BENGALURU: Art needs to be preserved to help keep our culture and traditions alive, says Mooralala Marwada. The 62-year-old Sufi folk singer from the Janana village in Kutch, Gujarat, sings the poetry of Kabir, Mirabai, Ravidas and bhajans. Most of his songs are based on philosophies of life and speaks of how people should be content with what they have and not depend on materialistic pleasures.
Mooralala sings in Kaafi form of music.
The style has been adopted by the Hindu singers of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, a Sindhi Sufi scholar, mystic, saint, and poet, who is also considered to be the greatest Muslim poet of the Sindhi language. Mooralala says that even though Kafi has evolved, he continues to sing it in the traditional way. He is the 11th generation of his family to be continuing this practice of singing and spreading the art. He says, “I used to go to satsangs with my father and grandfather. That’s how I learned it. I started singing at the age of eight. The songs usually suggest how people must lead a simple life, and take care of their family and friends.”
He believes music is in his blood. He practices every day in the morning and evening for two hours. “Otherwise I have a farm of my own. So when it rains, I do farming. During the other seasons, I am completely into music,” he says adding that he plays traditional folk instruments such Ramsagar, which are as old as 130 years.
Mooralala has been featured in Kabir Project, an artist-in-residency project at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. He says, “People love my voice. When I perform, they ask me to say ‘hello’ before singing. The crowd goes crazy.” His YouTube videos Banjara has over 50 lakh views and Hiye Kaya Mein has received more than 34 lakh views. He has performed at various festivals in Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh and other parts of the country.
He will be seen performing at the ‘India Fusions at the Whitefield’ in the city this weekend. The event is being organised by Forum Neighbourhood Mall in association with Whitefield Cultural Association and Shree Indiranagar Gujarati Association (SIGA). Praful Maun from SIGA says many Gujaratis living in Bengaluru aren’t aware of their actual traditions and culture. “The event brings in talent from North, East, West, and South of the country. We decided to have a talent from our part of the region. Mooralala has performed for Gujarat Tourism and they suggested we perform for the event. I would also be hearing hi for the first time,” he says.
India Fusions at the Whitefield
Other artistes such as Macchranga (East), Mantalai (South) and Kabir Cafe (North) would be performing at the event
Where: Forum Neighbourhood Mall, Whitefield
When: November 17 and 18, 5 pm
A special dandiya event has also been organised for all on November 17, 9.15 pm.