Yad-e-Iqbal – Char-Bait Muqabla brings back memories of forgotten past

BHOPAL :  On the eve of 78th death anniversary of Allama Iqbal, four-hundred-year-old  ‘Char Bait Muqabla’ was organised  under a concert ‘Yad-e-Iqbal’ ‘at Gauhar Mahal. It was organised by MP Urdu Akademi to mark the death anniversary of Iqbal  as well as to attempt to revive this dying tradition of Urdu singing art which is called Char Bait.

It is noteworthy here that Char Bait also known as ‘Pathani Raag’  is an ancient, unique and interesting singing tradition of Urdu and it is similar to quawwali. The meaning of ‘Char bait’ is poem of four lines, in that every prose consists of four verses and these are written in a special meter. The base of the Chaar Bait is singing and in this no instrument is played. For rhythm only a ‘daf’ (a form of dhapli) is used. This tradition had been remained popular in Bhopal since Nawabi era and there was time that these competitions used to take place in every colony of the city and at times of every small and big celebration Char bait competitions used to take place.

However, five well-known Char Bait parties across country participated in the concert which mesmerised the audience of different age group including youth and old a lot.  The progamme divided into three rounds. The first round began with ‘ Marhaba Marhaba Sarkar Madeene Wale, Hum Bhi Hain Talib-e-deedar Madeene wale. It was followed with the performance of other parties which left the audience spellbound.  These were ‘baname dard ehsane messiah hum na lenge, zigar per zigar per zakhm lenge, zakhm per marham na lenge…,’ by Bajm-e-shaheed Party, Bhopal, ‘lavo gam sare zamane ke gawara kar le, ye gawara nahi hum tumse kinara kar le…,’ by Akhara Munshi Anjaruddin-Chandpur, ‘ye tirange tu vatan ki shan hai, tujhpe meri jaan bhi kurban hai….,’ Akhara Mehboob Ali Khan-Rampur. After that second and third were also held in the parties presented their five works, enthralled the audience.

Moreover, welcome speech and report was presented by Secretary of the akademi.

The programme was conducted by city-based well-known fashion designer Mumtaj Khan. A large number of Char Bait lovers were present on the occasion.

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