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Music Icon Amir Khusro, Grandpa & Me. Podcast Serial EP 7

Music icon of Indian subcontinent Amir Khusro. Listen, read, reflect and enjoy his story!

This podcast serial takes you through the adventures of a teenage boy and the wisdom of his Grandpa.  Mamdu is fifteen and blessed with the company of his grandpa who discusses everything in an enlightened but comprehensible manner. Fictional creativity blends with thought-provoking facts in the background of the scenic countryside of Phoolbun and modern city of Nairangabad

Music icon Amir Khusro, Grandpa and me. Podcast Serial by Valueversity
Uncle Patel and Yani Apa were waiting for us at Nairangabad railway station. Uncle used to be once Grandpa`s student, then his assistant and now a very close friend.  Yani Apa is the only daughter and companion he has after the death of his wife a few years back. Our stay is at their residence during this holiday. Though she is seven years older than me and a 4th-year medical student, it did not take long for us to become very close friends. Good looking, well mannered and very well-read. Eyes as bright as stars and smile like a fresh rose. Besides being a medical student, her interest in poetry, literature music and current affairs is immense. Grandpa was staying in the guest room and I was temporarily set up in the study on a sofa bed. This made me so familiar with all of her favourite books stored on the nearby shelf.  An excellent selection of nicely organized medical, literary and current affair books.  In the opposite corner, a wide low coffee table type thing called Takhat had a pair of the tabla and classical musical instrument sitar on its top.  Playing the sitar is Yani Apa\s passion. That evening, while she was gently playing with the strings of sitar casually.  I just turned the page of a poetry book and said. How nice this couplet is. Whenever I see the beautiful fingers of my beloved, a melody emerges as if a sitar is played at a remote place. Then I asked  Yani Apa. When was the sitar invented? She replied.  In the 13th century in the city of Delhi, Amir Khusro was the first one who introduced this musical instrument in the court of King Allauddin Khilji. It may have been modified from an Iranian musical instrument called Sehtar that simply means three strings. And what about tabla? I inquired. She said.  Tabla is a modernised form of an ancient Indian drum called Pakhawaj. The credit again goes to Amir Khusro. Playing of sitar and tabla is a kind of conversation between two musical instruments. This combination can create magic. Please tell me more about Amir Khusro? I asked. She Replied. He was born in 1253 in Uttar Pradesh, a province of northern India, and therefore he is sometimes called Khusro Dehlvi. He was a brilliant musician and a scholar at the same time. Nizamuddin Auliya was his spiritual leader. It was an intimate spiritual relationship between Khusro and Nizamuddin. A  trendsetter and unquestionably the icon and symbol of Indian subcontinent music. Though he was fluent in Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit but preferred to do his poetry in the local language called Hindavi.  He invented the classical musical forms of Khayal and Tarana. He was the one who invented the Sufi form of music called Qavali. Equally successful as a poet, he did tremendous work in ghazal, Masnavi, Qattat, Rubai, and Dobait  His musical compositions captured the hearts and minds of ordinary people. Being associated with the court of Delhi, he was and still more popular in Northern India and all over Pakistan, but no doubt he had a universal soul. His riddles, songs, musical compositions, anecdotes and stories are extremely popular amongst common people of Indo Pak. He died in 1325 at the age of 72 and is buried alongside his spiritual guru Nizamuddin..
Written, translated, narrated and produced by Shariq Ali

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