Pankaj Udhas Live in Concert : An enchanting Mehfil of Ghazals and Shayari Warming up Kolkata

Pankaj Udhas Live in Kolkata

Pankaj Udhas Live in Kolkata

Kolkata, December 8, 2011(Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations):  Indian Ghazal stalwart Pankaj Udhas graced Kolkata’s Science City Auditorium with a live concert on Saturday December 3.

The concert was organized by Radio 104 Fever Unplugged to launch their new 24 hour request channel – “Bolo Ki Shunbe” (First of its kind in India!). The show, hosted by RJ Shekhar, had an almost packed auditorium, filled with admirers of Pankaj Udhas.

Of course, many people still kept arriving (Thanks to the Saturday traffic of the “City of Joy”) while the show had already started but that probably added to the atmosphere if anything.

Udhas began the concert by singing ‘Aap jinke kareeb hote hain, woh bade khush naseeb hote hain’, before moving onto the Sher and Ghazal genres which have made him famous the world over. He demonstrated his melodious vocal qualities, which have developed meteorically since his first appearance on stage during the Sino-Indian war, singing ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’.

The winner of the 2006 Padmashree award, captivated his audience with his soulful rendition of ‘Aab ahista kijiye batein, dhadkane koi sun raha hoga’.  He also gave the mesmerized audience members a snippet by singing a Nazm from his next project, ‘Moments with Pankaj Udhas’, a recording of his live performance at Mumbai’s Gateway of India. Taken from the Urdu word meaning poetry, the Nazm was called ‘Dukh sukh tha ek sabka, aapna ho ya paraya, ek woh bhi tha zamana ek yeh bhi hai zamana’. It consisted of four sections, each carrying a particular storyline contributing to the entire meaning.

The first section described the age of our grandfathers – completely free of treacherous thoughts and practices. The second one moved down the generation ladder onto our fathers seeing the rise of educated service sectors.

The third section brought out the excellent poeticism of the man as he talked about the present generation having no peace of mind despite riches achieved. The final portion almost formed a eulogy to the previous eras, with a wish for the coming generations to recover the “Sukoon”.

The most excitement was caused by him singing his most acclaimed Ghazal, ‘Chandi jaisa rang hai tera’. Following a ten minute break, the audience were invited to request their favourite Pankaj Udhas creations, complementing Radio 104’s own theme of the 24 hour music request channel.

The invitations however, were not as widely accepted as a large section of the audience had left - the Kolkata traffic, the winter chill, and a general inability of people to stay out of their homes, among the incriminating factors.

Nevertheless, it did not overshadow the brilliance of Udhas’ performance. Every song was well received and he bonded with the Kolkata audience as he explained the meanings of the different bits constituting the genres of Ghazal, Nazm, and Shayari.

He was full of praise for the city as well, calling it a ‘Complete City’ because of the literature, music, and the sweets in every household. He even drew a poetic parallel between music and social activist Anna Hazare, calling them both ‘clean, pure, sweet, and free of corruption’.

Maybe that cannot be true for all kinds of musical performances Kolkata witnesses every day, but the ambiance created by Udhas with his calm and dedicated performance – you could certainly call his music pure and sweet.

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