Shepherds of Kashmir

Towards Panjal and beyond.  Awarded Best Film in Non-feature film category.

What I really liked about the film was that it tried to capture the entire journey. The camera travels with the caravan as it heads towards the margs of Kashmir crossing the treacherous Panjals. The scenes follow the timeline of shooting for most part of the film. Shooting in strong winds and slippery mountains is a tough task.  Director writes“The horse carrying our equipment skidded and broke the solar charger. This limited our shooting hours so I had to use the camera judiciously to save my batteries.”

The translations are a bit off the mark. “Bakarwali go zamano ni de punjabi ban ja” translated into “If you don’t want to do it go to hell.” I cannot equate being a punjabi to going to hell.

Rajesh Koul’s film on Bakkarwals got the music right. Shepherds of Paradise has Kashmiri music playing the background which is not the part of culture that film tries to depict. Its strength is in depicting life of shepherd as he undertakes the journey every year and the film does that beautifully.

There are many passes that the shepherds use to travel across Panjals. I am guessing, this film was shot along the Darhal pass.

Rajauri-Darhal-Beloh-Aliabad Sarai-Hirpur-Shopian

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Sirf Qawwali

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For a lifetime spent scavenging the corners of world wide web for qawwali ,there’s no better reward than a live performance. I do realize there are thousands of wandering souls which could kill if not die reading about the extravaganza.

Delhi is an amazing city, especially in spring. It is musically alive and breathes for couple of months. All you need to enjoy all that is free and awesome is a friend with right kind of connections, a friend who is equally enthusiastic if not more about music. Well, a friend indeed is a friend in need.

Yesterday was another fine Saturday morning in Delhi with clear skies, the perfect weather for an outdoor musical concert in evening. Jashn-e-Khusrau, the ten day long musical festival ended a week ago. Artists from across sub continent performed in events that were spread across venues. It was probably the largest classical music event with great performances by Ustad Naseer-ud-Din Saami, Ustad Shujat Khan, Ustad Shahid Pervez Khan, Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan and Tahira Sayeed.

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