Event Abida Parveen performed with Muzaffar Ali as part of ‘Paigham –E- Mohabbat'.
Listening to Pakistani Sufi singer Abida Parveen perform is unforgettable. Listening to her perform at atmospheric Chowmahalla Palace is an experience of a lifetime. Under a starless night sky, the audience gathered in the courtyard in front of the Grand Khilwat (Durbar Hall), their finery wrapped up in shawls to ward off the slight chill in the air. They sat and they waited.
The audience became charged with excitement as Muzaffar Ali, Abida Parveen and her troupe took to the stage. Director, artist, fashion designer and poet Muzaffar Ali and Abida Parveen were in Hyderabad for the Paigham-E-Mohabbat Sufi concert. It started with Muzaffar Ali reciting Hyderabadi shayeri followed by Abida Parveen's opening number. Her rich voice filled the venue and the listeners seemed to sigh in pleasure as the emotion, spirituality and enthusiasm came through in her voice.
The stage was set against the Grand Khilwat. The chandeliers were all lit up and suffused the area in a warm golden glow. The facade of the building was painted by the spotlights, the colours ranging from rose pink to verdant green and changing with the songs. It was a magical setting.
She sang the soulful Tere Ishq Nachaya and the moving Dhoondo Ge Agar Mulkon Mulkon among others and in between songs Muzaffar Ali recited Urdu Shayeri which complemented the music. Abida Parveen sang in Persian, Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi and Seraiki, but even if one did not understand the lyrics the wonderful thing about the concert was that her unique, resonant voice crossed barriers of language, time and space and touched the listener.
Even the pigeons seemed affected as they rested against the lattice walls of the building seemingly calmed by the music. The overcast sky that threatened to break with rain restrained itself to a light drizzle as Abida Parveen sang; her unruly curls whipped around by the breeze, her voice irrepressible and inimitable.
The concert ended on a high note with the crowd favourite Duma Dum Mast Qalandar which had the audience clapping and singing along, a spirit of festivity in the air.