sah na jāī ho re allāh, sung and performed on sarangi by Nur Muhammad and Ashakali, Hallaur, Uttar Pradesh. I traveled to eastern Uttar Pradesh with my friend and wonderful soz khan Saqlain Naqvi, in search of drumming traditions associated with Muharram observances.
Saqlain had told me that in his wife’s home village, Hallaur, Shiahs themselves drum during Muharram. This is unusual in South Asia. Upon reaching Hallaur, I encountered not only drumming but also a range of other performance forms, several of them concerned with Muharram or inflected toward Karbala related themes because of the religious makeup of the population.