In June this year, the world of classical music lost one of its greatest exponents. Pakistani singer Mehdi Hassan was regarded as the ‘King of ghazal’. Now, a concert in the city called Ab Ke Hum Bichde (named after his popular song) on July 26 will see ghazal and playback singer Hariharan pay tribute to the maestro. Hariharan says he’s learned a lot from Hassan by singing with him. Reminiscing about the moments he shared with him, he says, “My most beautiful memory of Khan Sahib was when he had come down with his son for my 50th birthday. We spent 10 days together and it was truly amazing.” Talking about some of the ghazals he will be singing, he adds, Dekh toh dil ki jaan se uthtaa hai, Mohabbat karne waale kam na honge and Ranjish hi sahi dil hi dukhaane ke liye aa are a few.
The performances will be followed by the screening of some unseen footage of Hassan, which has been collated by the veteran’s family. “Ghazal, as a genre, is losing its popularity in India and needs to be revived. This concert is the first step towards that. And who better than the ‘King of Ghazals’ to stage a tribute to?” says Mahesh Babu, managing director, Banyan Tree Events, the company that is organising the concert.
Some of the most eminent names in classical music — Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Javed Akhtar and Roop Kumar Rathore — are expected to attend the gig in the city on Thursday.