At a tribute to legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz on Friday, family, friends and fans were seated in eager anticipation. The evening, organised to celebrate Faiz’s centennial, slowly picked up pace.
It started with a soothing dance performance, by upcoming singer Sara Raza’s rendition of some of Faiz’s finest verses.
The melody in her voice set the tone for the evening and now the audience was all set to rekindle its love for Faiz’s words.
Just then, Abbas Ali Khan, a talented classical singer, touched upon one of Faiz’s most acclaimed poems Aaj bazar main pabajolan chalo (let us walk the bazaar in shackles) and there came Faiz, talking to everyone present, through the young maestro’s heart touching voice.
“I had been learning classical from the legendary Ustad Fateh Ali Khan for seven years before he finally gave me permission to sing publicly,” Khan told The Express Tribune.
Ustad Raees took over from where Khan left off. In one of his finest performances, Raees for the first time played Faiz’s Gulon main rang bhare (flowers fill with colour) on a violin. He told the audience they would feel the exact words of the last two lines of the ghazal playing on his violin, and feel it they did.
Naeem Bukhari’s captivating recital of Faiz’s poetry completed the evening. He was supported by Ustad Raees on violin. “Faiz was a great poet and a humble human being. His work is evergreen,” said Bukhari.
The evening was organised by Sophia Shahid and Grapevine without any assistance from the government.
“Earlier this year we wrote to a parliamentarian for any possible assistance from the government in organising functions on Faiz centennial. He directed us to the Ministry of Culture. The ministry replied ‘what does Faiz have to do with culture, please contact the relevant ministry,” said Adeel Hashmi, while talking to host Shamoon Hashmi about government assistance.
He told the audience about Faiz Ghar, established in Lahore by Faiz’s family and friends, which had everything related to Faiz, including a copy of the letter of reply received from the Ministry of Culture.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2011.
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