Stalwarts of Veena

Stalwart of Veena: Zia Mohiuddin Dagar

Phir Veena Madhur Bajao.
Chandan Gupta
Documentary.
Hindi.
25 minutes.
EMRC Indore.
1999

Why should we talk about a decade old film when there may have been several more on the subject? First, Veena has been accepted as an element of Indian Culture which requires safe-guarding by India and the proposal for same is being submitted to UNESCO for inclusion in its Representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Secondly, this film is able to catch, however fleetingly, the essence of Veena and Indian music.

The challenges to Veena are external as well as internal. The complex instrument requires self-control, selflessness and concentration; these values are hard to practice and thus artistes look for easy alternatives. Very few of the practicing are aware of the science behind their art. It is only the chosen few who have seen or heard the Shruti Veena — the instrument which manifests the sacred Shruti-s all at once. The film examines innovation as fulcrum to a paradigm shift. Despite its instructional format, due to imaginative camera-work and excellent editing, the films succeeds in keeping viewer captivated all through.

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