When Ghulam Ali visited Hyderabad (India).

Ghulam Ali Khan Sahab

India, being one of the ancient most cradles of culture and civilization and hence one of the primordial human fountain of art, has witnessed its share of tumult and associated genesis. Generations after generations, genesis after genesis; the springs of changes meandered down into it and the Indian culture grew on to become the ocean of cultural assimilation. Then there was the mighty, destroying river-the river that had uprooted the strongest trees of tradition and engulfed the deepest gorges of customs in its path. In the middle ages this river of Arabic and Turkish imperialists cascaded violently on Indian diaspora. But when it met the all-assimilating ocean of Indian cultural tolerance, an extremely fertile delta of Hindustani culture was formed. The indigenous dialect of Khadi Boli with its Sanskritic legacy and the incoming Arabic and Persian, concocted to give birth to Urdu and Hindi which were two crown flowers in that fertile delta. This Hindi-Urdu language brought with itself a new wave of customs, art and style which was known to be Hindustani tehzeebGhazals are the place where this Tehzeeb meets the sound of pain and glows alight.

Like all other stories of genesis, Hindustani tehzeeb and Ghazals also have had the share of misfortune. Fueled by avarice of few and stupidity of many; the region has seen the divorce of the creative forces and the biggest sufferer has been humanity and its malnourished child, Art. A few days ago on a certain border again the human weakness was exploited by the devil inside all of us and the humanity perished. This keeps happening, the bloodshed; but hope has managed to keep alive in the face of the wicked storm. But this time it was a little more bleak than before. I had my doubts like everyone else about the survival of the candle in the wind. And amidst that came the Paigham-e-Mohabbat from Ghulam Ali Sahab.

Ghulam Ali requires no introduction to those who have heard the word Ghazal. For me Ghulam Ali  has been the voice of Ghazal with Mehndi Hassan and Jagjit Singh. My first memory about Ghulam Ali goes to the day when Doordarshan was the only channel and my family was watching Nikaah. I was too young to understand the movie or the sublimity of its music but I saw my father relishing the scene where Deepak Parashar sitting on a chair listens to a record, with a cake on his side and a cigarette in his hands. The song remained with me. Since then Ghulam Ali has been part of many Sunday afternoons with the sun sneaking into my half closed eyes and many sleepless nights with a reverie surmounting over my consciousness

When I saw the hoarding about Paigham-e-Mohabbat in Hyderabad, I knew I had to go. And I went. And till now that has been the most happy three hours of my new year. I will not describe how Ghulam Ali sang or what he said, but I will mention that his pleasure was obvious at being able to perform in the land of his teacher Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahab and in front of a crowd which understands and lives the Hindustani tehzeeb which he has served and served well for 55 years now. The state government of Andhra Pradesh  awarded him with the Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahab state award. Here are the songs and the links of the songs that he performed (No piracy intended) in that order.

1. Harek baat pe kehte hain - Mirza Ghalib

2. Fir Ussi rehguzar pe - Ahmed Faraz
3. Ye Baatein jhoothi baatein hain - Ibn-e-Insha
4. Dil mein ek Lehar si - Nasir Kazmi
5.  Beh Ja mere kol - [Can someone tell lyricist]
6. Ye dil ye pagal dil mera - Mohsin Naqvi
7. Chupke chupke raat din - Hasrat Mohani
8. Hum tere shehar mein aaye hain - Qaiser Ul Jafri

9. Hungama hai kyon barpa - Akbar Allahabadi

I am an optimist and I believe in a better tomorrow, and a full house of fully enthralled crowd in this concert was a proof that I am not alone. If the sea is unforgiving and the paper boat of hope (the kagaz ki kashti) has to keep moving, then there is no better oar than the strong but comforting sculls of music. Jimi Hendrix felt that 'Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.' And I could not agree more. May you have a long life, Ghulam Ali Khan Sahab!  
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{ 9 comments ... read them below or Comment }

  1. Amen!!!!!
    my first brush with ghazals was an album of songs by GAsaab...
    your post reminded me of the beautiful kashmir of my childhood...
    sharing a couple of my faaaves from that time with you...


    and this absolutely divine one...

    there were many others too, but these too r my eternal GA faaves...:)

    1. Humko kiske gham ne mara is absolutely out-of-this world. But for me the Chupke Chupke is too nostalgic and then there is Apni dhun mein rehta hoon...

  2. He is my favourite! There one more ghazal by him which absolutely fantastic, " kal choudvi ki raat thi, shab bhar raha charcha tera'.

    Though I have just read few of your posts, but they were enough to show your talent. here is small token of appreciation: Liebster Award

    1. Ibn-e-Insha is a master. his poems are so laid back that one feels rested. Happy yet detached. Kal choudahavi ki raat thi is another gem.

  3. Thanks for sharing this... I had to travel on the same day and could not attend the show :(

  4. Thanks for sharing nice post please share more


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