New Delhi: Indian expats in the UAE are set to experience a 'desi' musical delight as an Emirates-based Indian choir pays tribute to the river Ganges.
Malhaar, UAE's first Indian choir, through its show entitled "O Ganga: Echoes From the River of Life" is set to explore the river's connection with culture, especially through poetry and music.

The programme will showcase the journey along the entire course of the Ganga, in an engaging story-telling format with the narrative done by a boatman.

The lyrics of the compositions will talk about various stages of the river - from its origin in the Himalayas till the time it merges into the Bay of Bengal.

"It is not a mythological drama, not a religious convocation and definitely not an environmental show, 'O Ganga' is a journey along the entire course of the river in search of musical notes and the lyrical rhythm that have emerged over time from the rich banks of the Ganges," says Jogiraj Sikidar, director of the choir.

The Banaras Gharana of music along with various poets such as Kabir, Kaifi Azmi, Harivanshrai Bachchan, Rabindranath Tagore, and Lalan Fakir are among the thousands who have drawn inspiration from the river. The show "O Ganga" brings together the distinctive elements of music, poetry and literature that flourished along the banks of Ganga from the ancient times till the present.

The rich folklores of Bihar, the popular literature of Bengal and beyond the boundaries the lush fertile lands of Bangladesh - all owe their allegiance to the river.
The concert plans to bring together various facets of Indian classical and semi-classical and rare folk musical styles such as Thumri, Dadra, Tarana, Hori, Kajri, Chaiti, Ghazal, Nazam, Qwali, authentic folksong and Rabindra Sangeet among others.

“’O Ganga' will connect the many eclectic cultures of India and we will follow the river to discover the many flavours of music that have blossomed alongside the river banks,” says Sikidar, a Hindustani classical singer and composer.

"It is an experimental and an original piece of work that has not been worked on before by any artiste the world over," he adds.

Malhaar blends the intricacies of the sub-continent's rich music with the disciplined harmony found typically in the western choir system.

Different genres of Indian music would be performed in four- part harmony - traditional classical, folk or popular patriotic songs - in various languages.

Malhaar has received critical acclaim for its musicals Rooh-e-Ishq and Jashn-e-Awadh - both staged in Dubai in the year 2010 and 2011, respectively.

The show would be held on October 14-15 in Dubai.