Sun. Jul 5th, 2020

Ustad Kalb-e-Ali passed away in Hunza, rich tributes paid to the master folk musician

PT Report

Hunza, December 27: Master folk musician, Ustad Kalb-e-Ali, famously known as Ustad Kalu, has passed away at the age of 85.  He was a renowned player of traditional Shehnayi (Surinay) and flute (Tutek).

He adopted the trade of music from his father, during the times when Hunza was a state under the control of British Raj.

During his life time, Ustad Kalu performed at important regional, national and international occasions, winning accolades from those in presence.

The man who spread happiness through the barrel of a flute and Shehnayi is no more, but his music will always remain.

Thousands attended the funeral of Ustad Kalb Ali despite cold weather in Hunza valley.

Progressive Youth Front (PYF), in a press statement, has said that the death of Ustad Kalb Ali (Kalu) is a great loss for the region. PYF is planning to organize a reference in memory of Ustad Kalu, to pay tributes to his cultural services.

10 thoughts on “Ustad Kalb-e-Ali passed away in Hunza, rich tributes paid to the master folk musician

  1. May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace
    My deep condolences to the Grieved family and relatives.
    Hikayat shah
    Chipursan

  2. Nasir Khusrow says,’Bah az SANA’ ba geeti mooqbili neest, Ki bah iz kasbi dast jooz hasili neest.’
    ‘ No one other then a skilful person is recognizable in this world, and whatever he produces from his skilful hands is better.’ One of the best skilful persons from the society of Hunza Ustad Kalbi Ali who earned name in developing MUSIC, CRAFTS and local TOOLS has passed away. May Mawla rest his soul in eternal peace and give his family the courage to bear this loss. It is a lose to our society in Hunza as well.

  3. I have read all the remarks of condoloence following Kalb-i-Ali’s demise. Like many of my generation I have known Huzur Mukhi Kalb-i-Ali from close. Very rightly described he was indeed a master of the art he had inherited. He is no more with us and no amount of good words can bring him back. He has left with what the peopole of Hunza were able to give him during his life time. And the biggest he received was the APPRECIATION for his MASTERLY PERFORMANCE.
    An initiative, which has acquired for itself the title Hunza Cultural Forum, has come to existence in Rawalpindi-Islamabad. In 2010 a meagre effort was made to recognise the life time services of Ustad Kalbi and his contemporary Maestro Ali Gohar at the annual programme of HCF in Islamabad. I am sure this initiative will provide the members of HCF some sense of solace on this occasion. Luckily Ali Gohar is still with us and performs, though, quite frail. I appeal to my fellow Hunzukutz to consider honouring this living legend in the best possible way. I wish to remind you of another master clarinet player; Ustad Johar Ali, alias Huko, trailing these two great musicians. He is the only surviving clarinet player from the traditional musicians tribe of Hunza. He deserves your attention and recognition too. I am sharing this note with my fellow members of HCF also through the email for their pondering over creditting these two gentlemen. May God bless us all!!

  4. A living legend of Hunza!

    May his soul rest in peace! He lives and will live as long as the Hunzukuts and people of GB continue to love music and shanai.

    Just reminded me of a true story. I remember it was i think in 1998, when i was CEO KADO in Hunza, Mr. Ikram ullah Baig of Karimabad, who was heading the HCF within KADO Board, came with a group of artists from Hunza, saying Kalbi Ali, was seriously sick, and we need to honour him while he is still alive!
    Dr Khawaja Khan was our Chairman. the board agreed to our proposal to organize a program called Ustad Kalbi Ali- the living legend of Hunza. Over 1000 people from all over Hunza were invited at the ALiabad College hall, the Mir of Hunza was the Chief Guest. Three groups of musicians brought Ustab Kalbi Ali from his house in a caravan of dozens of cars, garlanded him, and with a traditional chupun and white cap and white sheet of gulaband, he came to the stage on the music in a procession in olden days he used to play on the arrival of Mirs. the Mir received him at stage, and there were only two seats on the stage Ustad Kalbi and the Mir. Ustab Kalbi, wanted to sit on the floor, but the Mir helped and encouraged him to sit on the chair next to him. All people rose with applause for minutes, and he was crying in disbelief. He came to the rostrum and spoke with loud voice, filled with happiness and proud; i thought i was dying, now i think i will never die’.

    He lived for over 10 years with us. And will continue to live with us as a legend.

  5. First of all I would like to extend my heartfelt condolence to the mourning family on the sad demise of a legend whom we lost as a great asset.From the time I opened my eyes in the mountainous region”hunza”,I kept listening to people talking about two great musicians,Ustad Kalu and Ustad Darbish.The time I saw the incredible person of great name on someone’s wedding,I was mesmerized by his skills and expertise in playing with the magical instrument”aureus”.The ones who were not much bothered about music whenever heard about Ustad Kalu spontaneously got into the stream of soul touching game”music” and kept listening to it till the time they got some food for the soul.I could even observe my father who did not bother for music except the Ghazals seemingly had a collection of Ustad Kalu’s soul touching soz.
    I pray for the well being of the departed soul and wish to see someone who could raise to the level where one could try to forget a little of the legend’s contribution for the promotion of culture.
    Best regards

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