Thursday, April 13, 2017

Blackbuck to get water

Source: The Hindu: 

Deputy Commissioner H.R. Mahadev has instructed officials to supply water to blackbuck in the grasslands surrounding the Bellur Lake on the outskirts of Bidar. During a visit to the grasslands on Wednesday, he observed that the tank had gone dry. He instructed officials to build small tanks and fill them with water to help the animals. Assistant Commissioner Shivakumar Sheelvant was present.


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Friday, April 7, 2017

Octogenarian’s daily musical offering at a dargah

Source: the Hindu;

Rishikesh Bahadur Desai

In the blood:Mohammad Mian hails from a family of court musicians at the dargah of saint Abul Faiz.Gopichand. T 

Karnataka shehnai player takes forward family tradition despite frailty, but rues lack of a successor

For the last nearly 70 years, the daily routine of 82-year-old Mohammad Pasha Mian has involved waking up at the crack of dawn to reach the dargah of Abul Faiz in Bidar and begin playing his ‘chota shehnai’ at 6 a.m.

His post-prayer music recital at the n agarkhana , the music gallery atop the dargah’s front gate, serves as a pleasant wake-up call to the people of the neighbourhood. Mian’s limbs are weak owing to old age but that has neither deterred him from walking to the dargah nor reaching the nagarkhana — on all fours when there is none around to help him with the climb. The ‘chota shehnai’ he carries in his pocket, he proudly says, was handcrafted by his father, who also played the same instrument at the dargah.

He is sometimes accompanied by his grandsons, who play drums. The drums start playing just as the prayers end in the small mosque on the premises of the dargah, and within a few minutes, the soulful strains of the shehnai rise up in the morning air. On days when the boys go to work as construction labourers, Mian takes turns on the drums and the shehnai.

‘No money in music’

Hailing from a family of court musicians at the medieval era saint’s dargah, Pasha Mian learnt music from his father and uncles. He plays some classical pieces and then some Sufi songs and ghazals.

“I must have been a boy of about 12 or 13 years when I began accompanying my father and uncles who performed here,” he says.

His childhood was hard and he received no formal school education. “Nor could I learn music from a guru. I began to play the 'chota shehnai' and practised on my own,” he says.

The dargah committee pays Pasha Mian Rs. 1,200 per month. He has no other other means of livelihood. Mian has a large family to feed as one of his sons died young and his daughter-in-law and grandchildren live with him. His other son is a carpenter.

“There is no money in music. That’s why it is unattractive to young people,’’ he says. “When I was young, there were six shehnai players in my family. But now I am the only one. Hazrat Khwaja Abul Faiz Sadath Zaid Husseini is considered Bidar’s patron saint and my family has been playing in the dargah for generations,” he says.

“One of my uncles told me that the n agarkhana should never be bereft of sound. I continued the family tradition. But I don’t know what will happen next. My son did not learn the art and my grandsons are not interested,’’ he says.


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Bidriware imitations everywhere

Source: The Hindu .

Special Thanks to Rishikesh Bahadur Desai sir and Serish Nanisett sir.

Counterfeit An imitation Bidriware piece.

Unscrupulous traders go the easy route to meet bulk orders

Are visitors to Hyderabad buying fake Bidri souvenirs? This is the fear of Bidri artisans in Hyderabad and Bidar in Karnataka who believe cheap screen-printed pieces are being passed off as hand-crafted Bidriware.

Rehaman Patel, a faculty member in the Department of Visual Arts, Gulbarga University, has written to the Geographical Indications (GI) Registry voicing his concern after he came across a photograph of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao handing over a Bidri souvenir to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, a few months ago. He also wrote to the Karnataka government demanding action against misuse of the GI tag.

Even The Hindu wrote to the Telangana Chief Minister’s office on this issue, but there has been no reply.

Original Bidriware is made of an alloy of 90% zinc and 10% copper, with inlay work of pure silver. The products are later blackened by dipping them in a bath of chemicals with traces of soil from Bidar fort. Instead of the long-drawn-out traditional process, unscrupulous traders are printing the designs onto black plastic or zinc plate. These poor imitations are being passed off as original.

“When we get bulk orders, or when the design is too intricate, or when the client is in a hurry, we print the design. The printed design is laid on a base material, which can either be a zinc plate or a black plastic sheet and the print is fixed using a process of oxidisation,” said a trader in Hyderabad where regular Bidriware is also created.

Incidentally, Bidriware is protected by the GI Registry and any attempt to duplicate it is illegal. “These items are cheaper and weigh far less than the authentic product. I bought a few items out of curiosity,” said Bengaluru-based art connoisseur Kranti Kumar.

Imitation Bidriware is being sold even in the souvenir shop of the Salar Jung Museum. “This is not Bidriware. It’s machine printed. Nobody’s hand is so steady,” said Muhammad Yaseen, a craftsman in Hyderabad’s Murgi Chowk area, when shown a ₹1,700 ‘Bidri’ item. Incidentally, at a retail outlet in Hyderabad, a similar-sized item is sold for ₹550, while an original Bidriware of slightly bigger size is sold for ₹2,500. Half of the Bidar old city’s economy is dependent on Bidriware, and it would be destroyed as machine-made goods become popular. Artisans would lose jobs, said Rashid Quadri, national award winning artist and quality consultant for Cauvery Handicrafts. Counterfeit items are flooding bigger markets in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kalaburagi, said Vinayak Vangapalli, who has written a research paper on the Bidriware market.


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