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Tamil star Dhanush’s song ‘Kolaveri Di’ has become a sleeper blockbuster by crossing 10,559,994 hits since its release on Nov 16 on youtube.com.
Composed by 18-year-old Anirudh Ravichander, the song with funny lyrics is sung in an unconventional manner by Dhanush himself and it will be a part of his next film ‘3’, which is being directed by his wife Aishwayra.
The film also stars Shruthi Haasan.
Seldom has any song created such a craze – from children to youngsters to celebrities, everyone is hoooked on to the song.
Ustad Bismillah Khan was an Indian Shehnai maestro. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna (in 2001), the highest civilian honour in India and he also gained worldwide acclaim for playing the Shehnai for more than eight decades.
Some lesser known facts about him is that he was raised and blessed in a friendly Hindu environment which recognized talent, irrespective of one’s religious denomination. His ancestors were court musicians and used to play in the princely state of Bhojpur, now in Bihar. His father was a Shehnai player in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh of Dumraon Estate, Bihar. At the age of six, he moved to his maternal house, close to Varanasi, on the bank of Ganges. His reverential and humble disposition attracted the blessings of mother Ganges, and on her banks, he learnt the art of playing this instrument. He mastered the art of playing Shehnai under the tutelage of his uncle, Ali Baksh ‘Vilayatu’, a Shehnai player attached to Varanasi’s Vishwanath temple. Neither was Bismillah’s family members shy of seeking blessings of Lord Shiva, nor is Lord Shiva of Varanasi reluctant to offer his blessings to a non-Hindu.
He was of course a pious Shia Muslim. However, like many Indian musicians, regardless of religion, he was also a devotee of goddess Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of wisdom, and arts. He often played Shehnai in Hindu temples, for the pleasure of God and His devotees. He especially performed at the Vishwanath temple of Lord Shiva at Varanasi.
Ustad Bismillah Khan is one of the finest musicians in post-independent Indian Classical music and one of the best examples of Hindu-Muslim unity in India. He played Shehnai to audience across the world. On his death, as an honour, his Shehnai was also buried along with him. He was known for his vision of spreading peace and love through music. He said, “Even if the world ends, the music will still survive”. He also appealed, “Music has no caste.” Being a recipient of love and admiration from the majority Hindu community of India, he was grateful and prayerful in his dealings with all. He had deep respect for Hindu religious sentiments. As a reward for his open minded approach to religion, Lord Krishna personally blessed him in one special encounters.
In spite of being a Muslim, the legendary Ustad had great respect for Sri Krishna; and that could have prompted the merciful Lord to appear in person. Once, Ustad Bismillah Khan was traveling by train from Jamdshedpur to Varanasi. It was a coal run passenger train and Ustad was traveling in the third class compartment. From an intermediate rural railway station, a young cowherd boy boarded the bogey in which Ustad was sitting. He was a dark and lean boy; and he was holding a flute in his hands. Slowly the boy started playing his flute. The supreme quality of his music surprised the maestro Ustad who didn’t even know the ‘Raga’ the boy was playing. Ustad Bismillah Khan immediately recognized that the boy is none other than Sri Krishna, the Supreme God Himself. The nectarine Nada-Brahman ( Brahman in the form of music) flowing out of Krishna’s flute filled Ustad’s heart with ecstasy ; and tears of joy started pouring out of his eyes .
After the stunning performance, Ustad called the boy near and presented him with a coin requesting him to play the song again. Krishna obliged. This repeated again and again until Bismiillah Khan’s wallet became empty. Young Krishna got down at the next railway station and disappeared. Ustad Bismillah Khan was at that time en route to participate in a music concert related to Kumbha mela (a Hindu religious gathering of millions of devotees). In that concert, Ustad presented the new ‘Raga’ (which he learned that day from Krishna) . This melodious ‘raga’ was greatly appreciated by the audience who begged Ustad to sing it many times. The music scholars around couldn’t make out the name of the ‘Raga’ and they asked about it to Bismillah Khan. Ustad replied that the name of the Raga is ‘Kanhaira’. (Kanahi is another name of Krishna. Lord Krishna is lovingly addressed by His devotees as ‘Kanahi’)
Next day’s news papers contained headlines about the melodious new ‘Raga’ invented by Ustad Bismillah Khan. Having read it, Hariprasad Chaurasia, the legendary Musician (Flutist) , asked about ‘Kanharira Raga’s’ details to Bismillah Khan . Ustad revealed the truth and sang Kanharira; and Hariprasad Chaurasia , the topmost Flutist in the word , burst into tears of joy. ‘Kanharira’ is a divine gem in Indian music, as it originated from the lotus lips of Sri.Krishna , the God of Gods !!!.
Roots of Jinnah
Here are some interesting facts on the Lohana roots of Mohammad Ali Jinnah the founding father of Pakistan:
He was the grandson of a Gujarati Premji bhai Thakkar (Gondal – Gujarat – India), who, to support his family, entered into the trading of fish within the coastal town of Veraval (Gujarat – India).
His business, however, clashed with the (vegetarian) strong moral ethics of the Lohanas (A caste in Kathiyavadi – Gujarati) and as a result he was ostracised from the community.
He made enough money in this trade and attempted to rejoin the community. He also discontinued the fish business. The Lohana leaders, in their wisdom, did not accept his request. (think about the course of history, if they had not had inflated egos and had welcomed him back!)
Premjibhai’ s son Punjalal Thakkar (Jinnah’s father) was enraged at his father’s humiliation and reacted like any other Lohana – with equal and opposite force. He adopted the Muslim religion and changed the names of all his four sons.
However, he continued to use his Gujarati nickname:
Zino (pronounced Jinno in old fashioned Gujarati) which means ‘Skinny.’
Jinno`s son – Mohammad Ali – changed his family name to Jinnah – the nickname of his converted father.
So, here is the fact. Gandhiji who effectively gave birth to independent India (Bharat) and Jinnah, who is the father of Pakistan , are both sons of Saurashtra,(old Katahivad) Gujarat!
On Friday 30 January 1948, Gandhi woke up at his usual hour, 3:30 a.m. After the morning prayer he put the final touches to the new constitution for Congress which he had been unable to finish the previous night. The rest of the morning was spent answering letters. Someone mentioned the fact that despite his poor health he was working incessantly. ‘Tomorrow’, he explained, ‘I may not be here’. Gandhi would not permit those who attended the prayer meetings: ‘If I have to die I should like to die at the prayer meeting. You are wrong in believing that you can protect me from harm. God is my protector.’
Mahatma Gandhi’s body lay on the pyre with his head to the north. In that position Buddha met his end. At 4:45 p.m., Ramdas Gandhi, the third son of the Mahatma, set fire to the funeral pyre. The logs burst into flames. The vast assemblage groaned. Women wailed; men wept. The wood crackled and seethed and the flames united into a single fire. Now there was silence. Gandhi’s body was being reduced to ashes and cinders.
A nation’s father was dead.