Ghazal Ka Safar- Understanding the nuances while getting serenaded!

Ustad Shakeel Ahmed during Ghazal Ka Safar (1)

New Delhi; An unforgettable evening providing deep information and a rare opportunity to understand the nuances of Ghazal titled Ghazal Ka Safar was organized by NGO SAKSHI & SIET in association with India Habitat Centre. It was an evening that enthralled and left the listener with a greater appreciation and insight into the beautiful but difficult art of the Ghazal, thus enabling the listener to derive greater enjoyment and appreciation of the ghazal’s form and its composition.

Adding that much needed sheen to the Delhi cultural nightscape at the Amaltas Hall, Habitat Centre, this evening of exquisite ghazals highlighted the two major aspects essential for a sung Ghazal – Poetic Structure and Melodic Composition. An understanding of the poetic framework and exacting structural requirements of a ghazal were provided by Lakshmi Shankar Bajpai  a  world acclaimed poet of gigantic stature till recently DDG, AIR, who, informed and delighted with his erudite command over the medium. The audience learnt of the poetic terms and structural rules required for a poem to be called a GHAZAL, learning to differentiate between a ghazal and other forms of poetry, like geet or nazm. He elaborated on the changing terrain and emotional landscape of the ghazal’s journey.

 The Ghazal composer is faced with turning the written word into an aural landscape where the melody and voice are the paint strokes vividly bringing out the emotional colours of the poem.

Lakshmi Shanker Bajpai & Ustad Shakeel Ahmed during Ghazal Ka Safar (2)

A Ghazal composition requires a deep knowledgeable Classical Vocal music along with a deep understanding of literature; and celebrated Ghazal artiste Shakeel Ahmed, demonstrated these elements, providing an insight into the highly demanding and difficult art of the successful Ghazal composition. He showed the audience, the importance in a ghazal composition of Raagdari – Indian Classical Music, along with an understanding of literature. Shakeel Ahmed’s impeccable gaayaki, understanding of poetry, flawless pronunciation and love of Ghazals took all present, into a magical world where the poetry and music made a deep impact on the listener. Ahmed talked about the importance of matching a poem with a mood appropriate raag without losing essence of the literary quotient. He touched upon the intricacies of how a poem is blended into a raga’s structure, to bring out its best, merging effortlessly yet retaining meaning, creating a mesmerizing effect. The lyrics of the poetry come alive in the silken voice and melody of the really accomplished and knowledgeable ghazal singers art. This was clearly visible as Shakeel Ahmed wove  his vocal skills and artistry with great poetry to unfold musical enchantment through the evening, with his impeccably rendered raag based gayaki

When these arts are exercised to perfection the resultant Ghazal is an amazingly beautiful, seemingly effortless song which “Speaks to the Heart”!

While Lakshmi Shanker Bajpai presented selected sher-o-shayari along with information on Ghazal’s and its nuances on the other hand, Ustad Shakeel Ahmed Khan presented; Zihale Miskin Makun Taghafull (Hazrat Amir Khusro), Na tha Kuchh To Khuda Tha (Ghalib), Kaun Duniya Mein Ba-wafa Nikla(Daag Dehlvi) & Shaam-e-Firaaq Ab Na Poochh (Faiz Ahmed Faiz). During his performance as a tribute to Ghazal Legend Jagjit Singh, he also presented Sarakti Jaaye Hai Rukh Se Nakaab Ahista Ahista.

According to Dr Mridula Satish Tandon, President Sakshi NGO, and co-organiser, “The public is largely unaware of what exactly a Ghazal is.  The  term is loosely used for any poetic composition of love and longing, sung melodiously. The evening is an attempt to increase understanding of this greatly loved and highly popular expression of poetry” thereby increasing the enjoyment and appreciation of the average listener.

Ustad Shakeel Ahmed during Ghazal Ka Safar (2)

Ghazal ka Safar aims to bring forth the inherent structure and rules which must be adhered to while composing a ghazal. These rules of composition are as strict as that of a Petrarchan sonnet.  The beauty of the Radif, Kafia and Beher are revealed when one is acquainted with the structure. Imbued with this knowledge one can truly appreciate and admire the skill and artistry of the poet in creating a Ghazal. Thereafter the show  touched upon the greats whose poetry has given the ghazal the pre eminence it occupies in Literature.

The Audience revisited the poetry of greats like Ghalib, Mir, Daag Dehlvi, Momin Khan Momin and others. During this musical journey, Ustad Shakeel Ahmed imbued the audience with an understanding and deeper appreciation of the ghazal’s form. Shakeel Ahmed’s impeccable gaayaki, understanding of poetry and love of Ghazals took them all into a magical world where the poetry and music make a deep impact on the listener.

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