Sufi influence on Bollywood has deepened

Updated: Nov 14, 2010, 15:46 PM IST

New Delhi: Abida Parveen, the grand dame of Sufi music, calls India her second home and even though she is too busy for Bollywood, the singer feels that the film industry is doing its bit in spreading the magic of Sufism.

Abida feels that modernisation of the genre will only increase its beauty and believes that A R Rahman, Kailash Kher and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan are doing their best in the genre.

"The influence of Sufi music on Bollywood has grown over the years and the new artistes have only added to the beauty of Sufism by bringing in new instruments and ideas. A lot of good work is happening," Abida told reporters.

"Every instrument is beautiful be it modern or old and its voice comes from God himself. Aamir Khusrauji created sitar and tabla. Both so different yet so beautiful. Use of modern instruments won`t harm the spirit of Sufism."

The singer, who has a huge following on both sides of the border with her songs like `Duma dum mast qalandar`, `Ho jamalo`, `Tere Ishq nachaya` and `Jahan-e-Khusrau`, says she would love to sing for Bollywood.

"Why not. I will do music for Bollywood but I am a servant of God and it is my duty to spread his message first. That`s what is keeping me busy. I will sing for them if I get time," she added.

When asked whether she thought that the modernism was good for the genre, Abida said, "Sufi music has always been modern and how can different instruments spoil its magic. They will only add to the beauty. But the singers need to be careful that they don`t waste its spirit and spark."

The Islamabad-based singer was in the city for a concert, an initiative by NGO Routes2Roots, ICCR and IWPC to promote peace between India and Pakistan relations.

Abida, who calls India her second home, believes that the two countries have always shared great bond.

"For me, India is like second home and I am grateful to the lovers of Sufi here, who enjoy my music and make every performance memorable. Sufi has always brought the two countries together and it will continue to do so," she said.

Abida, who is known to take her audience on a spiritual ride with her mesmerising voice despite singing in different languages like Urdu, Sindhi, Seraiki, Punjabi and
Persian, says her music is a gift of God and blessing of saints.

"It is God`s gift that he has chosen me to spread his message. There is no single formula to find Sufism and no single angle. I only strive to say it better," she said
reciting a couplet of Kabir.