Through verse & music, city band echoes vibrant sounds of the Valley

Mohammad Muneem has a simple reasoning for why his batch of English-speaking school scholars come to learn from him the genres of Urdu poetry at Symbiosis College. “Har insaan shayari kar sakta hain,” he says matter-of-factly, as he brushes aside talk of any language hurdle and as a substitute stresses on the overwhelming need of the scholars to precise themselves thru poetry.
Muneem must find out about self-expression. His own requirement for that used to be situational, when he left the sylvan Kashmir Valley as a 20-year-old to study engineering and an MBA in Pune. He took to writing poetry, regularly extending it to penning songs, lending vocals to them and finally composing them. His songs — all of which might be in Kashmiri and Urdu — discovered connect with the folks thru Highway 61, a band wherein he jammed up with other artistes from Pune and Mumbai to meld sounds from the Valley with the ones from fresh musical instruments.

The band has now been re-christened Alif, meaning oneness, and guarantees a more mature sound. Besides Muneem, the opposite participants of the band are Hardik Vaghela (keyboards), Amit Gadgil (bass), each from Pune, and Karan Deshmukh (percussion) and Chaitanya Bhaidkar (guitar), each from Mumbai.

The tracks in Alif’s recently-released album, Sufayed, are in response to private reviews and eventualities, says Muneem. One of them, ‘Malaal kya hua’, offers with clinical depression, ‘Ali’ is ready folks with self-doubts, ‘Shartiya’, is ready conditional, selfish folks, while ‘Rupya’ is a a laugh music on demonetisation.

Then there’s ‘Yuur Walo’ (return to the earth), which Muneem wrote after hearing Steven Wilson’s ‘Refuge’, which used to be impressed through the Syrian humanitarian disaster. But most likely essentially the most stirring music within the album is ‘Jhelumas’, the journey of a lady across the Jhelum river which results in her drowning… in her own emotions, figuratively.

Muneem says the band’s songs are in response to compassion and empathy, qualities that grew on him after two frightening reviews —one wherein his father suffered injuries in a grenade blast available in the market in Srinagar and the opposite when Muneem used to be himself attacked it seems that for no reason on the streets of Pune. His lyrics once in a while can also be beautiful darkish too, as in ‘Like A Sufi’ — one among his hits within the Valley. Yet, it’s a track folks love to bop to easily on account of its vibrancy, he says.

But Muneem’s initiation into song didn't start with the ethnic stuff, fairly it revolved around the fare of Michael Jackson and Queen. His uncle used to be a radio jockey for a show called Sunday Request on Radio Kashmir, and Muneem used to be one among its maximum avid listeners. He stays a large fan of Freddie Mercury, and has been to St Peter’s college in Panchgani if simplest to gaze at a broken piece of the piano on which the Queen frontman would play as a scholar there.


Muneem says he himself used to be a mean scholar at school, incessantly bullied. His first self assurance boost got here when, as a 14-year-old, he sang Mehdi Hassan’s ‘Ranjish hi sahi’ ahead of a packed target audience at a lodge near the Dal lake. In Pune, he taught himself the guitar, took to fresh dancing and trained his voice with coaching from the Hadapsar-based Celia Lobo, one among India’s best opera singers.


The adventure since has been sluggish, but Muneem says the band has been creating a conscious effort to stay impressed. He appears to be like to wreck the stereotype of Kashmir, short of it to be considered just like any other state in India.


While earlier the band didn't pop out much within the open, it has been sharing information about its song vigorously on social media nowadays. “There is an unlucky necessity of understanding sell yourself in modern occasions to stay relevant,” says Muneem. This necessity is very best epitomised in another one of the vital band’s tracks, ‘Shoshay ka chasma’, where he sings, ‘Khamoshi bechun chillayega kaun, agar bakse mein rakh chhodun khareedenga kaun’ (If I sell my silence, who would discuss for me, and if I stay it in a treasure box, who would purchase it from me).


Through verse & music, city band echoes vibrant sounds of the Valley Through verse & music, city band echoes vibrant sounds of the Valley Reviewed by kailash soni on March 05, 2018 Rating: 5
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