Monday, August 21, 2006

bismillah khan

Ye jo des hai tera, swades hai tera, tujhe hai pukaara…
Ye woh bandhan hai jo kabhi toot nahin sakta

A R Rahman so wonderfully captured the essence of Indian spirit by using Shahnai in this song . This song also in many ways relate to Bismillah Khan’s Swades - of his longing for his homeland - ‘Bana- Ras’ his longing for his ‘music’ as a religion in contradiction of his globetrotting and Islam.

‘Sanai’ or ‘Shahnai’ is something I have been used even before I knew anything about music. In my early days, as green band on Philips radio would narrow – the musical notes of Shahnai would follow a signature tune of Akashwani at 6.00 am. The journey with Shahnai continued in subsequent years with – melodious notes of Shahnai accompanied by Drumbeats – Chowgahda would announce the arrival of marriage season, festivals.

Ustad Bismilla Khan. with his unswerving perseverance and genius, elevated this ‘King of Bamboo’ afghan double-reeded wind instrument with a eight-nine holes into one of the most important classical concert instruments that has now become synonymous with India and its spirit.

Today, he passed away. His wish was “I won’t mind if people forget me but hopefully they should not forget Shahnai”. Its unlikely people of Indian origin would ever forget both Shahnai and Ustad Bismilla Khan as long as India is kicking in the pursuit of the civilization.

Mitti ki jo khushboo, tu kaise bhoolaayega
Tu chaahe kahin jaaye, tu laut ke aayega
Nayi nayi raahon mein, dabi dabi aahon mein
Khoye khoye dilse tere, koyi ye kahega

Ye jo des hai tera, swades hai tera, tujhe hai pukaara
Ye woh bandhan hai jo kabhi toot nahin sakta

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