Lovers of Urdu poetry and prose as they have always been, over 2,000 Kashmiris turned up at a concert by ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh. The over three-hour-long scintillating performance left the audience singing along with the prolific singer.
True to his tradition, Jagjit Singh enthralled the listeners, raising the pitch of Urdu ghazal singing to such heights that the audience sang with the maestro on Wednesday evening at the Kashmir University auditorium here.
Yeh daulat bhi le lo, Yeh shauharat bhi le lo (Take away all my wealth and fame), he sang to the mesmerised audience.
Every word rendered by the singer seemed to strike the right chord with the audience even as fans kept on requesting their favourite numbers.
For over 20 years, since armed violence started here in early 1990s, ghazal singing and even traditional local music and folklore had become taboo.
The entertainment-starved Kashmiris had nothing but satellite TV to be watched in the privacy of their homes.
Wednesday's concert in Srinagar not only proved the immense popularity of ghazal singing in the valley, but also the fact that no compulsion can force Kashmiris to give up their love for music, poetry and singing.
The majority of Jagjit Singh's audience comprised youngsters.
"It is a grand statement made by the youth who attended the concert. Their passion for literature, poetry, prose, music and fine arts remains rooted in their history," said Khalid, 25, who works as a trainer in a local gym here.