Lahore comes alive with the sound of music

Ali Usman July 01, 2010

LAHORE: The silence at the Lahore Arts Council was broken with the start of a two-day ghazal festival that was held in the Punjab capital.

Renowned ghazal and classical singers entertained a packed house. The first day’s performances featured Rafaqat Ali Khan, Saima Jehan, Nida Faiz, Imtiaz Ali, Riaz Ali, Hamid Ali Khan and numerous new and talented singers.

Every single performer sung well but special mention must be made for Hamid Ali Khan from Patiala Gharana, who stole the show with his melodious voice, the excellent control he holds over every note and his ability to engage with the audience during his performance. Khan began his set with “Khudi Ke Basti” and went on to sing several more ghazals. Though he was the last performer of the show, people did not leave their seats until he had finished and awarded him with a round of thunderous applause. The last piece he sang was his celebrated Punjabi piece “Menu Teray Jeya Sohna Hor Lub De Nahi” and during his performance the entire hall was moving to the beat.

Hamid Ali Khan said later that it was not true that classical music was dying in Pakistan because a number of Pakistanis still love this genre of music and there is a lot of untapped talent in the country. “All we need to do is support this music and promote our classical singers who have brought fame to the country internationally and who can endorse a positive image of Pakistan through their singing,” he said.

Rafaqat Ali Khan’s performance was also highly appreciated by the audience, and perhaps his best performance of the night was the ghazal “Pata Pata Bota Bota Hal Hamara Janey hia”. Nida Faiz’s presentation of Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s famous piece “Hum Dekhainge” was well received and won her praise from viewers.

A number of attendees were of the opinion that instead of renting their hall out, the arts council should organise shows like this on a regular basis as this will support the country’s indigenous music and artists. One of the audience members, Haseeb Ahmad, was of the opinion that such festivals should be held free of cost and on a regular basis.

“It is not enough for the Lahore Arts Council to organise a festival once in six months and assume that all is well. Such activities should be planned regularly and artists should be given the chance to perform on a rotational basis,” said Sohail Khan, a member of the audience.

The second day’s performances featured Asif Mehdi, son of the legendary ghazal singler Mehdi Hassan, Shafqat Ali Khan, Shabnam Tahir, Adeel Barki, Shujat Bobi and Rahat Maltanikar.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2010.


Rashid Saleem | 11 years ago | Reply Despite all sad incidents taking place around the city, such events inject the much needed ray of hope among this nation.
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