Pankaj Udhas enthralled the audience with his voice and repertoire of ghazals.
Ghazals offer a heady mix of captivating verses and a soothing voice. Enthralling audiences with both was the velvet-voiced Pankaj Udhas. The singer gave the audience a re-run through the most popular among the pieces in the genre in his characteristic style.
Setting the mood
Setting the mood with ‘Thandi hawa ke jhonke,’ he cast a spell with ‘Deewaaron se mil kar rona achcha lagta hai,’ the melancholic lilt from ‘Mukarrar,’ one of his early albums.
Interspersing the songs were nuggets of information that he had collected during his 27-year-long ghazal journey. Lacing the chat with humour, he referred to the pre-conceived notion that prevails around the muse and Bacchus steering the voice of a ghazal singer. What predictably followed was, ‘Sabko maloom hai ki main sharabi nahi.’
Choosing the nazm (a verse that tells a story) ‘Ikkees-wein sadi’ by Zafar Gorakhpuri, which panned the lived cultures of three generations, it was a telling comment of the changing times. If the earlier generation slept soundly it was because they were guileless – ‘Sote the neend gehri, dil me kapat nahi,’ ours is the age where we belong to none and none belongs to us – ‘Ab mera na koyi, har admi akela,’ but we wish the coming generation all calm, the one thing we crave for – ‘Hamne sukoon ko tarse, tumko sukoon barse.’
Next came two of his early songs for Hindi films – ‘Chitti aayi hai, watan se chitti aayi hai’ and ‘Jiye to jiye kaise bin aapki.’ The rendering of ‘Chaandi jaisa rang tumhaara’ earned the singer resounding applause.
Pressed for time, Udhas resorted to the medley route and the audience had ‘Aayiye, Baarishon ka mausam hai,’ ‘Nikalo na be-naqaab,’ and the evergreen ‘Ghunghroo – Main itna zor se naachi ki ghunghroo toot gayee.’
Supported by musicians Rajendra Singh (violin), Nasir Querishi (mandolin), Anupam Chatterji (keyboard) and Rashid Mustafa (tabla), the musical soiree was well packaged.
The concert was organised by ‘Jalsa,’ an effort launched by the Indian Music Academy to provide a platform for legends and up-and-coming artistes to promote Indian classical music.