I've been maintaining this blog (for better or for worse) over the last eight years. Over these years, its natural evolution has led it into becoming something of a niche place for discussion of music in general and Qawwali in particular. Rather than trying to return my existing blog to its pre-Qawwali eclectic roots, I decided I’d start anew on Tumblr. So if you’re interested in music, Qawwali and subcontinental culture, keep reading/listening/watching/commenting here. For all of the above and everything else under the sun, head on over to my Tumblr page .

Sunday, October 25, 2009

....Of Splendid Isolation And Selfish Indulgences

 One of the (many) perks of having a blog with limited readership is that I can indulge myself without having to worry about alienating/impressing/provoking a sizable number of readers. I'm sure the 4 or 5 people who do occasionally glance at my blog won't mind if I post what are quite possibly my three favorite Youtube videos of all time. Actually it's two videos,with one split in the middle.

  First off, here's Ustad Salamat Ali Khan singing one of Baba Ghulam Farid's kaafis in Raag Sindhi Bhairvi. What makes this video priceless is first of all the performance, with Ustad sahab clearly enjoying every wonderful note and Shaukat Ali Khan giving some inspired accompaniment on the tabla. But the icing on the cake is the audience...Ashfaq Ahmed sahab, Shahnaz Begum, a very young Pervez Mehdi, Ghulam Ali, Rajab Ali, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan and a clearly emotional Masood Rana....and the way they respond to every nuance, every embellishment of the performance. I've been watching this performance at least once a day,every day for the past two months, and I have no plans of quitting.

Next comes another classical performance, from the same TV show;Nikhaar, that used to air during the mid-seventies from PTV Karachi,hosted by Ashfaq sahab and with the choice of audience just as inspired as the performer. The performers are the incomparable Ustads Amanat Ali-Fateh Ali Khan singing "Kab Aao Ge Tum Aao Ge", accompanied once again by Shaukat Ali Khan on Tabla before an audience comprising Ashfaq Ahmed sahab, Asha Posley, Ghulam Ali,a very animated Shaukat Ali, Nasir Kazmi, Qateel Shifai and Mallika Pukhraj. The contrasting styles of the two brothers fuse perfectly to define the Patiala andaaz of gayeki. Another bit of essential daily viewing, this video is made more poignant by the fact that this was Ustad Amanat Ali Khan's last recorded performance before his very untimely death. One can only imagine what more magic these two brothers would've created together, given the chance....


  1. Great stuff Musab. You are a kindred spirit. BTW, in the last video you forgot to mention that the singer Akhlaq Ahmed is also in the audience sitting next to Shaukat Ali.
    "Paida kahaN heiN aise paraganda tab'a log"

  2. Thanks for mentioning that oversight Zakariya sahab,and for appreciating the post.