Music festival: Abida’s rendition of folk poetry mesmerises audience

Two qawals and a folk singer also perform on the concluding day


The singer performing at the festival. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

LAHORE: Legendary singer Abida Parveen mesmerised the audience with her rendition of Sufi songs on the final day of the Rafi Peer Mystic Music Sufi Festival on Monday.

Perveen’s performance continued for around two hours and included some of her popular songs including Man Kunto Maula, Terey Ishq Nachaya, Arey Logo and Yaar ko Hum Ney Ja Baja Dekha.  In her asides, Parveen expressed her sentiments about the poetry and explained the meanings of certain words and phrases in it.

Earlier, a standing ovation from the audience welcomed Perveen on the stage.Some of the fans The Express Tribune spoke to said it was the first time they had attended a live performce by her. One such fan, Haider Sarfaraz, said, “Her vocals are so powerful. Singing comes so natural to her that it seems entirely effortless.” The hall was packed to capacity. Some in the audience danced to the songs.Another audience member, Anum Javed, said she could still recall her experience at an earlier  performance of the singer she had attended at the same venue a few years ago. She said she hoped such festivals were held more frequently.

Friday’s performance was Perveen’s first in the city in eight years. There were three other performances before hers.

Sher Miandad paid a tribute to Baba Fareed by performing his famous poem Fareeda Turya Turya Ja. Miandad, who belongs to Pakapattan, had been a student of qawali legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Others were Shaukat Dholia, a folk singer, and Wahdat and his brother Rameez, qawals.

Dholia said he had started singing at the age of 15 at the shrine of Jinda Wali Sarkar. He said later he had moved to the shrine of Baba Shah Jamal.

Wahdat and Rameez, who also belong to Pakpattan, said no one in their family was a professional qawal. They said they had been passionate about qawali music and were trained in the art.  Alhamra Cultural Complex’s Executive Director Captain (r) Atta Muhammad Khan was also present on the occasion.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2015.

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