When was the last time you sent your beloved a scented handwritten letter? In an age where emoticons and LOLs are part of daily parlance, lyrics like ‘Tere khushboo bhare khat mein jalaata kaise?” or “Phir chidi raat, baat phoolon ki” sound archaic, resonating the old-school romance. Well, not exactly, for one could spot many youngsters all ears, eagerly awaiting honeyed rendition of ghazals laced with romance and sprinkled with philosophy by Paritosh Goswami and Gautam Dabir at ‘Sukun’, a Ghazal event by Kalanidhi Sangeet Sabha.
There’s something soothing about listening to live ghazals, which is way beyond an iPod playlist. Just like Sufi music, ghazals create an ambience where the singer and the listener becomes one. It is this oneness takes one to a zone which remains unexplored in our daily humdrum of life. The live music stimulates your ears while the lyrics gently tug at your heartstrings, sometimes evoking long-forgotten memories and sometimes enlightening the mind with deep-rooted philosophy.
The icing on the cake was original composition and sher-o-shaayris by Paritosh Goswami that created a perfect ‘maahol’ replete with ‘Irshaads’ for what was in store for the audience in rapt attention. The ‘phool’ no longer becomes the botanical flower that lies ignored in our backyard. It becomes a metaphor for moments.
The ‘khat’ no longer remains primitive method of correspondence when emails, smses and WhatsApps weren’t there. It begins to symbolize dedication for one’s true love. The line ‘Tere khat aaj main ganga mein baha loon, aag behte huye paani mein laga aaya hoon’ goes on to commemorate love beyond the beloved’s death.
‘Mein nashe mein hoon’ no longer sounds like a drunkard’s anthem when rendered by a gifted singer like Paritosh Goswami (and an avowed teetotaler) and you end up singing with him ‘mein nashi mein hoon’, as if intoxicated by the ambience that only ghazals can create. Mirza Ghalib’s ‘Qaid-e-hayaat (prison of life) O-band-e-gham (chains of sorrow) asl mein dono ek hain. Maut se pehle aadami gham se najaat (freedom) paaye kyun’ line from ‘Dil hi to hai’ ghazal no longer sounds ‘difficult’, when sung by someone like Gautam Dabir.
Well, there’s no logical comparison here, and neither is a ghazal concert ‘greater’ and ‘nobler’ than a rock concert, but attending a live ghazal/sufi concert and live rock/pop concert has just one basic difference – you end up noticing the lyrics, which otherwise tend to drown in the quagmire of sound. As an audience, I walked out richly rewarded with a rendition of my favourite ghazal, ‘Phir chidi raat’ and poetry that lingered over my mind all through the way home.
The car radio blared out a ‘Phir se udd chala’ song from Rockstar and this time around, you are tempted to revel in the lyrics of Irshad Kaamil, rather than AR Rahman’s music. – That’s precisely what a ghazal concert does to you. Where else does a lyricist find mention in his own song ending with: “Yeh mehenkti hui ghazal ‘makhdoom’, jaise sehraa mein raat phoolon ki…”