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In Conversation with Vocalist Askari Naqvi

To mourn is to heal. But at a time when mourning is confined to our social media pages, performed through the endless sharing of images and posts whose impact lasts only as long as it takes the sharer to create and circulate them, let us pause to reflect on other ways of mourning, and what is perhaps more crucial for our times, collective mourning. In this conversation with Guftugu, well-known vocalist and performer Askari Naqvi helps us understand the history and form of the Soz-khwani; and its reincarnation as a mainstream ritual of mourning outside of its religious context.



Askari Naqvi is a trained vocalist and performer. Having received his training in music from Pandit Amit Mukherjee of the Indore gharana,  he inherited the Soz-khwani from his family and took to performing at a very young age. Along with the Soz, Naqvi performs the Dastangoi, a traditional form of storytelling in Urdu. Naqvi is also a practising human rights lawyer based out of Lucknow.

Sneha Chowdhury is a member of the editorial collective of Guftugu.