Colours of Ghazal in Delhi
In the beautiful and musical evening dedicated to Ghazals, put together by renowned NGO Sakshi and SIET, in association with Indian Habitat Center, the center of all the cultural activities in Delhi saw itself hosting the Ghazal Ka Safar, an event that serenaded the listeners with the nuances of the music form.
Lakshmi Shanker Bajpai & Ustad Shakeel Ahmed during Ghazal Ka Safar
The evening took its attendees on a musical journey through the landscapes of Ghazals, steering them towards the intricacies of the music form and driving their attention towards the ways of writing a Ghazal and setting it to the right music, thus enabling the listener to derive greater enjoyment and appreciation of the Ghazal’s form and its composition.
The Amaltas hall, the focal point of the event, introduced the listeners to two lesser known aspects of making a Ghazal – the poetic structure and the melodic understanding. The audience were educated about the poetic terms and structural rules required for a poem to be called a GHAZAL, learning to differentiate between a Ghazal and other forms of poetry, like geet or nazm.
Ustad Shakeel Ahmed
A Ghazal composer is tasked with converting a written word into an aural landscape which he then paints into a beautiful and emotional Ghazal with colors of melody and the brilliance of his voice. A lot of understanding and practice goes into making a Ghazal – one must have a deep understanding of the melody and a great knowledge of the literature to make the Ghazal mesmerizing, as demonstrated by celebrated Ghazal artiste – Shri Shakeel Ahmed. He showed the audience, the importance in a Ghazal composition of Raagdari – Indian Classical Music, along with an understanding of literature. He emphasized about the importance of matching a poem with a mood appropriate raag without losing essence of the literary quotient. All these combine to give the listener that one mesmerizing experience. In his own words, “When these arts are exercised to perfection the resultant Ghazal is an amazingly beautiful, seemingly effortless song which “Speaks to the Heart”! ”
Shri Lakshmi Shankar Bajpai and Shri Shakeel Ahmed went on to present a collaborative performance wherein Shri Bajpai recited a select bunch of sher-o-shayari and Shri Ahmed lent his voice to Zihale Miskin Makun Taghafull (Hazrat Amir Khusro), Na tha Kuchh To Khuda Tha (Ghalib), Kaun Duniya Mein Ba-wafa Nikla(Daag Dehlvi) & Shaam-e-Firaaq Ab Na Poochh (Faiz Ahmed Faiz). During his performance as a tribute to Ghazal Legend, Late Jagjit Singh, he also presented Sarakti Jaaye Hai Rukh Se Nakaab Ahista Ahista.
Ustad Shakeel Ahmed during Ghazal Ka Safar
The stage was also graced by Dr Mridula Satish Tandon, President Sakshi NGO, and co-organizer, and she shared her words with the attendees – “The public is largely unaware of what exactly a Ghazal is. The term is loosely used for any poetic composition of love and longing, sung melodiously. The evening is an attempt to increase understanding of this greatly loved and highly popular expression of poetry.”
Ghazal ka Safar was aimed to bring forth into general knowledge, the rules that go into composing a Ghazal and these rules in themselves are as strict as a petrarchan sonnet. The beauty of the Radif, Kafia and Beher are revealed when one is acquainted with the structure. Armed with this knowledge, the listener can appreciate the art in a much greater form.