A non-religious and non-political organization of all Punjabi's for the promotion of Punjabi language and culture
CD of Punjabi songs by Bibi Nooran's daughter, Swarn
Noora, has been released
Click here for more information
By Reeta Sharma
"...The year was 1978 and venue was the lawns of All India Radio, Jalandhar. I was walking towards the drama section when I suddenly saw this dusky, middle-aged, shabbily dressed woman sitting with some men and smoking a bidi. I threw her a dirty look and carried on.
As I was coming out, I heard a melodious female voice taking an effortless alaap. I was spellbound. I could not believe that the woman vocalist was none other than the rustic villager I had passed a few hours back. And the men who were with her were musicians themselves. One of them was playing a harmonium, the other a tabla, yet another a dholak and the fourth one was handling a couple of percussions. Many passersby had stopped to listen to her. I learnt that she was Bibi Nooran, a marassan, and a disciple of renowned Ustad Bade Miyan.
It was her haunting, melodious, velvety voice that dragged me to her house the next day. Her residence stood amidst stagnant water and mud, and there was an unbearable stench. The carcass of a dog lay with crows feasting on it. She was sitting on a charpoy with a bottle of local brew in her hand. Another woman, whose legs were encircling her girth, was scanning her dirty hair for lice.
We met frequently as my fondness and admiration for her singing grew. I even organised a solo musical evening at the local Tagore Theatre for her. The media had lapped her up and I had begun weaving dreams for her. But within two months, Bibi Nooran died of cirrhosis..."