My family, on holiday in Delhi, has just come back from attending a live concert of Jagjit Singh at the Sri Fort Auditorium. They are raving and raving about the ghazal king. I gave it a miss. I think Jagjit Singh has become too adulterated, too commercialised, too common. I am no authority on ghazals, but I have my preferences.

I developed my love for Firakh Gorakhpuri, Iqbal Bano, Farida Khanum and Mehdi Hassan sitting in the summer house of the North Eastern Hill Unversity, Mayurbanj campus, Shillong, aided by an Urdu-English dictionary alongside my friends, who I had initially chided for listening to such freaking weepy songs. And like dreamers, those summer house baithaks that followed one another in endless succession over cups and cups of tea, estranged us from our classrooms. Sometimes much to the chagrin of Professor Home Choudhary from our English department, who at the end gave up on us by simply saying, "some people deny us the pleasure of their company by not attending classes". It was a miniscule group of 6-7 post graduate students cultivating a unique taste in a world dominated by rock and roll, the blues club and all things western. While I did flirt with both sides, something made me sway towards this genre of sung poetry.

And while my Hindi continued to be atrocious, I managed to learn the matla (beginning) and maqta (end) of a few ghazals. Anjana Parmar, my friend, doing her M.Sc in Biotechnolgy then, had sermonised that one needs to go through pain in life to understand ghazals, that people who do not understand them are missing out on so much in life. My rebuff to her then was "concentrate on your science(y) stuff instead and help scientists stop people from growing nails 'cos I am too lazy to cut them." But then I fell in love and with it came a deeper understanding of ghazals and the experience of emotions, of that streak of "sorrow ... till grief did tell me roundly, that I lived." (Of course, I didn't miss the road to practicality!)

Today, when I listen to Mehdi Hassan sing Yoon zindagi ki raah main takra gaya koyi / Ek roshni andheron main bikhraa gayaa koyi, my heart continues to skip a beat -- several stories visit my heart and overstay their welcome...

1 comment:

Shanti Thokchom said...

Oye Chink -ni- Indira, tuj me kya kami hai? Sab kuch to hai tere pass !! Bhalla isse jyada kya chahide tushi!! Bolo tara-ra!!
Tushi jawan ho,khubsoorat ho... aur to kya....tushi bari himmatwali hai !!
Hey! I love your blogspot.Its been fun!!Well, do get ghazalized more to understand the pathos of life!!And share with us poor souls who are starved of it!!

Video Interviews