Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali said on Wednesday he wants to come back to Varanasi every year to perform. The singer performed at the Sankat Mochan music festival on the premises of the Sankat Mochan temple for the second year running on Tuesday night.
He left Varanasi with a promise to see the people of Kashi next year and said he will meet chief minister Akhilesh Yadav anytime in the future as he could not make it to Lucknow this time.
Before leaving for Delhi, he 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 said, adding that he was going back with many pleasant memories.
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He further said: “Allah kare, main bar bar Kashi aata rahoon performance ke liye (God willing, I will keep coming back to Kashi for performances).”
Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai last year was cancelled after Shiv Sena workers threatened violence.
The ghazal maestro accepted a gift from a girl Asmita Tewari in the hotel lobby and blessed her. He also gave autograph to a few fans. The maestro, who was in a hurry to catch a flight to Delhi, also obliged a fan who asked for a selfie with him.
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Asked about chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s plan to honour him in Lucknow on Wednesday, the maestro said, “Fir Kabhi (anytime in future).” He further said, “Mukhyamantri ji aapko dhanyawad dher sare pyar va samman ke liye (Respected chief minister, thanks a ton, for the love and respect you have shown me).”
A source very close to Ghulam Ali said the maestro was supposed to leave for Lucknow by road on Wednesday morning. But as he went to bed very late, he couldn’t get up early. Therefore, his trip to Lucknow was cancelled.
The ghazal maestro left the hotel for the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in a motorcade escorted by police personnel who provided him the security meant for a state guest.