Remembering Sindhi ‘Koel’ Kumari Bhagwanti Navani

Remembering Sindhi ‘Koel’ Kumari Bhagwanti Navani

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Remembering Sindhi ‘Koel’ Kumari Bhagwanti NavaniKumari Bhagwanti Navani, born on February 01, 1940 in Nasarpur, Sindh was popularly known as ‘Sindhi Koel’ (Cuckoo) due to her melodious and sweet voice

Kumari Bhagwanti Navani was a Sindhi singer and actress known for her work in Sindhi music and films. She was a folk as well as playback singer. Due to her melodious and sweet voice, she was popularly known as “Sindhi Koel” (Sindhi cuckoo). Her marriage songs, called “Laada” are popular in India and Pakistan. She appeared as the heroine in a Sindhi film Sindhua Jay Kinaray and performed as a playback singer in eight films.

Remembering Sindhi ‘Koel’ Kumari Bhagwanti Navani - Sindhu-a-Je-Kinare-scene
Bhagwanti Navani in Sindhi film ‘Sindhu-a-je-Kinare

She was born on February 01, 1940 at Naserpur, Sindh and had three brothers and two sisters. She was only seven years old when Pakistan was created and she had to migrate to Bombay, India (now Mumbai) with her parents. Her father had passed away in Karachi. At the time of migration, she was studying in a Girls Primary School in Karachi. In Mumbai, she studied at Kamala Girls’ High School and then at the High School for Sindhis. She passed her matriculation examination in 1957.

Remembering Sindhi ‘Koel’ Kumari Bhagwanti Navani - Sindhu-a-Je-Kinare-scene - Sindhu-a-Je-Kinare-Movie PosterShe received formal music education at the Devghar Music School, Arun Sangeet Vidyala. Afterwards, she joined the Peoples Theater Association where her musical talent flourished under the guidance of Kanu Ghosh and Kanu Ray. She was acknowledged as an exponent of Sindhi folk music such as Bhajans, Dohiras, Kalams, Orans, Lorries, Ladas, Sakhiyoon and Sahras, etc. She sang duets with Mahendra Kapoor, C. H. Atma, and other stalwarts of her time, along with singing for the Hindi film industry.

She was one of the most popular playback singers in Sindhi movies of the 1960s and 1970s. Those films included Jhulelal, Ladli, Sindhua Je Kinare, Shal Dhiar Na Jaman, Hojamalo, Kanwar Ram, Halu Ta Bhaji Haloon, and Pardesi Preetam.

Bhagwanti was also a versatile actress. She was part of the Kalakar Mandel established by the prominent Sindhi language writer Gobind Malhi. She gave more than 3,000 stage performances in India and abroad. Her most popular plays were Mehman, Gustakhi Maaf, Tuhinjo so Muhinjo and Desh Ji Lalkar. She was Heroine in the famous 1968 Sindhi film Sindhua Je Kinare (On the Bank of the River Indus).

She died on 22 October 1986. In her memory, “Bhagwanti Navani Charitable Trust” was formed on 3 October 1987.

Bhagwanti Navanis albums include ‘Muhinja More Laada’, ‘Sukhmani Sahib (6 Volumes), ‘Muhenjo Ladal Aayo’, ‘Allah Sikk Main’, ‘Bhagwanti Navani ( Vol.1-2-3-4).

Awards

A number of Sindhi Panchayats and Associations honored Bhagwanti Navani with Gold Medals, Trophies and other gifts of enduring nature, Certificates of Merits etc.

She received ‘Best Actress’ Award for her performance in Sindhi One Act Plays & Sindhi film; ‘Sindhu a Je Kinare’ (On the Bank of Indus River).

The prolific writer, late Gobind ‘Malhi’ was her guiding spirit and she was inseparable part of ‘Kalakar Mandal’, established by Gobind Malhi.

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Courtesy: Wikipedia, Sindhiwiki, Sindhyat, Encyclopedia Sindhiana, SindhuWorld,
 Click here to listen to comments of Dr. Moti Prakash and others, and the songs of Bhagwanti Navani