It was a moon-lit night, the ever buzzing Charminar area continues to buzz, except that a portion in front of the historic monument was cordoned off and converted into a performing space to host the Hyderabad Arts Festival.
It was indeed that day when the music was for everyone. “It was a momentous occasion for us. It was like performing at Shahjahan’s Urs on the marble floor of Taj Mahal, Gateway of India – those few concerts and memories which we cherish forever,” shared the brothers Haji Ustad Farid Sabri and Haji Ustad Amin Sabri.
“It is the company of the elders and Gurus that moulds the human being, and puts us on the right path. And, I was lucky that at a very young age, when my uncle saw I had some talent, he asked my father to keep me with him. My father Saeed Sabri, who was also my Guru was well respected.
However, over a period of time many groups claiming to be Sabri Qawwals came about. “These days it is easy to sit and record a performance and reproduce; someone does the hard work, and someone else copies – however – it is the original art that lasts forever,” says the eldest of the Sabri Brothers.
We read poetry of Ghalib, Meer, Jigar, who have written in praise of women, but with respect. And when we read their poetry – the audience understands it the way they see it – It can seem aashiqaana or Sufiana. For example, when you say, Woh shahkaar hai har shaahkaar se bhad ke, kisika yaar nahi mere yaar se bhad ke…”
Main tho ghazal suna ke akela khada raha
Sab apne chaahne walon mein kho gaye
And they have devised a way to appease to the audience of the day, as they begin their concert with what the audience wants, and once they get the hang of the music, divert them towards sufiana – towards the real love of the soul. “When we perform, we talk and sing of country, of connecting hearts and oneness of religions.