hall had again come to life after about 15   years  when  Play “Su  Iyaa” ( He will Come ) was staged .The play was  Kashmiri adaptation of Samuel Beckett's “ Waiting for Godot” . It kept the jam packed Hall spellbound.It was followed by Many more plays  like Naad (the call), "Brunz Brunz Qayamat" (Doomsday at  each step). A   ladakhi Play bagged the first prize in this festival  .

Come September but the summer refused to give space to  the FALL  of Autumn .  We   were in shirts only .  Something unusual for mid September season in Kashmir that year . The cultural Revival and  warm up had already started  with Door Darshan’s initiative  . 

An unusual for Kashmir at that time of September  was the presence of  a legend Bharat Ratna  Ustad Bismillah  Khan .  Eighty None year old Khan sahib had come to play his silver  Shehnaai  to dispel clouds of Gloom and   Murkiness .   He  was wheel-chaired to the Stage . Again a jam packed Tagore hall. It was sometime around  second week of September . Accompanied by his sons ,   khan sahib Played his Famous KAJRI  .

“ Bhai Hum To Kajri Bajaayeingay . Aap Shant  Rahiye  . Suniye .“

" Brothers ,  I shall Play Kajri . Please sit silent and enjoy"

 A message for clouds of gloom  to dispel  and bring rain of happiness and peace . He played for more than one hour . May be 80 minutes .  Age could not  lessen  the soulfulness of his Shehnaai Notes . The performance  Simply breathtaking  mesmerizing .The gathering had so many VIPs including the then CM Mufti Mohd Syed.

“ Call me more, Every year  . I shall come and play. I  have performed in this beautiful valley  in 1970 also . I have performed  here  a number of times when I was working for All India Radio before Independence . It is a different story to perform on Ganga ji Ghats .  I  feel proud to be born in this country .“

“ I need two chapattis , a little of Sabzi or even Chutney will do. I am happy with that “

 For about 10 minutes , The Ustad  felt some problem with the Mike .  It was pitched high . The high Pitch Noise  annoyed  him. He asked for the removal of the mike .

After the performance ,  ustad looked visibly  tired . He was again wheel chaired to his Hotel. 

 A Great day  for lovers  of his Music ..

( Autar Mota )

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