Dilli Durbar 2019: A modern attempt at celebrating classical music and more

In an effort to draw youth towards the right nuances of classical and semi-classical music, the Dilli Gharana is hosting a two-day festival Dilli Durbar 2019 in New Delhi this Saturday and Sunday

Dilli Durbar 2019: A modern attempt at celebrating classical music and more

Rana Siddiqui Zaman

Of late, film songs of yesteryears, have become famous again, thanks to social media, and some labels documenting and releasing them in bits and pieces. But the youth sings them with a certain amount of oomph and add unnecessary sensuality to an otherwise pure, simple and innocent song. Not only does it take away the very soul and intention of the song but also it gets passed on completely in a wrong fashion. Some reality shows instead of curbing it, further promote this culture.

I asked vocalist Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, the doyen of 1200 year-old Dilli Gharana, about why the youth think it is cool to sing a pure classical/semi song adding oomph factor, and whether it is required and right?

The Ustad answered, “It is because they have no one to guide them, stop them and tell them the purity of singing lies in its innocence, hard work, dedication and riyazat (practice) than adding an unnecessary and misfit flavour.” He slips into this sher,

Bachpana Guzra, Buzurgo se mili shifqat mei

Aur jawaani bhi gayi, mehnat or riyazat mei,

Umar jo baaki hai, Allah ye dua hai meri,

Guzaaru khidmat-e-fann mei, issi ibaadat mei

With this thought in mind, this founder has decided to give it a different shot -- a festival of its own dedicated to youth to make them understand the nuances of finer music and performances, so that “no wrong things go further.”

Therefore, in collaboration with Sursagar Society, DIlli Gharana is going to host a two-day music festival Dilli Durbar 2019 on March 16 and 17, at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts --IGNCA 1-10 pm. Interestingly, the fest has been divided into several sections, Live Performances, Lectures and Workshops, Seminars and Panel Discussions, Films and Documentary Screenings on classical music traditions, and Old Delhi food festival or Dilli-6 as it is named.

The festival has a line up of fantastic artistes such as Ustad Iqbal himself, the Kathak guru, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Ustad Rashid Khan and Dr Ashwini Bhide Deshpande (vocals), Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar of Dhrupad gayki, Ustad Shahid Pervaz (Sitar), Ustad Asghar Hussain (violin) and Priyanka Malik (thumri and dadra). To pull the youth more, it has also lined up popular Bollywood artistes associated with classical music such as Javed Ali, Kailash Kher and Piyush Mishra to share their experiences with the audience about their own journey and share tips to grow without short-cuts. Sufi Rock by Rockanama band is an added attraction.

Some other notable events will be ghazals by Imran Khan from the Dilli Gharana, Rooh Sufi Ensemble by Dhruv Sangari, Dastangoi by Syed SahIl Agha on Dastan DIlli Ke Shayron ki, India’s first woman percussionist Anuradha Pal’s workshop and performance, Roohani Sisters’ sufi performances, and lessons from voice culture expert from the US Dipali Gupta. Qawwali by Chand Quadri and Veena Srivani’s Carnatic music, who is a sensation on social media for her renditions are added flavours.

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