Renowned Kathak dancer Mulla Afsar Khan recently completed the Kathak Chilla.
Chilla Riaz - 'Chilla' is a word derived from Persian and Arabic language. Chilla means forty! For forty days in a row, sixteen to eighteen hours of riyaz means Chilla! Chilla means consistent practice for forty days which can lead to mastery of art, so practice with a dedicated spirit in solitude is a Chilla. Many meanings like sadhana, Tapasya, vrata are hidden in 'chilla'. Whether it is playing an instrument or dancing, Chilla can be practised in any art form.
'Chilla' is practised with a practised great concentration in the same place at the same time by setting a time. This particular kind of Riyaaj has been around since ancient times. There is a record of Chilla Riyaz made by fourteenth-century artists. Tabla master Ahmed Jan Thirakwa is said to have completed the chilla several times. Whether it is Ustad Amir Hussain or Brijmohan Mishra, popularly known as Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj both have completed Chilla Riyaaj.
Due to the Corona pandemic, the words quarantine and isolation have become familiar. During the lockdown, people could not go out despite their wishes, they could not meet their friends and everyone was forced to stay at home. In such a situation, we have all gone through various stresses such as fear of separation in relationships, fear of being alone, and facing a financial crisis. At such times, the mind becomes depressed, the mental stress increases, but without being discouraged, to overcome all this through art, Mulla Afsar Khan recently completed the Chilla under the concept of 'Riaaz Corona- Riaaz with Me'.
According to him, it is possible to master the art by doing such Chilla exercises' while living in solitude away from others, and it also helps to increase self-confidence, concentration and restraint. Therefore, if the time comes for such isolation, there is no doubt that such use of solitude will be beneficial for this type of Riyaja.
Mulla Afsar Khan said that not only music, instruments and dance but also any art can be practised He said that, since the theatres were closed for the last one and a half years, he had provided an opportunity for the audience to watch a part of his Chilla Riyaz on social media which had got tremendous response.
His father Guru Zafar Mulla, Guru Pt. Rajendra Gangani, President of Singapore Indian Fine Art Society K. V Rao, Padmashri Dr Shovana Narayan, Pandita Gitanjali Lal, Pt. Jaikishan Maharaj wished him on completing Chilla.