ISLAMABAD: Famous singers Humera Channa and Ghulam Abbas enthralled guests by singing the great revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry at the newly opened spacious Pak-China Friendship Centre on Thursday evening.
The event was part of the celebrations of the centennial of the legendary poet and organised by Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).
Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) is considered one of the world’s literary giants, an avowed Marxist, and first Pakistani to win the Lenin Peace Prize — a person who will survive the test of obscurity.
“We love him too much,” claimed Nabeela Tabassum animatedly, “This is the first event for the Pak-China Centre and a good selection for the venue. So many have turned up.”
It’s true, the massive turnout was a testament to people’s love for the literary giant’s poetry.
The show began in typical Pakistani fashion, an hour past the designated time and whetted the audience with a pre-recital documentary produced and directed by the Faiz Foundation.
The documentary featured anecdotes from Faiz’s life. Also included were cameo appearances by Faiz’s wife, Alys, and two daughters, Salima and Muneeza.
Another eminent poet of his own right Iftikhar Arif spoke about the poet’s life and achievements, after which the show commenced with radiant Humera Channa’s performance.
She glittered on stage and lulled the audience with her siren voice, eliciting a particularly enthusiastic response during her rendition of “Mujh se pehli se mohabat merey mehboob na maang”.
The following solo performance by a gleaming dancer in white was also inspired from Faiz’s poetry. Her gestures were lyrical and somewhat playful, while her movements were perfectly tuned to the music.
Ghulam Abbas’s serenades had their own effect on the audience as his rich and well-trained voice kept those initially thinking of ducking out early glued to their seats.
The show ended with a colorful dance routine by the PNCA dance group.
“I loved their outfits,” remarked Anum Butt, 22. “I’m so glad I came,” she continued, “And I want to see more performances like these.” Hassan Raza of PNCA seems confident that there will more events of this calibre in the near future.
“We will be having more of such events,” Raza said afterwards, “such as the Sufi Aman Mela and the National Drama Festival in March.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2011.
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