More Orchestrated than the Orchestra? …. By Rashmi Talwar

DSCN0289EHSAAS~E~KASHMIR

Ehsaas-E-Kashmir

More Orchestrated than the Orchestra?

Rashmi Talwar

The tallest of Chinars and the tiniest of Rose buds rejoiced and swung in divine unison to the enthralling tunes emanating from the grand orchestra; majestic snows felt captivated with a tingling sensation; lush gardens emitted a more sweeter fragrance; bluish waters got intoxicated and many a weeping willow smiled broadly and whistled a tune to match the musical notes of melodies as Zubin Mehta and Abhay Rustam Sopori waved their respective batons at the Bavarian State Orchestra and the Soz-o-saaz ensemble of the best of Kashmiri instrumentalists.

Alas, humans- Ashraf-ul-Makhlookaat- the loftiest species, endowed with the gift of creation, acumen as thinkers and protectors were seen standing in divided queues slotted into countless paranoiac segments during the grand display of melody at the sprawling Shalimar Garden of Srinagar, on September 7, 2013. About 90 musicians from Germany showcased magnificent musical creations face to face with 2000 invitees. Many invitees were short-listed months in advance from a list of music connoisseurs.

The curtains rolled up with a music piece by top Kashmiri instrumentalists who played music of 19th century famed poet Rusul Mir’s rustic, romantic hit “Rind Poshmal Gindanay Draay Lo Lo; Shoobi Shaabash Chyani Poth Tsaayi Lo Lo” (O the lover of beauty and wine, Poshmal has come out to frolic; Even the shadow of your shadow deserves praise).

As the East met the West in a matchless assemblage, more than 15 musicians from Soz-o-Saaz, brought folk and Sufi color to the majestic evening and played compositions of Kashmir’s proud son Abhay Rustam Sopori, Santoor maestro, master composer, son of legendary musician Pandit Bhajan Sopori.

ZUBIN MEHTA AND GERMANY'S BAVARIAN STATE ORCHESTRA IN KASHMIR 7TH SEPT 2013

ZUBIN MEHTA AND GERMANY’S BAVARIAN STATE ORCHESTRA IN KASHMIR 7TH SEPT 2013

Top Kashmiri Instrumentalists at Zubin Mehta concert Shalimar Gardens Srinagar

Top Kashmiri Instrumentalists at Zubin Mehta concert Shalimar Gardens Srinagar

But elsewhere a boy defying halt orders was injured in fire by security, in the heart of Srinagar. Four more were killed by security forces in sensitive Shopain of South Kashmir while 12 of the security were injured. “I feel so honored for my compositions to be played by master musicians of the Bavarian State Orchestra with Musical great Zubin Mehta” said Abhay Sopori in his humble style to this writer. At the concert, German ambassador Michael Steiner called out ‘Khushamdeed’ extending a Kashmiri welcome.

Western instruments harmonized seamlessly with distinct Kashmiri music flavors and created melting moments of classic symphony with ethnic instruments of Santoor, Rabab, Sarangi, Tumbaknari and Matka. As Fusion music receded, it was gently taken over by mellow and climactic strains of Beethoven, Haydn, Tchaikovsky and Strauss.While world over these concerts have a select audience, in Kashmir the select audience became an abrasive issue, a status symbol with snob value. Predictably then, some high profile invitees with little sense of music, walked around during a recital; yawned or drove their ears and eyes to the who’s who and fiddled with cell phones. Zubin promised that next time the concert would be for everyone instead of an elitist audience. He was clearly trying to clear the creases from the brows of many uninvited and hullabaloo caused by Kashmir over the event. The grand maestro quoted – Many nightingales entered the garden and flowers made way for the nightingales – taking a leaf out of poetry of famed poetess of Kashmir, Habba Khatoon.

