Literature festival ends on a musical note
KARACHI: The word ‘festival’ justified all of its connotations when artiste Nahid Siddiqui danced her heart out to gradually bring the curtains down on the three-day fifth Karachi Literature Festival at the Beach Luxury Hotel on Sunday night.
Ms Siddiqui, looking ever so elegant, appeared on stage with measured steps, following the beautiful alaap that the musicians who were accompanying her were playing. The first track that she chose to dance to was Ghalib’s famous ghazal ‘Aah ko chahyey ik umr asar honey tak’. Her interpretation of the kalaam was a sight to behold. The audience watched her with rapt attention. She looked completely immersed in her performance, so much so that at times it seems as if she was dreaming a dream and is utterly impervious to the world outside. One has to give some credit to vocalists Chand and Suraj Khan for feelingly singing the ghazal.
Ms Siddiqui’s next act was Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem ‘Zindaan ki aik shaam’. She briefly informed the audience on the gist of the poem and the imagery that Faiz had used to convey his feelings. Her performance was no less amazing than the first one. The huge crowd that had gathered to see her in the main garden of the hotel gave her a generous round of applause at the end of each item. She interpreted a folk composition as well.
Pop band Laal, known for its socio-politically conscious music, was the last act of the festival. The good thing about the group is that unlike a majority of Pakistani pop bands, they do not dabble in amateur lyric writing. They choose famous poets’ kalaam (Faiz, Jalib etc) and set that to music.
Earlier founders of the event Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi delivered short speeches reflecting on the festival. Novelist Kamila Shamsie and broadcaster Reza Ali Abidi delivered keynote addresses. Abidi termed the event ‘hairat ka mela’ (festival of wonderment).—Peerzada Salman