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Turning poems into ghazals

Pankaj Udhas will sing live in the city tomorrow to launch a new album based on Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s Urdu poetry.

music Updated: Oct 25, 2012 15:39 IST
Soumya Vajpayee

India is home to great pieces of poetry by maestros like Amir Khusrau, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Mirza Ghalib and Meer Taqi Meer among others. And now ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas is set to bring the works of another great poet, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, on the stage on October 26. His latest ghazal album, Dastkhat, will also be launched at the concert.

“It has been my life-long ambition to sing Urdu poetry. In 2003, I reproduced the work of Meer Taqi Meer in an album called In search of Meer. Shaayar, based on Daagh Dehlvi’s work, followed in 2010. Dastkhat is the third one,” says Udhas.

The concert will see the singer perform seven ghazals from the album, which includes popular nazm ‘Sheeshon ka masiha koi nahin' and ‘Kab tak dil ki khair manaye’. The singer will also present some of his popular numbers like Chandi Jaisa Rang Hai Tera and Aur Aahista Kijiye Baatein to list a few. Explaining the reason behind the title, Udhas says, “The album is called Dastkhat because every ghazal and nazm will have Faiz’s signature. His language was floral and subtle.” Commenting on the present state of ghazals, Udhas says, “I think the present scene mainly consists of the ‘Dhinka chika’ sort of music. Film scripts hardly have any scope for ghazals. The late Yashji (Yash Chopra) was one of those rare filmmakers ready to take up the challenge of using a ghazal in his films and he was planning to work with me on Sahir’s work.”

So are there other albums in the pipeline? “I’m working on a contemporary ghazal album on the lines of ‘Aur aahista’ to connect with the young audience. Besides that, I’ve already started working on Sahir,” says Udhas.

The concert will be held on October 26 at the Sophia Bhabha Auditorium, Sophia College campus, Breach Candy, at 7.30 pm