“To audience across the world, Zubin Mehta brought a message of optimism and conviction about the shared destiny of humankind,” The Kashmiri-Bavarian blend music-piece a 7-minute recital created history in the music world. Abhay Rustam Sopori had painstakingly created the music score sheet for foreign musicians of the Bavarian Orchestra, to read and play while the Kashmiri Musicians played by rote – a symphony that found itself as the first in the legendary history of Kashmir. The tingling Santoor matched other musical beats of the valley taking on the Bavarian compositions to fall neatly into folds, in the back drop of historical Shalimar gardens. Kashmir’s robust floriculture department laid the grandeur famed terraced lawns of Mughal Emperor Jehangir in the 17th century with a thorough facelift, not seen in last 40 years. The gardens seemed to have turned all ears and eyes for the lilting musical aura, in decades.

“This is true”, says Kapal Bhrany, an ardent lover of Kashmir in Amritsar in his late 70s, “It leaves me in raptures to recall the musical nights during Shab-e-Shalimar. I saw it first in 1959 and in the 70s with my family. It was a Kashmiri music fare with a son-et-lumiere with Rauf and other dances”, he reminisced.
In 24 European nations, TV viewers watched mesmerized musicians in the grip of creative delirium, as the foothills of ZabarwanRange in the backdrop of Dewan-e-Khaas reverberated and ensconced them in the magnificence of one of the greatest music scores, for nearly 90 minutes.

Those miffed by the 77-year-old celebrated Zubin’s ‘Ehsaas-e-Kashmir’ (the feel of Kashmir); seem to have wished no joys or pride for their Kashmir. They concocted stories and assigned meanings and stepped up all opportunity to play politics. On the sidelines they yearned to be invited and refusal made them label it the ‘sour grapes’ .The event was a threat to their power to evoke wailings and tears for every misfortune that arrives in Kashmir. “Kashmir, should remain embedded in the throes of despair nothing should soothen the wrinkles of the past,” is their wish.

Insiders say, ‘If separatists really care, let them impose restrictions on big fat Kashmiri weddings and smoothen lives of Kashmiris.” That the concert will facilitate the Indian state to publicize normalcy in Kashmir, is their assault. But Mehta countered-‘Music uplifts forlorn lives!’ ‘Provocation is easy in Kashmir. Who in Kashmir has not watched the live telecast of the musical night in protest?’ The shutdown in protest, rather served civic administration keeping most mischief mongers indoors.

In the entire scenario, nature exudes the warmth of a welcoming, like a father of a bride, to this alien music, while human beings are playing the ultimate villain. The ear that has loved, slept, dreamt after countless musical lullabies by doting mothers ever since birth, how could those ears become believers of destructors, how could they threaten to draw blood over the innocent softness of the healing touch of music?

Published in Saanjh on Wednesday September 11, 2013
URL : https://saanjh.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/more-orchestrated-than-the-orchestra-by-rashmi-talwar/

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29 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by TejKrishan Walli on September 24, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Rashmiri Talwar’s analysis of this great musical event has been just superb.

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  2. Posted by TejKrishan Walli on September 24, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Abhay, you have done every kasmiri proud…… u were part of the most glorious moment in the history if kashmiri music, which you through your efforts and talent have taken to newer heights.

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  3. Both were fabulous especially our Abhay Rustum Sopori son of legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori

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  4. Posted by Tufail Bazaz on September 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Exactly both were fabolus, but our kashmiri star was stuning and out standing…ab sopori is really a gem v have in kashmir……2 b honestly??????????

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  5. Posted by Singh Balvinder on September 11, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    A review article by one rao “road block….” in HT sept 9, thrown on page 8, seemed very true analysis of the event:it answers many questions that are discussed above. A must read for hot discussants

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  6. Posted by Bikram Singh on September 11, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Returning to the perfect harmony that is Nature through music…

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  7. Posted by Tufail Bazaz on September 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    every thing is fear in love and war? war has no method ? kashmari proverb VABHA has really no method…let us hope good 4 mankind ………….

