Friday, June 13, 2014





I would see him walking to his office or returning from his duties along the Residency Road . He probably 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 play Noatt ( Matka ) Tumbaknaari , Harmonium and finally 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 .Lively , humorous and sharp , he always maintained a low profile . Some friends called him a joker but many would agree that he knew all the basics of sufiana singing and Hafiz Nagma . He himself once told me that his Grand father was a mimic Artist while his father was a sufina singer and Santoor Player . He also informed that his Father and Grand father performed at the Darbar of Maharaja Hari singh .

Ghulam Qadir langoo has performed before Pandit jawahar lal Nehru ,Sheikh Mohd Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohd .He has sung individually as well before Bakshi Ghulam Mohd many times .

once i suggested to him that he should give up smoking . To this he replied ..
“ Tche vuchh shanker Maharaj Kyah karie or Let you see what Lord Shiva shall do ”

When i brought SHASTRIYA SANGEET to 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 with Vijay Malla)

Ghulam Qadir Langoo was himself employed in Radio Kashmir Srinagar whereat he mostly played Taanpura for some eminent performing artist like  Lata Mangeshkar, Mohinder Kapoor and  Begum Akhtar  . 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 adds:

“ I first time 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 tanpora 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 adds:

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

Adds Arti Tiku Kaul another well known  singer  from kashmir: 

“ Brings back so many memories of him sitting with his tanpura and accompanying me on so many radio programs and recordings and other stage shows. He was such a spiritual being in the Radio Kashmir 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 find an identity and respect.”

He must be more than 95 years but service to kashmiri music remains still uppermost in his mind . I conclude this post with lines from a song of kashmiri poet late Dina Nath Naadim.The lines have also  been rendered to simple English by me ..

Assavun soantaa iyee taara Tarithh
Aeissi Praraan Teihendiss Deedarus
Vizi Vizi Bormuut Athh lol panun
Sheenus Taapus Maagus Haarus
( Dina Nath Naadim )

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 Haar .

( Avtar Mota 12.06.2014 )
My special thanks to "Kashmir Life" a weekly  Published from kashmir for this photograph of  Shri Ghulam Qadir Langoo.. 

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