Pakistani ghazal singer Tina Sani is a stickler for purity, and that came through amply when the artiste recently gave concerts in Delhi, Chandigarh and Hyderabad. On her second performance tour of the country, the singer carefully picked up ghazals and nazms from her rich repertoire and performed them with such finesse and honesty that it struck a chord with the listeners.
Pakistani ghazal singer Tina Sani is a stickler for purity, and that came through amply when the artiste recently gave concerts in Delhi, Chandigarh and Hyderabad. On her second performance tour of the country, the singer carefully picked up ghazals and nazms from her rich repertoire and performed them with such finesse and honesty that it struck a chord with the listeners. Away from gimmicks and the staple popular fare Pakistani singers are expected to dish out, Tina sang ghazals like Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s “Bahar Aayee” and the famous khayal “Anokha Ladla” immortalised by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahab. “In Hyderabad, she sang a ghazal which Faiz sahib had written especially for people of the Deccan region and ‘Hamesha Der Kar Deta Hoon Main’. The audience thanked her for not singing the usual numbers. While Hyderabad’s concert had strong Urdu flavours, in Chandigarh, it was more of Punjabi,” said Tina Vachani, General Secretary, Routes 2 Roots, a non-profit organisation which had organised the concert in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations as part of a cultural exchange programme aimed bettering ties between India and Pakistan.
“Like the qawwali and the Sufi music, ghazal needs to stay to its truest form. Why don’t we publicise it and not popularise it,” remarked Tina sitting in the green room at Siri Fort auditorium where she later performed with singer Peenaz Masani. The singer, a disciple of Mehdi Hassan, does her bit to make ghazals accessible and understandable to people and yet save them from distortions. At a concert in Pakistan last year, when she performed “Shikwa” and “Jawab-e-Shikwa” — two famous poems by Allama Muhammad Iqbal, she distributed English translations by Khushwant Singh to the school children for whom she was performing. On October 23 when she again renders these poems in Muscat, Tina plans to use the translations. “Before performing, I especially asked him (Khushwant) if I could use it. There are a lot of questions being asked today about where Urdu as a language is heading. And how do you get the point across? Youngsters don’t understand the language and I can completely relate to it, because when I started out, my Urdu was very bad,” says the singer who is known for singing Faiz’s poetry. She is the youngest musician to set Faiz’s poetry to music and sang it at the “Faiz Mela” in 1985.
“I like to work with poets. ‘Bahar Aayee’ is a ground breaking work of Faiz. He uses ‘Bahar’ or ‘Spring’ as a metaphor for a new beginning. I have also branched out from ghazals to nazms. Nazm is a story. It is the best way to communicate with the audience. I take the audience all around and bring them back,” she says.
Keywords: Tina Sani