Punjabi Festival's 'infinite voice' enchants music lovers

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By Bhushan Sharma

New Delhi, Feb.13 : The musical evening, part of the recently organized Punjabi Festival in the capital, charmed the visitors .

Organised by Punjabi Academy (Delhi) and Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, the festival, had "Anhad Naad", or infinite voice, as its theme for this year.

Many renowned and popular singers and folk troupes presented Punjabi folklore at its best.

The mesmerizing and soulful renditions of popular Sufi and pop singer Hans Raj Hans greats like Wadali Brothers and popular Daler Mehndi Manpreet Akthar and Kamal Heer were some of the major attractions at the festival.

Audiences were treated to a variety of styles - folk, Sufiana, Qawwali and Kirtan sung in Jotian.

Major Singh and his folk troupe was one of the most impressive with their flutes, Dhol, Dhadd, Sarangi, Chimta and Saap.

He said: "The unknown artists should be traced and offered support to demonstrate their talent. It is because their hidden talent won't disappear. An organization needs to be set up which helps identify and trace such artists and bring them on stage."

An upholder of Punjab's folk instruments, Major Singh is among the few working to promote Punjab's lost heritage.

The Dhadhi' form of singing, an almost dying art, was kept alive during the Punjabi festival by Idu Sharif and his sons, Nusrat Ali and Baqer Ali. In accordance with the theme of the fair, the trio sung Amir Khusro's poetry in sufi style.

Songs in praise of legendary individuals like Dulha Bhatti and Heer Ranjha on Sarangi and Dhadd left everyone mesmerized.

On the occasion, Idu Sharif, said: "It is a commendable initiative of the Punjabi Academy, Delhi, which is committed to preserve and disseminate various aspects of Punjabi tradition. As a result, out pride in our tradition won't diminish. The celebrations are to keep the world awake."

Indeed! For three mellifluous days, the musical evenings kept Delhiites enthralled and strengthened the bonding with Punjab and its warm and generous culture.

ANI

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