Ghazal fans entertained in Karachi
KARACHI: It is no mean feat to sing ghazals, particularly those penned by the likes of Mir, Ghalib and Momin. To accomplish that feat the singer has to have a fair comprehension of Urdu poetry, Urdu diction and a great deal of fondness for enunciating every syllable the way it should be enunciated. In that context singer Shakila Khurasani’s performance, who sang classical and relatively modern ghazals for more than an hour at a concert organised by Tahzeeb Foundation of Pakistan at a local hotel on Sunday, was worth listening to.
While one could be critical of Khurasani’s choice of ghazals, one has to give her credit for attempting them, and for the most part she did her best to sing them with the ‘feel’ that is required for such a daunting task.
The singer appeared on stage accompanied by Ustad Bashir Khan (tabla), Idrees (harmonium) and Imdad Husain (sitar). She began with Wali Dakkani’s ‘Aseer-i-dard-i-muhabbat jiya jiya na jiya’. She kept the voice clean but the delectable defiance and shararat that the ghazal demanded was lacking a bit. She managed to cover that up with her upbeat approach to the composition.
Next up was Mir Taqi Mir’s famous ‘Ulti ho gaeen sab tadbeerein kuch na dawa ne kaam kiya’. Khurasani made a successful effort to croon out the ghazal the way it’s nuanced. Her efforts should be praised particularly for the manner in which she tried to get the qafia right.
Then came Mir Dard’s ‘Arz-o-sama kahan teri wusat ko paa sakey’. The singer enjoyed the ghazal and performed it with the fervour, despite the fact that she seemed in a hurry to finish it off. The best part of the concert was when she sang ‘Phir kuch ik dil ko beqarari hai’ by Mirza Ghalib. Khurasani did justice to the ghazal not only in terms of the ambient sound of the
couplets but also with respect to its innate melancholy.
Then the singer presented one more of Ghalib’s gem ‘Jor se baaz aey per baaz aaen kia’ composed by Arshad Mehmood. It was a little disconcerting to hear Khurasani not making the noon ghunna in some of the rhyming words audible.
But the next item, ‘Rasm-i-ulfat sikha gaya koi’ by Dagh was very well rendered, despite a tiny flaw in the second line of the matla. She sang it with poise and the right kind of flair. The short tabla and harmonium solos in the tune added to the charm of the rendition.
What followed was one of the most oft-quoted pieces in Urdu literature ‘Wo jo hum mein tum mein qarar tha’. As expected Khurasani seemed to know it well and sang it nicely. The audience appreciated the ghazal and greeted it with the customary ‘wah wah’.
After that Khurasani sang a few more ghazals including Iqbal’s ‘Agar kaj ro hain anjum asman tera hai ya mera’.