Traditional Sufi songs gives way to Sufi Rock bands in Kashmir

The Valle of Kashmir is famous all over the world because of its beautiful mountainous landscape wrapped with unique culture, tradition and mostly, for it’s deeply interwoven Sufi Culture. Sufism has a great impact on Kashmir and is integral to KASHMIRIYAT.

Jammu and Kashmir is steeped in Sufi ethos, Sufi shrines, and music. There are a lot of old poets and Sufi singers whose Sufi poetry and music style has snatched hearts of people from all over the world.
But as they say, change is mandatory and every society grows through change. Rock music appeals to this current generation a lot more than classical Sufi folk.
Well, cannot stop quoting Vera Nazarian here:
If Music is a Place — then Jazz is the City, Folk is the Wilderness, Rock is the Road, Classical is a Temple.”

Contrary to the popular perception of the stone pelting Kashmiri youth are in fact dishing out hard rock. From traditional Sufi songs to Sufi rock, how perceptions of decade change over time and how the musical ideas from a given era filter through to later generations– here are some of our favourite bands from the valley.

It’s time for some rock and roll revolution in the Chinar valley.

 

There have been very renowned singers and poets who have written Sufi songs. But today’s youth listens to Rock. So we take the same Sufi lyrics and remix it with rock music and make a fusion genre called Sufi rock”, musician, BLOOD ROCKZ BAND.
A pioneer of the Sufi genre moment was formed back in 2005, by guitarist Adnan Muhammad who is the only constant member of the band. Adnan’s band reached national fame and was ranked no 1 in the battle of band in Kashmir.
Bloodrockz has also started an academy called Band Inn, where now they teach young and then eventually group them into a band.

Sufi rock music has created a powerful impact across Kashmir and this new genre of mixing Sufi lyrics with rock music has become popular among the new generation of the Valley.

Our music is our expression, our voice, we speak through our songs“, Ubaid, 23, lead vocalist and guitarist, POETIC JUSTICE.
Formed in 2004-05 by three friends – Mir Ubaid, Anees Amin and Azhar Hafiz, this band has come up in this league of growing rock culture. The band has been composing songs in English, Urdu and in Kashmiri. It has since grown with new members coming in.

Through Sufi Rock, they aim to not only revive the love for Sufiyana music and entertain people with the new trend but also channel the youths’ energy towards something more peaceful.

Our genre is Sufi-rock and alternative rock. When we first performed punk rock, people merely stared at us with blank faces. We blended our music with Sufi poetry. Since then there has been no looking back“, says Mattoo Asif, drummer, TALES OF BLOOD.
These youngsters do not see themselves as rebels. Music is their passion and also an escape.

Starting out, these aspiring musicians had to learn by observation and had to be their own teachers.

 

The more you absorb music, the more you express”, said Mohammad Muneem, lead vocalist and songwriter of the Pune-based band HIGHWAY-61.
Mohammad Muneem is Kashmiri born and has quite a following. Muneem’s fusion of Kashmiri and contemporary instruments have been featured on Coke Studio, Kappa TV and several festivals across the country. He sings about Kashmiri rearranged folklore, political churnings and the trail of destruction the two decade-long conflicts has left on the state.

Members believe in experimentation, which may or may not fall into any specific genre.

 

With influences of Nusratji, Fuzon, Kailash kher & Junoon we have that Extra edge of versatility of sub-geners and entertaining music lovers of all ages. Moreover we also are into Kashmiri Sufi Rock which is the unique of all the genres”, is the USP of ROOOH, the Sufi Rock band.
Rahul, Ashis, Shivaji, Ramesh wants to be the best Sufi rock fusion band in India and World!

Since music has changed with time, the Kashmiri youths, adapting to the transient times, have got themselves involved in this new trend of Sufi rock bands.

