A month long photography exhibition titled 'Light from the cosmos' on Sufi Saint Baul Abdul Khalek Dewan by Imran Firdaus is going on at Begum Restaurant and Gallery in the capital. Celebrated musician Sheikh Monirul Alam Tipu (Drummer, Warfaze) inaugurated the exhibition on June 22. Opening daily from 11 am to 8:30 pm, the exhibition will continue till July 22. The exposition is dedicated to Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Hasan (R)
Acclaimed artist Ronni Ahmmed is the curator of the exhibition.
Sufi saint Khalek Dewan, was a prominent folk singer who died on March 14, 2003. Every year, on his birthday, a number of his fans and followers gather for Urosh, a holy congregation at the residence of Khalek Dewan. The exhibited images are taken from such a congregation of Sufis on the occasion of Khalek Dewan’s 90th birth anniversary in 2016.
In his curatorial note artist Ronni Ahmed pens, “Imran Firdaus is a visionary photographer, filmmaker, writer, cultural activist. A bohemian soul wandering like wind and fire, as his earthly existence drives him from a cosmic plan. In our cultural field, he is a silent and selfless contributor, and had a true heart to explore the secret gems around the country. This photo exhibition is about Sufi Shadhok Khalek Dewan. He has captured the spiritual essence of his Majar during the urosh time in 2016.”
According to Ronni, Bangladesh is a country of Sufi saints or Awulias. They are eternal and alive, and helping people to survive and reinvigorate their dedication towards Allah. There are also many living Sufi saints and practitioners around the country serving people and spreading Allah’s order within a divine path. Imran is working on them from the last few years. This exhibition is a very important initiative by Imran Firdaus, as it is a step to explore the divine cosmic light of the great Sufi lineage in Bengal.
Shadhok Baul Abdul Khalek Dewan is one of the most veteran devotees of the mystical world of Bengal. He was born in the Bamunsur village of Keraniganj in 1910. Through his father Alfu Dewan, the Dewan school or gharana of mystical music was born in Bengal. The Sufi devotee or shadhok Hazrat Alef Chan Shah, also known as Alfu Dewan (1246- 1336) was a practitioner of mysticism. He was the follower of Hazrat Laskar Shah Darbesh from Lahore. He had kept his mentor’s teachings in his heart with care, meditated in the almost impenetrable caves of Assam after being ordained in his dreams, and spent an extensive period writing and singing songs of mysticism. Through the chain of this tradition, Shadhok Khalek Dewan got trained in narrative ballads or palagaan under the wings of his father Alfu Dewan and his brother Malek Dewan. Like his father, he too could compose songs instantly on the stage. Following the footsteps of his father, he continued to write and sing songs on stage. His tunes, however, had a different vibe. He focused more on spiritual theory, the concept of the body as a prayer hall, and the loving relationship between the Creator and His creations.