Osman Mir Weaves Magic

By Aradhana Bhatt

For a migrant living away from homeland a place of worship is not just somewhere he or she goes to pray, it is a link that connects him or her to the motherland that he or she has left behind. Often it is a seat of learning  where children go to learn the mother-tongue, the arts and culture, it is a place where the family meets new people and ties new knots of friendship, it is a place to find comfort and solace in bad times and a place to go and share the joys and express gratitude for their successes. The Western suburbs of  Sydney  were not so densely populated with Hindu migrants from the Indian sub-continent when  Australia’s first Hindu Temple – Sri Mandir came into being in  Auburn in 1977. But over the years, the surrounding suburbs became the heart of all Indian activities. Thus the temple now needs a larger space and the committee has been planning some expansions.

It is with the aim of funding the expansions and making the community aware of the future plans that Sri Mandir organised a musical evening of Osman Mir, one of the most versatile singers of India today. For three hours the audience revelled in what can be described as absolute bliss while Osman Mir and his ”˜Mir Band’ made up of five musicians of his family, weaved magic. He began the evening with ”˜Madi taaru kanku kharyu’, a Gujarati devotional song dedicated to Mother Goddess. His first Aalaap touched the perfect Sa of the high octave, a sure sign of his high musical calibre, that was displayed throughout the evening. He sang Sufi in his inimitable style, he also sang some popular Hindi numbers, he sang some medleys of songs based on Ragas like Bhupali and Pahadi. His ever popular renditions of the Rajasthani folk song ”˜Kesariya Balam’, the soul-stirring Kailash Kher composition ”˜Eri sakhi mangal gaao ri, aaj more piya ghar aavenge’ and Fayyaz Hashmi’s evergreen Nazm ”˜Aaj jane ke zeed na karo’ were charged with intense emotion and also displayed his prowess as a vocalist par excellence. He invited the audience to participate and of course, they gladly joined him in chorus. Their excitement reached a pinnacle with the grand finale of Osman’s signature number from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film ”˜Ramleela’, ”˜Man Mor Bani Thangaat Kare’, when some could not resist the temptation of letting loose and dancing in ”˜garba’ style in the front of the hall. He aptly concluded the evening by saying that a concert is like life; just as life enfolds many colours through its ups and downs, we traverse the entire expanse of emotions in a three hour concert.

Hailing from an underprivileged family in the Mir tribe of Kutchh in Gujarat, Osman left school in year 9, due to poverty and followed in his father’s footsteps of music. The Mirs of Rajasthan and Gujarat are a musical tribe. Thus music runs in his veins. Morari Bapu the revered Ram-Kathaakaar spotted his talent and gave him stage, from which point his fame knew no bounds. Having sung for countless Gujarati films he has several Hindi film songs to his credit including the ”˜Ramleela’ song with Shreya Ghoshal ”˜Nagada sang dhol baaje’, he is the recipient of several prestigious awards and has travelled to more than 25 countries on concert tours.

Aparna Vats opened the evening and welcomed the audience. Yours truly, Aradhana, had the honour of introducing and welcoming the artists.   Ajitsingh Parmar-President, Leela Gune- Vice President of the temple committee, Rajesh Batra and the temple priest Pandit Jatinkumar Bhatt outlined the temple expansion project. A successful event like this is a fruition of collective efforts of many silent workers. Sangita Kashyap, Tushar Bhatt, Samir Patel and many others worked tirelessly behind the scenes. The temple committee and the entire team of volunteers, as well as the major sponsors of the event-Ramesh Sharma of Taj Sweets & Restaurants ought to be congratulated for their selfless efforts in organising a concert that will remain in the minds of music lovers for a long time to come.


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