PESHAWAR: Pashto music has a great future due to the people’s undying love for it, claims visually-impaired rabab player Mohibullah.
“All Sufi saints including Rahman Baba and Hamza Baba used to play rabab. The traditional music can stop people them participating in fruitless discussions and badmouthing,” said the 45-year-old resident of Ibrahimkhel area in Landi Kotal, who lost eyesight at the age of seven due to a hereditary disease.
Mr Mohibullah’s other five brothers, too, suffered blindness at a tender age one after another.
However, they all were gifted with individual talents, including poetry, singing, musical composition, drum beating, banjo and rabab playing.
Two decades ago, these brothers formed a music band to show the people their talents but the prolonged wave of terrorism and militancy disrupted their activities.
In the meantime, Mohibullah mastered rabab playing as he learnt basics of music from a trio of instrumentalists, including Gul Rahim Ustad, Nisar Malang and Ahmad Ali.
“I am the only one left in the music band as my other brothers deserted me as they consider music a bad profession. I perform music at local wedding ceremonies and also at private get-togethers not far away from my village as I am unable to cover distances, especially at night,” he said.
The rabab player said he had earlier learnt banjo.
“Rabab maestro Bagh-i- Harum was a source of inspiration for me,” he said.
He said he was a visually impaired person but was gifted with the talents to play rabab to serve Sufi music and thus, giving solace to depressed people.
“I need a new set of rabab as the one I have is worn-out now. I will also appeal to authorities to invite me for performances at local festivals,” he said plying a ghazal of Rahman Baba on rabab at his small dingy premises.
Mr Mohibullah said poets, musicians and Sufis could counter militancy as they spread the message of love, humanism and peace.
“Rahman Baba in a couplet says, La de hase poochgoyaye che za ye aouram/ Pa naghma auo trana da rabab khokhakh yem (I prefer listening to a song on rabab to an idle talk). I love good Pashto poetry and most often I compose tunes on the ghazals of Rahman Baba, Qalandar Baba, Hamza Baba and Khatir Afridi. I don’t ask for money in advance from organisers of musical events. I leave it to them to decide about it after the performance,” he said.
The rabab player regretted that none of the state-run and private radio or TV channels had invited him for performance.
He complained that he became tense as the Khasadar Force personnel often stopped him late at night as he returned from the venues of musical performances.
He asked the political administration to issue him a special card to stop such inconvenience.
Mr Mohibullah also demanded the doubling of the Rs6,000 monthly stipend fixed by the local administration for each of his brothers and its transfer to them by ATM cards.