Indian fans of ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali are in for yet another exhilarating experience. The Pakistani singer is scheduled to perform at the Sankatmochan Temple in Varanasi next month – for the third year in a row.
His performance is likely to be part of the opening ceremony of the Sankatmochan Sangeet Samaroh scheduled between April 15 and 20.
Ghulam Ali had performed at the annual festival in 2016 as well despite protests by the Shiv Sena. His first performance at the same temple was in 2015.
Vishambhar Nath Mishra, chief priest of the Sankatmochan temple, will receive the maestro in New Delhi on April 14. Mishra and Ali will also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The maestro is scheduled to arrive in Varanasi on April 15.
“The ghazal maestro has given his consent to perform at the Sankatmochan music festival 2017. An application for visa has already been moved,” Ghulam Mohammad Khan, the maestro’s relative-cum-manager who looks after his programmes in India, told HT over phone.
“As soon as the government grants visa, he (Ghulam Ali) will seek an appointment with PM Modi. Mishra and Ali both wish that PM Modi attends the opening ceremony of the festival to witness performances by classical musicians from across the globe,” he said.
Noted rabab player Ustad Gulfam Ahmad of Afghanistan, bhajan exponent Anup Jalota, Pt Vishwanath, ghazal singers Ahmad Hussain Mohammad Hussain, flautist Ronu Majumdar and vocalist Suresh Wadkar will be among the performers at the six-day music festival.
Khan recalled the warm welcome the PM gave to the ghazal maestro when he called on Modi in New Delhi in 2015.
Mishra said, “I wish the PM attends the opening ceremony of the event.
“It will be great to receive Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali together at the Sankatmochan Sangeet Samaroh on the premises of the Sankatmochan temple.”
After performing at the temple last year, Ghulam Ali told HT, “Performing in Kashi is an entirely different and everlasting experience. It can’t be explained in words. Both my performances, (the one last year and the one this time) are exclusive for the deep love, affection and commendation given by Kashiites.”
“I wish that I keep coming to Kashi every year to perform here. I am very happy with the love and respect Kashiites gave me. Kashi is really unique, so are its people. For now Alvida Kashi, Alvida Banaras, will meet again next year,” the maestro had said, adding that he was going back with many pleasant memories.