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Satguru Jagjit Singh and Sri Bhaini Sahib’s 100-year love affair with classical music


Mumbai, Date: It takes one good teacher to inspire many students but it takes a true patron and example to inspire and lead an entire community for a hundred years. Such is the story of Satguru Jagjit Singh, who understood the true meaning and impact of music in the regular everyday lives of children and inculcated the tradition of learning classical music in Bhaini Sahib. Sri Bhaini Sahib a small village in Punjab where every child has in the last 100 years learnt classical music and continues to till date, documentary filmmaker Taranjiet Singh Namdhari has captured this tradition in his next documentary titled Sangeet – Saroop – Satgur. With all the stalwarts of music swearing by this tradition and being catalysts in the movement, the documentary will throw light on how it came about and the forces behind it.

Satguru Jagjit Singh was one of the biggest patrons of classical music in India and his love and dedication for it has inspired many a musician around the world. He believed that learning classical music everyday instils a certain discipline and focus in an individual, which is necessary right from childhood. As a young adult, he made it compulsory for all children in Bhaini Sahib to learn classical music. The current master of the Namdharis - Satguru Uday Singh, has taken forward the tradition with equal vigour after Satguru Jagjit Singh passed away in 2012. From Bismillah Khan, Kishan Maharaj and Vilayat Khan to Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Ustad Zakir Hussain and Amjad Ali Khan, the tradition has attracted many a music maestro to Bhaini Sahib to impart their knowledge to the children. The documentary is a musical journey that discovers the hidden gems of Sri Bhaini Sahib, and the mesmerising story of Satguru Jagjit Singh that has remained untold.

Along with his team of dedicated digital archive, restorians spread across India, England and France - Documentary and feature film maker Taranjiet Singh Namdhari took it upon himself to show this story to the world. In his documentary, he has portrayed the start of this tradition, the impact it has had on the temperament of children, the mode of teaching, and what propels the tradition to continue even today. It also depicts how the movement is gradually spreading out of Bhaini Sahib through the students like Ut Harbhajan Singh and Balwant Singh’s who not only perform themselves as artists but teach classical music free of cost. The documentary beautifully captures Bhaini Sahib’s long-standing relationship with music through conversations with the students as well as the doyens of Indian Classical Music.

“Although being a Namdhari myself I was unaware about this great tradition of Satguru Jagjit Singh and Sri Bhaini Sahib, I wanted to know more, I wanted to go back to my roots and extract all I could about this astounding tradition that was almost unheard of. When I came across old recordings and videos of Satguru Ji’s music sittings some of them dating back to 1930-1940s it left me speechless and I knew at that instant that this was a documentary in the making. I wanted to bring light to the musical treasures that were hidden in these archives. That’s how Sangeet – Saroop – Satgur came about”, says filmmaker Taranjiet Singh Namdhari.

Sangeet – Saroop – Satgur will be screened in Mumbai on Friday, July 26th, 2019 at INSIGNIA - METRO INOX, Dhobi Talao.

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