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Soothing strains

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Jitesh Sundaram performs at a concert in Kannur.
Jitesh Sundaram performs at a concert in Kannur.

Ghazal fans got a melodious treat from local singer Jitesh Sundaram

“Teri baatein hi sunane aaye, dost bhi dil hi dukhane aaye, phool khilte hai to hum sochte hai, ke tere aane ke zamane aaye.” At a recent ghazal evening, Jitesh Sundaram, a young singer from Thalassery, captured the audience’s attention at the Town Square here by these soulful words of the Pakistani poet Ahmed Faraz.

It was his first ghazal programme (organised by the District Tourism Promotion Council) in his home district after participating in ‘Khazana’, a festival of ghazals and mushaira organised in Mumbai on July 27 and 28 and attended by ghazal maestros including Pankaj Udhas and Anup Jalota. Sundaram, a disciple of Mr. Jalota, was among the ghazal artistes invited to perform in the Mumbai festival organised to raise funds for cancer patients.

Ghazal lovers in Kannur were treated to the evergreen ‘Kisi nazar ko tera intezaar aaj bhi hai,’ sung by Bhupinder for the film ‘Aitbaar’. The singer interacted with the audience to make sure that they understood the Urdu words in the songs that celebrated love, beauty and wine.

In a bid to lighten their mood, Sundaram sang an evergreen Pankaj Udhas ‘geetnuma ghazal’ written by Mumta Rashid and Qateel Shifai. Then he switched to the patriotic song “Jis desh mein Ganga behti hai,” an all-time hit by Mukesh. He was at his best with ‘Jaam chalne lage dil machalne lage,’ by sung his master Anup Jalota and written by Saeed Rahi. To enliven the audience, he mixed with the song the filmi Qawwali sung by Manna Dey, ‘Ae meri Zohra jabeen.’

The two-hour ghazal programme was almost mid-way when he sang ‘Chupke chupke raat din, ansoo bahana yaad hai,’ by Ghulam Ali, which was also recorded for the movie ‘Nikaah’. This ghazal, in raag “Kaafi” drew huge applause from the audience. They started humming with him when he began ‘Hui mehengi bahut hi sharaab ke, thodi thodi piya karo,’ by Pankaj Udhas and ‘Mehfil mein rang layegi botal sharaab ki,’ by Chandan Dass. Then he went on to sing Jagjit Singh’s most nostalgic nazm ‘Yeh daulat bhi lelo, yeh shohrat bhi lelo’ written by Sudarshan Faaki. In response to ‘farmaish’ from the audience, he sang ‘Chitti aayee hai’, the most popular nazm sung by Pankaj Udhas in ‘raag’ Pilu.

Sundaram concluded with a medley including ‘Honton se choolo tum mera geet amar kardo’ (Jagjit singh), ‘Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein’ (Mukesh and Lata), ‘Dama dam mast Qalander (Sindhi folk song) and ‘Bewafa yun tera muskurana, bhool jane ke qabil nahin hai’ (a qawwali).

Mohamed Nazeer

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