 

 

It stuck with us, we did three songs in Kashmiri. It was never intentional that we wanted to do Kashmiri. It just came to us naturally”, Lead vocalist Khalid Ahamed, PARVAAZ.
A Bengaluru-based band with a lead vocalist from the Valley has produced songs that struck a chord with audiences all over the country. ‘Behosh’, the band’s first extended play that featured a song in Kashmiri was a happy coincidence of the band. There’s no looking back since then. They’ve created renditions of Kashmiri folk tales and poems blended with Western percussion instruments.

With this, they aim to revive all kinds of musical activities, including sufiyana music, and entertain people with the new trend.

You can be as sanskaari as you want, but today’s audience needs something different. Through this, we are trying to keep Sufi music relevant,”

 

There is another face of Kashmir that’s the one that frowns at all that the youth represents. We also had our first all-girl Kashmiri rock band which became a Victim of mindset, PRAGAASH.

The bands are drawing lots of attention, not just to themselves, but also to the Valley.

You’re probably streaming through music in your headphones at work right now. Since music is such a big part of our lives, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you this updated list of rock bands from our very own Kashmir.  The power of music is undeniable. Every short piece of happy or sad music will lift our spirits, connect us and make us one.
Let the music will flow.

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A picture perfect Spring in Kashmir!

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“Wanda tchali, sheen gali, beyiyibahar”, wrote the Kashmiri poet Mehjoor, which translates to — “winter will end, the snow will melt and again spring will come.”

While the days are getting longer and nights getting shorter and the first signs of life are coming forth after a seemingly endless pale winter it feels like God himself is breathing new life back into his creation. Each season is unique but by far spring is my favourite season.
If the main highlight of autumn in the Vale is the blushing chinars, the pale poplars and not to forget the saffron fields of Pampore, then the white-pink almond blossoms, the fresh vibrant tulips typify spring in the Valley.  Spring does not only serve as a break from the extreme winter conditions in the valley but also adds colour to the Valley, with the grey gloom of winter lifting to reveal vibrant blossoms and greenery.
My heart leaps out in joy to witness colors everywhere after the winter grays and whites and welcome the fresh colorful spring breeze.

Nature is in her finest moods in the valley now, encouraging more new buds to form and once again adding the bloom that has faded away. The entire valley is soaked in the freshness and tempting fragrance of new blooms of almonds, cherries, apples, peaches, pears, pansies, narcissi, daises etc. shooting out of their buds, strong enough to pull tourists from all parts of the world.

As the weather warms up here in Kashmir, there are many fun activities that you can add to your to-do list. Make the most of the beautiful spring if you plan to vacation in this paradise.

Tulip Garden in Kashmir


Come mesmerize your senses in the infamous Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden.

Located at the foothills of Zabarwan range with an overview of the beautiful Dal Lake is Asia’s largest spectacular Tulip Garden with over a two million colorful tulips.
Come make an amazing fragrant memory of spring in Kashmir with your friends and family.

 

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Enjoy a breathtaking view of Badamwari (Almond Orchard) 

The pretty blossom of an almond tree on a naked leafless stem after awakening from their winter sleep is an eye soothing view. Kashmiri almonds are famous for their sweet taste and even more famous for its pure white sheen.
Heal your soul amidst scores of beautiful almond blossoms that rests in the foothills of Koh-e-Maraan spreading over 300 acres, in Badamwari.

 

MUSTARD


The sun-gold mustard fields will make you feel the happy yellow and the lively green
To take a look at the true colour of nature, take a drive up and down the yellow carpet of happiness stretched over many patches of earth. The chinar trees standing tall in the mustard fields will caress your soul and spirit in the warmest hug as the sun shines on them.
Found on the way to Pahalgam and many other areas of Kashmir, the sun gold mustard fields is here to offer you the fresh treat of spring.
Locally known as ‘TeeliGogul’, believe me when I say, you must visit Kashmir in spring to make your heart skip a beat while you witness the stunning view!

