Garima Sudhan visits legendary Kashmiri singer and musician Ghulam Nabi Doolwal’s native Kishtwar to unearth his journey and transformation into Janbaaz Kishtwari. The result is an informative essay and travelogue that intimates readers with Doolwal’s legacy as a singer, musician, poet and writer—in a piece that reflects on his enduring impact on his Kishtwar, a place that remembers him all too fondly. While focused on unravelling the personal history that created the public figure of Doolwal as Janbaaz Kishtwari, Sudhan’s essay sheds light on a collective history—set in motion by his musical stature—that the writer gathers here by taking us on an excursion through his place of residence. The memorial-as-essay is interlaced with quotes from several interviews conducted by Garima, and aimed at explaining Ghulam Nabi Doolwal’s importance and significance in the lives of those who knew him and heard him sing. While shedding light on his musical work with the Chalant, the Ghazal, and the Naat, Garima Sudhan pays equal attention to his work as a writer and a poet, and as a teacher and champion of Kashmiri music.
From Ghulam Nabi Doolwal to Janbaaz Kishtwari: The Journey of an Artist into the Heart of His People — An Essay by Garima Sudhan