Poetry in music

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Ghazal literally means an ode to a beautiful woman... It is one of the best poetic renditions of all times. Though earlier written in Persian, the form gained much popularity in India when poets started writing ghazals in Urdu. Eventually, this poetry was picked up by musicians who helped it reach it to masses from the closed doors of nawabs and sahebs.

Bollywood too has unique history. It has seen many changes, transformed from time to time according to tastes of its audiences, imbibing various art forms. And this medium too could not remain unaffected from the magic of ghazal. “Hindi cinema is a part of our upbringing. And ghazals from the Hindi cinema have a very important and special identity because of their niche and the nature of expression between the writer and the lover,” says Salim Arif, poet, writer and director who will be hosting An Ode to Indian Film Music, Ghazal Hamesha today.

Researched by famous theatre personality and writer Javed Siddiqui, it will be narrated by Arif, who has introduced more than 100 shows of Jagjit Singh and Gulzar. Uday Mazumdar will give music to performers Mohammed Vakil, Sujata Trivedi, Archana Gore, Deepti Rege and Vishwas Kale.

Siddique informs, “As part of the celebrations of 100 years of Hindi cinema, we decided to make a collage of some of the famous ghazals from over the years. We have chosen 15-20 of some of the most memorable ghazals spanning from 1931 to date including those of legends such as Saigal, Talat Mehmood, Begum Akhtar, Kaifi Azmi and others. The ones that are etched in our memories especially Majrooh Sultanpuri’s Gham Diye Mustafil and Kaifi saab’s Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho will be part of the ensemble that will be put together for ghazal lovers”    
Ghazals have a very special place in contemporary Indian music representing a great poetic tradition from over several centuries, and its fusion with modern music compositions. The result is a mesmerising musical poetry. The musical compositions retain the serenity, serious mood and temperament of the original ghazal that originated, as well as it fondness for unattainable love but they may not necessarily adhere to the rules of matla, maqta, beher, kaafiyaa and radeef that the litterateurs of Persian or Urdu poetry might be looking at.

“Exploring how ghazals have changed in 100 years, I will be presenting some immortal ones that have outlived the film that they belonged to and are still remembered by connoisseurs of all age groups,” Arif adds.

When and where: Today at 7 pm at Tata Theatre, NCPA

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