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Stories of Sisterhood: The Nooran Sisters Sing Together

The voice(s) behind Tung Tung and Patakha Gudi

The fierce passion and talent of the Nooran Sisters- Jyoti and Sultana

Nooran Sisters

Those of you who follow us on Facebook and Instagram will know that the MBRB girls are celebrating Raksha Bandhan by exploring the bond between sisters (Why are we doing this? Find out here). All through August, we will bring you stories about sisters – many of them regular women like you and me; some of them famous, such as the Ranaut and the Phogat sisters. Write to us if you have a story, poem or picture to share about your sister/s, tag us on FB or Insta with sisterly inspiration, and help spread the word by sharing our Stories of Sisterhood

Not much is known about the Nooran sisters, Jyoti and Sultana.  We know that they are the grand -daughters of Bibi Nooran a noted singer and that their father Gulshan Mir has been training them in the Sufi tradition since Sultana was seven and Jyoti was five. We also know that the two first began singing in local festivals in Jalandhar and have since performed all over the world.

We know for sure that when they sing together in their uniquely  earthy timbre- the notes reach a transcendent glory that can only come together after years of practise and an innate understanding of the other’s strengths. There is a passionate fervour to their singing, there is also the sheer joy of performing.

The Nooran Sisters  come from a glorious tradition of sister-singer pairs in classical music (The Bombay Sisters Saroja and Lalitha come to mind, as do the wonderful Pakistani cousin duo Zeb and Haniya)

But they are also very young. Last year, Jyoti  made a plea for emancipation by marrying outside Jalandhar and wanting to move out. Her parents protested claiming she was still a minor, she alleged that they wanted her to keep singing for them and hence didn’t want her to marry the love of her life. The two sides have since reconciled and even started performing together again, but one cannot help wondering who is pulling the strings in this seven-sibling household now.

One of the best part of being sisters is having the chance to grow apart after growing up together; to discover that while you will carry a part of your sister with you wherever you will go, you will also be your own person with your own destiny.

I love the music of the Nooran sisters, but I also hope that over the next few years I get to hear more of Jyoti and Sultana’s individual styles and influences  (Jyoti Nooran recently sang the hit Ghani Bawri from Tanu Wed Manu Returns solo, and the song was every bit as good as any Nooran sisters collaboration)

Until they are able to find peace together and apart, we’ll always have the music

Tung Tung- MTV Road Tripping with Sneha Khanwalkar

The Nooran Sisters first came into prominence with this lovely ditty characteristic of Sneha’s hyper- joyous oeuvre. A version of this song can now be heard on the Singh Is Bling OST.

Allah Hoo- MTV Coke Studio 2 with Hitesh Sonik

Their unpolished (and unblemished) voices find a perfect outlet in this collaboration with Hitesh Sonik for MTV Coke Studio 2. The song was one of the highlights of that season and helped introduce the sisters to a new legion of followers.

Patakha Gudi from Highway

Long a favourite of the Indie music circuit, the Nooran sisters reached a different stratosphere of success with this rambunctious song from one of AR Rahman’s best recent albums.

Deedar- Raanjheya Ve

With time and many years of public performance behind them, the girls have now developed a more camera-friendly way of presenting their phenomenal talent. Some of their raw energy has given way to more practised adaas. But what remains the same is the uninhibited power of their vocals. 

 Jugni – Live Recording

To best understand the magic of Nooran sisters, you have to watch them perform live. Here they are, driving the audience into a kind of messianic frenzy while they belt out the gorgeous Jugni. Look at them, they are born performers! And you can’t help being a bit jealous of that sisterly understanding – the taal mel- that helps them perform in such perfect unison.


Want to talk about the unique bond you share with your sisters? Contribute to this series by mailing us with what sisterhood means to you, or tagging us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram. Prose, verse, pictures and caricatures are welcome, as are bouquets and daggers

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