Top corporate honchos of India were captivated by soothing Sufi music as they celebrated 60 years of India's Independence through a spiritual and melodious evening in New Delhi.
An open-air concert in humid weather was perhaps not the best venue for a Sufi concert. But as the mellifluous strains of Ustad Miraz Ahmed Nizami, the famed qawwal of Nizammudin dargah, and his 12-member troupe stirred the still night, the jaded audience sat up electrified.
'Sham-e-Afreen', as the concert was called, was organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) on Friday night at their Prithviraj Road office in the heart of the capital city.
Assocham felt it was the right way to unwind. The 150-odd invitees did relish the music over cocktails and a lavish dinner.
"We wanted to unwind and thought this was the perfect way to usher in the 60th year of Independence," said DS Rawat, the Assocham general secretary.
It was a change to see business leaders in casuals. Many were in traditional Indian attire, swaying and tapping their feet to Nizami's melodious music.
Raman Roy, chairman and managing director of Quatrro BPO Solutions, was one of those mesmerised by the enchanting rendering.
"These days people are too busy to take out time for such leisurely evenings. What's even more wonderful is that this evening combines the spirit of independence with the love of music," Roy said.
Delhi Urban Development Minister Ajay Maken, who was the evening's chief guest, said he was an old admirer of the qawwali maestro's renditions.
"I have been to his concerts before and it is always a privilege. I look forward to many such occasions," he said.