It was a different experience for the listeners who gathered at the premises of the Government General hospital here as the ‘Qawwali Mehfil’ helmed by Navas K Moidheen unfolded as part of the ‘Arts and Medicine’ programme organised by the Kochi Biennale Foundation on Wednesday.
The musical afternoon came as a soul-chiller for the crowd, including patients, medical staff and bystanders at the hospital, amid the scorching April heat as Navas and the troupe members rendered the stirring numbers, some of them in Hindustani.
A combined initiative of Kochi Biennale Foundation and Mehboob Memorial Orchestra, the programme entered its 263rd episode this week, providing some solace to patients, bystanders and medical staff every Wednesday. Though ‘Qawwali‘ originated in South Asia as a form of Sufi Islamic devotional music , it has been adapted into various sub-continental languages and found its way into films as well.
In all, 13 songs were rendered by Navas and Chorus, which included some famous numbers of legendary Malayalam playback singer H Mehboob, who hailed from Kochi.
Navas under the banner of ‘Jalwa Qawwali Sangham’ led the troupe accompanied by singers Jayesh P J and Akbar K B. Nasar Edappaly, who for the past 30 years has been active in musical gatherings, played the harmonium, Josy Bhai was on the keyboard, Praveen Cheranellur on the Tabla and the rhythm composing was done by Johnson.
Mehboob Memorial Orchestra backed the singers with the musical instruments in synchronization. Though the singers did not have much time to practice with the orchestra team, the music that emanated through the microphones was just right and pleasing to the ears of the listeners, who cheered and applauded the artistes right from the start.
Navas invoked the musical muse with ‘Allahu Allahu’, and then moving onto ‘Tu Ameer- e -Haram’. The menu then got spiced up with popular film songs like ‘Haal Pidichoru Puliyachan’ , sung by Mehboob for the 1958-hit Nairu Pidicha Pulivaalu, ‘Kandu Randu kannu’, ‘Naya Paaisayilla’, ‘Mere Rakshe Kamar’, ‘Othu Palliyil Nammal Annu’. ‘Tere Naam Se Jeelu’ concluded the musical treat, with the radiant crowd applauding the singers.
“Whatever might be the kind of music that we indulge in, it is for the enjoyment of the audience and here especially for the patients who would savour it all in its finesse as the effect of the music is therapeutic; I feel blessed to be a part of this show,” said the lead vocalist Navas, thanking the organisers of the all-Wednesday show.
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