As befits a Sufi mystic, burly M.A Qazi is bearded and has long hair. He philosophises on his son Qazi Touqeer’s sudden success as a singer in the reality show Fame Gurukul in 2005 and then his fading into obscurity. He has no complaints, nor does Touqeer care. Surrounded by disciples at his Srinagar house, M.A Qazi says his son thinks differently. “If he is not in the limelight today, let it be. Maybe tomorrow he might rise. Who knows?”
Qazi himself was a lawyer in J&K High Court when his Sufi master summoned him to the shrine of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer in 1989. He remained there for long. Qazi says he doesn’t interfere in his son’s career. “All I wanted was for him to have a concert in Kashmir. The government had approached Touqeer when Omar Abdullah was CM. But they backed off,” says Qazi.
Touqeer lives in Andheri West in Mumbai, where his father visits him frequently. “I think one reason he is not in the limelight is that he has devoted himself to writing a movie script for the past few years,” he says. After winning Fame Gurukul, Touqeer acted in a movie called Take Off, which was never released. “Touqeer is in Melbourne for a concert,” says Qazi, and then connects his son through a video call. Touqeer describes how the audience in Melbourne comprises Indian and Pakistani diaspora. “I am singing Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo and other ghazals and songs,” he says. He tells Outlook: “Fame Gurukul was a great success and after that, I did a hit song, Afghan Jalebi.” The decade from 2005 to 2015, however, is not mentioned. “I have been working on a movie,” confides Touqeer. “It is for a world audience, in English, and it’s my dream project.” On his family, he says, “My uncle Qazi Rafi is a well-known Kashmiri singer; my father loves music and they have always been supportive.” He finally adds, “I am passionately attached to my work and I think good days are ahead. So, I have no complaints.”
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By Naseer Ganai in Srinaga