A Ghazal Extravaganza
August 6, 2007 12 Comments
Roz kehta hoon ki bhula doonga use,
Aur Roz yeh baat bhool jaata hoon
Ustad Ghulam Ali Sahab said that we could not forget this sher very quickly, and trust him to be true. Listening to two ghazal maestros on the same night is rarity and we were lucky to get a chance to listen to Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali tonight. While Jagjit Singh was at his soothing best, Ghulam Ali (in my opinion) stole the evening with his versatility and good humour. He was cracking jokes, reciting shayari, and rendering beautiful music with great elan.
However, I didn’t find myself transported to another world, which is what great music can do (and so I haven’t written this in my spaces blog). Sadly, it was not because of the music, but rather because of the organization. I was disgusted how the organizers didn’t seem much bothered with the music. Will try to list down some gripes:
- Please, for Heaven’s sake, don’t have food on the side all the while. In the middle of a wonderful shayari, when you find yourself admiring the words and the voice, you would really not appreciate clanking of spoons. And not to mention, people using the place as thoroughfare, walking around as if its not music they have come to listen but walk the ramp in their latest sarees and kurta-pyjamas. My guess is that the sponsors didn’t pay enough and they had to earn money on the side selling (unpalatable) noodles for 40 bucks. The very least they could have done is to have an interval if they wanted to make some money on the side.
- Have good speakers. Saving money on speakers in a musical evening doesn’t make sense. Never.
- Start on time. Otherwise let people know you would be starting late and they would come late.
- If you are planning a musical concert, please at least make sure that there is no other loud music (like discotheques) playing on the side. Imagine Ghulam Ali’s rendition of a ghazal being interrupted by loud party music, and the maestro himself getting irritated and asking the organizers to stop and (and the organizers being helpless). In fact, he said ‘Zara iss aafat ko khatm ho jaane dijiye‘, but that never happened!
- Don’t allow kids. While I love kids, I don’t see much point in kids who can’t even speak attending a ghazal concert. I agree they can’t be left alone at home, but it might be more advisable to leave them with a reliable baby-sitter rather having the kid disturb the parents as well as the rest of the audience.
- There is no point trying to have the accompanying instrumentalists try to play classical music suddenly in the middle of a ghazal, esp. if they are not accomplished enough to move people with their music. I found myself thinking of real classical musicians and finding these paling in comparison. (This was in the Jagjit Singh part)
- Get a better emcee! I
don’t likecan’t stand emcees who come on stage and say ‘three lucky winners‘ as if it is a beauty contest. And inviting three distinguished guests on stage – Padmabhushan Jagjit Singh ji, Ustad Ghulam Ali Sahab, and Manager – Credit Cards and Personal Loans. I wished to run up on the stage and beat the hell out of the guy for telemarketing calls.
Anyway, too long. Guess, if they had just taken care of the first two points, it would have ensured an excellent musical evening. Sadly, it only remained a good musical evening.