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  • Delhi Celebrates the Traditional Kheyal Gayeki from Punjab

    Published on May 21, 2015

    Raza AliNew Delhi : Despite the roaring popularity of pop and Bollywood music in India, there is no dearth of art lovers who yearn to listen to the traditional, folk and classical genres in music. The upcoming music festival of the traditional music of Punjab is set to offer a cultural treat for such people.

    If one talks about the cultural heritage of Punjab, the mellifluous kheyal ‘bandishes’ (Compositions) cannot be left out from the discourse. In fact, this is a genre of ‘Gayeki’ which has enriched the Hindustani Classical music for more than two centuries now.

    Punjabi Academy, Govt. of Delhi, Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Govt. of Delhi; is presenting a Festival of the Traditional Music of the Punjab, which will bring together renowned artists of this genre for two days on the 21st of May, Thursday and 22nd May, Friday at the India International Centre.

    On the 21st May Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Shri Manish Sisodia will be the Chief Guest; and Shri Jatinder Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister for Law & Justice; Tourism; Gurdwara Elections and Art, Culture & Languages, Govt. of Delhi will be the Guest of Honour.

    Before the advent of Kheyal, there were four famous Gharanas of Dhrupad singing in the Punjab, Talwandi, Haryana, Sham Chaurasi and Kapurthala. Kheyal Gayeki emerged as the next stage of evolution in the history of Hindustani music. As the strict discipline of earlier days gave way to greater expansiveness and liberty of expression in the musical firmament. The process of this evolution had started with the creative endeavors of Amir Khusroe in the 12th century and completed itself under the vibrant outpourings of Niamat Khan Sadarang and Ferozkhan Adaran who gave the Kheyal style its present identity. Kheyal Gayeki remained confined to Delhi for some time, and it was only later during the 19th century that the new style reached the Punjab. Jarnail “Ali Baksh” and Kaptaan “Fateh Ali” founded the Patiala Gharana of Music, from which flows an important line of Kheyal Gayeki of the Punjab.

    “As you are aware the Punjab has always been renowned for its beautiful “Bandishes” which have enriched the repertoire of Hindustani Classical Music. Punjabi is the only other language, apart from Braj Bhasha, in which Kheyal Bandishes have been written over the centuries. Shah Sada Rang and Ada Rang, creators of the Kheyal style of Hindustani Classical Music, have also composed some beautiful Bandishes in the Punjabi languge which will be presented in this Festival. Over the last two centuries, Hindustani Musicians whether from the Punjab or elsewhere, have sung these Punjabi Kheyal compositions. It is our effort through this Festival to revive an interest in them by encouraging their research and presentation. ,” says Ms. Geetanjali Gupta, Secretery, Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi.

    The Festival will begin with a performance by Bhai Balwant Singh Namdhari who will render kheyal gayeki accompanied by the Tabla Mridang in the traditional style of the Punjab. His performance will be followed by Sh. Raza Ali Khan grandson of the legendary Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Saheb who will sing the traditional Punjabi Kheyal bandishes.

    The second day will have Qutubi Qawwal from the Dargah of Hazrad Qutbudin Bakhtiar Kaki who will present Sufi Qawwali from the Punjab. Pandit Yashpaul will render Punjabi Kheyal Bandishes of archival value.

    “Through this annual festival, our effort is to revive an interest and attract youngsters to this beautiful form of classical music. We also want to encourage research and presentation in this art form which is languishing, as it is an intrinsic part of our composite culture,” says Shri Jawahar Dhawan, Secretary, Punjabi Academy.