Friday, February 03, 2012

Mehfil E Moseeqi - Koshur Style

Videos from the night, up on livestream: HERE. About 2+ hours in all.

The Maamu, and the Tulri
Had stunning overnight musical mehfil at our place yesterday. My Maamu has artistic friends. ZOMG FRIENDS LIKE NASEEM UL HAQ 'RAJU' BATT [singer-composer from Doda] and GULAB SAIFI SAHAB [poet from Kishtwar]. Whom he requested to please come on over to Jammu to perform in front of our enthusiastic music-poetry-loving family.

Now, these two gentlemen are really outstanding flagbearers of contemporary Kashmiri culture.
Naseem Ul Haq 'Raju' Batt
Raju has a beautiful, clean, soft voice - very suited to slow ballads [which basically means most all popular Kashmiri songs]. 

Gulab Saifi, poet, works the brooding look 
And Gulab Saifi really impresses with his non-mainstream poetry. He has a unique, #WINNING style of writing, using new words and thoughts in his shaairi. And they have the khanak of spoken Koshur/Kashmiri. 

Both young artists, still not as popular [possibly because they are Pahari, not Valley based?] as some of the other names we hear in Kashmiri music... but their time has come. In music and shaairi circles, these gents are well-known and respected in their fields. The common Kashmiri hasn't heard of them yet. WE MUST CHANGE THIS! Inquilaab!

Oh, you know. Just the family. 
And so. Minimal planning and prepping, headlined by the famous Maamu Malik. It was agreed that all the family [mashaAllah, there are a lot of us when you put together immediate aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, kids] would gather at our place post-dinner on Feb 1 where we'd set up the basics required for best enjoyment of poetry and music. That is: carpets, cushions, blankets and lots of noonchai and kehwa.

Ext. left [black jacket] - Gulab Saifi; ext. right [grey jacket] - Raju
This done, circa 11pm, with local sound guys and accompanying musicians in tow [one tablachi, one percussion board guy], Raju Sahab and Gulab Sahab turned on the brilliance. Maamu added much chutzpah to the night's entertainment. Crowd favourite ka khitaab! 

I decided to try livestreaming the whole performance and what do you know, it worked. Minor glitches here and there but overall, managed to get a live video of the whole Kashmiri music night deal up live. 

Much fun was had with people online from all over, not just Kashmir. We had America, India, Pakistan and I'm not sure where else. Would like to make a special mention of the Twitter gang that put in attendance that night: Shehla, Shahnaz, Rahul, Abhi, Nish, JuneyM, Junaid, Baavri, Mehmal, Yusra, BB,Obaid, Faysal, Sheikh. Nonsense chatting fun. Some trolls of course.

Please click here to view recordings from the Mehfil E Moseeqi at Chez Haji. Three videos lined up under the main screen. The magic started around 11pm and the last song wound up at 0445hrs. Live broadcast went more or less okay. Unfortunately less than half got recorded online. Will scrounge around from various phones and other cameras for missing segments.

Ma [center], flanked by Khaala [r] and Maami
Raju performed a lot of new songs, recently written by Gulab Saifi, and then we had a few classics like that fantastic Jaanbaaz composition: 'Zamaanai Pokh Na Humdum'. A couple of Punjabi and Urdu songs as well.

You will hear me typing, you will see Maamu enthrall the audience and you will hear embarrassing exchanges in between songs that we as a family, collectively, thought were funny then, but now - not so much. If you understand Kashmiri, forgive us our lameness.

Highlights of the night:
1. MAAMU - Everyone loves him: Raju, Gulab, the family, the online viewers. Too much masti and enjoyment. The life of the mehfil.

Raju/Maamu make a funny at Gulab Sb.
2. Excellent ribbing between the protagonists, i.e. Raju Sb, Gulab Sb and the Maamu. Much laughter and joking to and fro as evidence of their camaraderie.

3. Chai-kehwa-girday!

4. Packed house. And pretty laydiesss, as required by any concert.

Tabalchi Bhai, tak dhin dhin tak
5. Much appreciated tabalchi. Bohut aa'la. We all loved you, O Unknown Soldier.

I mean to work on song videos from the night, with translations and subtitles, and put them up on YouTube some time in the near future. Should be fun. Can do with help on the subbing. Let me know which of you want to do a song or two.