Monday, June 25, 2007

Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

'It is an honour to be attached to my uncle's name'
~Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

It's not always a guarantee of success to have a famous family member in Bollywood. For every Abhishek Bachchan that has made it - there are scores that started big and then fizzled out. Amit Kumar (son of Kishore), Nitin Mukesh (yes, that one), various Kapoors (from the lineage of Raj Kapoor) ~ the list goes on. These offspring seem to get the worst of both worlds - some fail for being too much like their predecessors and some for not being enough like them. The ones who do make it are the ones who carry over their family's talent but infuse it with enough of their own to make it something new and different all together. Such is the case with the nephew of the legendary Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Rahat. Trained by his uncle in the classical style of Sufism starting at age ten - Rahat has become a name to be reckoned with in the classical world as well as in Bollywood.

Our friend, Daddy's Girl (who has a wonderful blog on Bollywood and was kind enough to give me a special award:) asked me to expound a little bit on Sufism after my last post on Kailash Kher. Sufism is a mystical practice that emphasizes certain unique rituals for guiding spiritual seekers into a direct encounter with God. Muhammad is considered their chief prophet and many consider Sufism to be a mystical brand of Islam. One of the important rituals in Sufism is the zikr. During a zikr, one remembers God through meditation, chant and movement ~ certain attributes of God are repeated until the seekers become “saturated” with God and this ritual supposedly shatters and transforms them. As they spin and whirl around for hours, they reach a state of ecstasy and purity where the heart is only conscious of God. The seeker surrenders his or herself to total abandonment -- a total emptying of self.

Today's song selection is Jiya Dhadak, an absolutely stunning song that I cannot listen to enough and still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. It is from the 2006 movie 'Kalyug' ~ a movie I'll probably never see it but if you want to see the video click here. Or better yet - if you live anywhere near the Atlanta area go hear the song live in concert on 7/6/07 - I have seen him live and I promise it will be a concert you will remember forever.


Daddy's Girl said...

Thanks so much Sanket, I had absolutely no idea what Sufism was about... fascinating stuff.

Sanket Vyas said...

You are very welcome. I think I love the idea of it so much due to the purity of it all. We went to the Chishti Tomb in Ajmer (a great Sufi saint) and anyone - Hindu, Muslim, etc. was welcome to enter to pay their respects. It was amazing and we just missed the quwalli at sunset which would have made the experience that much more incredible!