Dal Lekh

 

Re-fresh, Re-new, Re-awake!
After a cold and harsh winter of Kashmir, spring is considered to be a season of rebirth. Along with the nature shaking off the heaviness of winter, waken up your body and soul with fresh green veggies and rich delicious fruits. Some of the best picks from spring in Kashmir are avocados, apricots, cherry and greens including chilies, coriander, cilantro, beans, collard greens, cucumbers, spring onions and a lot more.

 

 

Welcome spring with the chirps and songs of birds

“In the spring months, these birds of passage also spend some time in the valley before moving to their summer homes.” Sandhill cranes and cormorants arrive here in spring from the Indian plains to spend some time before they also migrate to their summer homes.
Orioles, cuckoos, starlings, nightingales, hoopoes, and doves arrive in spring to bring the Valley back to life with their songs and magnificent colours.

Spring has always been the season of colour and hope in the Valley.
 ‘Kashmir mesmerizes you whichever season you go. More so in spring. It is picture perfect!’

Being a Kashmiri mother

Being a Kashmiri Mother

The truth of living in times driven by media is that it loves to concentrate on the bad things in life rather than the positive ones. And as a result unlike the rest of the country, Kashmir manages to live in the headlines for mostly bad reasons that are visible to the media.
The coverage of Kashmir that the non-residents see is through a narrow lens of media, which is mainly the reason we at KashmiriLife choose to reflect on the daily life, traditions, festivals, art and culture, here at large. With the world celebrating Mother’s day on May 13th, let’s see what story Kashmir has to tell.

To start, let’s talk about our love – our mother and food. Our conversation starts with food and ends with food just as our days.
Our day starts at 5 with the pleasant Azaan heard every morning. We wake up and get ready and our ‘nun chai’ and ‘kandur chot’ (bakery of kashmir) is ready! What’s better than waking up to a scrumptious breakfast every morning? An even better lunch that follows.
Who has the time to worry about what to cook for lunch while having breakfast? Of course our mothers.Mother is the only person who’s ‘pro’ at feeding her children and constantly worries that the child needs to be fed. The one thing they’d never forget to do, is pilling on a few extra pounds on you when you come back home from the hostel as you are never fat enough for her. And let’s accept this who doesn’t crave for mom’s home-made food!

It goes without saying that mothers are creatures blessed with divine qualities of unconditional love, ability to sacrifice and Kashmiri mothers are no exceptions. They pray to the Lord to put them through all the trials instead of their children.
You’d often hear them saying things in Kashmiri like ‘Balai lagai’ ‘Rati chaep lagai’ ‘Zu panun vandai’ to their children which all in all mean ‘may all your hardships be mine’ ‘May all your mis-happenings occur to me instead’.
Though I’m not well versed in a lot of languages but, Kashmiri is definitely the most expressive and sweetest language. Here’s some heart warming phrases you’ll get to hear on a daily basis that mothers use to express love towards us, ‘Zu myon’ (My life!)  ‘Jigar’ (A piece of my heart)  Gobur myon (My loving child) and so on.

When they get mad, we are petrified of them. They scold us, threaten to the extent of ‘Naar di yiman kitaban’ sarcastically which means ‘Set your books on fire’ ,’Paei trath,tche mandchawak aes’ (May you get struck with lightning, you’ll put our name to shame) but here’s a gentle reminder, they’ll not spare anybody if they set a finger at you.
Well, these threats work great.

Nobody can match the warmth of a mother’s embrace. Remember, you never grow up for her. They’d wrap you into a huge bear hug and have a typical Koshur style of kissing. The warmth of a costly Pashmina shawl is no match for a ‘Mouji’s’ hug and kisses. The love is such that you can never miss it and it will definitely warm up your heart.

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Regardless of their different shades there’s nobody who makes you feel safer than mothers.
Kashmiri women are adorable! And they make really cute moms. We love them more for all of these qualities.

A very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! May God bless them.