A divine tribute to Amir Khusrau

Urdu as a language and a tradition is known to steal many hearts. The poetry, the literature and the Qawwali are the three most influential aspects of Urdu wherein people find their pathway to God and divine wisdom. In remembrance of Amir Khusrau, a Sufi musician, poet, and a spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya, the Urdu Mohabbat Group organised a mesmerising Nazrana-e-Khusrau – a presentation in music, dance, narration and recitation of his poetry, on Friday at the Akshara Theatre.

Led by Begum Zakia Zaheer, Syeda Hameed and Rene Singh, the group came together with a magical representation of Khusrau’s life in story, song and dance. The performance started with Rene Singh’s soulful performance on mohe apne rang mei rang de along with Daastangoi from Zakia Zaheer and Syeda Hameed which provided an insight to the life of Khusrau, his poetry and his devotional love for Nizamuddin Auliya.

Bringing alive the whole act, Lokesh Jain, director of Urdu Mohabbat Group, played the voice of Amir Khusrau in the background. His recital was like a live portrayal of Khusrau’s feelings and emotions for Nizamuddin. Providing a deeper insight into the act, he said, “Everybody knows who Amir Khusrau was. But no one knows about his contribution to the composite culture of the country, with a secular and a spiritual thought. We wanted the people to know about his devotion with the Urdu and Hindi language wherein the brotherhood and the love that exists between the boundaries of India and Pakistan are bought in the forefront.”

The play continued with Singh’s enchanting voice singing some of the famous qawwalis like Allah Hoo, Man Kunto Maula and many more. Besides, Zakia Zaheer and Syeda Hameed’s Daastangoi kept the audience mesmerised and engaged. A portion of it comprised of engaging riddles which were accompanied by an admirable innocence. The audience willingly solved them which showed their involvement and the positivity with which they admired the performance.

Where the previous enactments have been devoid of any dance, this time, the group made the act come alive by Avni Sethi’s dance performance, which was an epitome of elegance and femininity. The act also included a song of a daughter’s pain when she waits for her father, in her marital home. Where Avni showcased an excellent display of such emotions through her dance, Singh’s voice did justice to bring out the
suffering in the most justifiable form.

There was a gust of emotion in the ambience. People seemed lost in the act, the beauty and the truthfulness with which it was performed. It concluded with the death of Nizammuddin Auliya, six months after which Khusrau too passed away. Zaheer and Hameed beautifully patronised the moment and told the significance of death amongst the Sufis, and how instead of mourning, they celebrate it like a wedding!

A joyous and divine experience, each and every individual in the audience was completely engulfed in the act. “Something like this is extremely needed for the youth of our country, who are unaware of our diverse cultures and Khusrau’s ruhaniyat above all. This is the way to sink into your own self. Every religion has its own way and its right way; and in a
secular country like India, we need this!” said Hameed at the end of the performance.

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