A Musical Evening at IISc by legendary Pakistani Khayal singer
Students’ Council of Indian Institute of Science in association with SPICMACAY organized a Hindustani musical evening in Satish Dawan Auditorium on 14th June, 2011. The stage was graced by the presence of Legendary Khayal Singer Ustad Naseeruddin Saami who came all the way from Pakistan. The program went for one and an half hour and the singer kept the audience mesmerized with his singing.
Naseeruddin Saami, of the Delhi Gharana, son of Abdul Hamid Khan Saami was born in a family of classical vocalists, who have been practising their Art for more than 730 years. Naseeruddin Saami’s ancestor Miyan Samath was trained by Hazrat Ameer Khusro himself, and the generations of singers that followed kept up the tradition and further honed it to a high level of intricacy and refinement. Naseeruddin has been guided by four mentors – the main one being his Ustad and Uncle Munshi Raziuddin. Ustad Sardar Khan, Iftikhar Alrrned and Piaray Khan are the other three whom he avidly follows. Naseeruddin started his training from the age of 10 years. His style of singing is called ‘Sudh Bani’. From 1958-62 he trained with his grand uncle Sardar Khan in Lahore and then with his two uncles in Karachi. He performs all the elements of classical music like Khayal, Thumri, Sadra and Kajri with versatility, which is distinctive of his Gharana. Ustad Naseeruddin Saami was conferred the Presidents’ Pride of Performance in 2007.
He was accompanied by Pt Vinod Lele on table, Ustad Asif Ali Khan on the sarangi, Ustad Sajjad Ahmed on the harmonium and Sami ji’s son and disciple – Mohd Urooj Khan for vocal support and taanpura.
In the beginning of the concert, he said that he got so much of love and affection in Bangalore, India that he was running short of words to express it. He said that he felt like he is in his country only and nowhere else. He said that music is a wonderful thing that is capable of joining people’s hearts through its Sur and Rag. Then he expressed his greatfullness towards SPICMACAY and said that the media should support SPICMACAY.
He started singing from ‘Alap’ which was prevalent 70-75 years back. Then he sang ‘’Khyal” and Sadara. He told about Sadara that it is a combination of Dhrupad and Khyal. In the end, he sang one Thumri “Sanchi Kaho Mose Batiyan, O Saiyan”.
During the interaction session, he told that now a days we are doing almost mind work but not practical work. He stressed on the importance of being practical and said that music comes from being practical. The very important and interesting thing he said was that if we want to create AMAN and SHANTI between two countries then we have to tune with proper SUR and RAG, referring metaphorically to the tuning used in music. He told that today we keep on forgetting our culture and music and now a days there is unwanted noise (Hangama) in our music and until and unless we remove this noise, there will be problem or chaos. He told that until we create real inner peace, instead of just talking of peace (Aman), nothing will happen. So we have to think and use our heart also.
In the felicitation program Student Council chairman conveyed his message as, “When IISc was built, India and Pakistan were one nation. After 63 years of political separation, Samiji came here to this 100 year old Indian Institute and reestablished that we are one at heart. We treat guests as God and we welcome Samiji again to our country and institute to perform”. Then I (Ajay Kumar) met him personally and recited one shayri in appreciation of his singing – “Aapke Gale Me Khuda Ki Ajeeb Barkat Hai, Aap Gate Hai To Ajeeb Si Roshni Hoti Hai”. His reponse was that, its only by God’s (ooper wala) grace that we are singers. He was delighted to be interacting with the students. Salutations to his talent, simplicity and down to earth character!
Sincere thanks and appreciation to all the volunteers and IISc community for making the program a grand success.