Kozhikode: “When I sing a Keertana or a Mappilapattu, I am simply concentrating on the rendition of the song,” beams Hanna Yasir, an 11th Class student from Vadakkangara in Malappuram district in Kerala. “My religious identity as a Muslim has never been a cause of concern.”
Hanna is regaling her audiences for the past six years through her exquisite rendering of Carnatic music. She is a living testimony to the ability of music to transcend the boundaries of religion and other social divisions.
Daughter of Karuvattil Yasir and Shakkira, Hanna is a student of the MSP Higher Secondary School in Malappuram. She is learning Carnatic music for the last eight years from her guru, Mankada Damodaran. She made her debut while in class VI, at a programme organised by the Kottakunnu DTPC.
Apart from traditional Carnatic Keertanas, she is also adept at Muslim and Christian devotionals. She performed around 60 ‘Kacheris’ till now, including performances at renowned temples like the Danvandari Temple in Coimbatore, the Kalpathi in Palakkad, the Thirumanthamkunnu temple in Angadipuram, the Chakkarakallu Mahavishnu Kshetram in Kannur and the Subhramaniam temple in Paloor.
“I never felt uncomfortable appearing in the traditional Muslim attire to perform Kacheris. Nor have I faced any discrimination,” she says.
Hanna has done playback singing in the Malayalam movie, “Kalabhamazha“ to give voice to the verses of Jnanpith-winning poet ONV Kurup. She is busy learning ‘Ya Allah’, the poem of Kamala Suraiyya, and the poems of renowned Arabic poet Hashim Rifayi in different Carnatic ragas.
Considering her outstanding performance in the State Youth Kalotsavam in Thrissur last year, she was selected among a team of 12 students from the state for a visit to Japan under the North-East Asia Student Youth Exchange Programme, held in Japan from November 26 to December 6.
Hanna was awed by the hospitality and sense of dedication and punctuality of the Japanese. Back from Japan, she bagged the first place in Mappilapattu, as also Oppana with A Grade and an A Grade in Arabic and Urdu recitations in the Malappuram district school Kalotsavam.