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Sarhad ke us paar se

Pakistani ghazal singer Asif Mehdi on his upcoming album, favourite Indian singers and father Mehdi Hassan.

music Updated: Dec 11, 2009 20:20 IST
Himadree

Asif Mehdi, son of the legendary Pakistani ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan, was in the Capital for a concert with India’s ghazal great, Jagjit Singh.

The peace concert is an effort initiated by NGO Routes to Root to promote peace across border through music. “I’m just trying to bridge the gap between India and Pakistan,” Mehdi told HT City. “I’m also here because my father loves India and fondly recalls his days spent here. He’s not keeping too well but as soon as the doctor sees him fit to travel, Insha allah, I’ll be here with Walid sahab.”

Unlike Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mehdi hasn’t tried his luck in Bollywood. He reasons, “I haven’t heard from any music composers yet. If I get an offer, I’ll announce it formally.” But in the offing is an album due for a February 2010 release. “It comprises 12 songs that haven’t been heard before.”

Mehdi lauds the Indian music industry for churning out great music. And he has his list of favourite Indian singers. “I admire Jagjit Singh for his excellent usage of poetry, Hariharan for his amazing gayaki and Talat Aziz for his amazing body of work.”

The singer feels musicians of both countries have been doing their best in strengthening ties, but the only thing that bothers him is the border conflict. “I’ve been in talks with both the Indian as well as the Pakistani government to come together and forget the borderline war. Jab dono desh ke logon ke beech mein itni mohabbat hai, toh yeh border kya mayane rakhte hain? (When there’s so much love between the people of both the nations, what’s the border there for?)”