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  8. Posted by Veerinder Patwari on September 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    i I invite U to read my latest short story “ THE PAIN WITHEN ! on my wall.

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  9. Posted by Tufail Bazaz on September 11, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    zubin and abhay really played awesome ….?, as music has no boundries, but unfortunatly boundries have apart kashmaries from music………….

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  10. Posted by Rameez Farooq on September 11, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Rashmi Talwar we are not averse to tourism..and if tats is the case.. y not open our borders to all countries.. we will have 3 folds of tourism than we have ryt now… our boundaries are with 4 countries..so this talk of promoting tourism is a farce. we are open to any idea which will help Kashmir economically.. and lest start with handing over our power projects back to us..

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  11. Posted by Mohammad Farooq Wani on September 11, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    A game of power politics both at the center and state of J&K nothing beyond. Governments must change both at the center and state and changes are always better. Congress is all responsible for the mess and killings in kashmir with the help of puppet and pity politicians @ Rashmi Talwar

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    • Mohammad Farooq Wani — Who voted for this government ? Why can’t we share the blame with the government? Government and Politicians manipulate us and succeed WHY? Cos we are big fools … and they are the master operators !

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  12. Posted by Rameez Farooq on September 11, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Rashmi Talwar same fate was with tourism.. people have been selling tourism as normalcy from last 3 years… tourism is a routine thing for Kashmir…. zubin Mehta concert was a tourism trap in offering

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    • Is there anything wrong with promoting Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir ? Rameez Farooq … Do you want that Kashmiris should be crying forever ? Do you desire no happiness should step into Kashmir ?

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  13. Posted by Rameez Farooq on September 11, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    we all know music brings peace to hearts.. but this was clearly mentioned by the German embassy. if the concert wus have been promoted as ZUbin Mehta wants to play in Shalimar garden as he wishes so.. I don’t think any 1 wud have problem…

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    • When did Zubin ever say he was bringing peace to Kashmir …is he God? He said music brings peace to the hearts … That is exactly how the twist and turns take place in Kashmir fragile political set up

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  14. Posted by Mohammad Farooq Wani on September 11, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Miseries and to heal up the wounds with salt. Better may be known to Chief minister himself. we know the culture of India and better would have been a concert in our own language. Our state ministers were watching the concert so keenly as if they were understanding every TRIN TRIN of Mr. Zubin Mehta..

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  15. Posted by Rameez Farooq on September 11, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    it brought with it the a political storm which could have polarized the narratives further. if it wud have been a normal concert where he wanted to play. it was not an issue. he wanted to bring peace to Kashmir. and peace here is political in nature…..if it was a normal concert like any other.. shud not have been an issue.. plus I am not counting civil liberties as they already are violated here..

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    • Tell me what was FIRST hitch to the concert which brought world music to Kashmir ? Why the hue and cry … Who moulded the concert occurance and gave it a sinister meaning Mohammad Farooq Wani Rameez Farooq… Do you understand how politics is played so successful to incite people esp in Kashmir, where everyone is ready to lap up the slightest of excuse to call for bandhas , strikes and go on a rampage

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  16. Posted by Mohammad Farooq Wani on September 11, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Debates, hue and cry,discussions,and additional burden on already dry govt exchequrer as per state finance minister and ‘DABAW’ from various quarters both the music concerts were held but what i missed the most was the Muftei Azam Kh, Basir-u-din from the concert perhaps due to his recent involvement in Sifiana Music in Dal Lakes house boat . What put a question mark on the concert was the killing of 4 civilians on the fate ful day…..

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  17. Posted by Rameez Farooq on September 11, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    we are not talking about music…we are talking of purpose of concert.. music can be played anywhere for any one..

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  18. Posted by Rameez Farooq on September 11, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    This was not for people of Kashmir.. please

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  19. […] « More Orchestrated than the Orchestra? …. By Rashmi Talwar […]

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