Evening of Sufi magic

The rains are often associated with raag malhaar. This time around, they seem to have also brought with them some classical sufi music.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2004 17:07 IST
SM Yasir

The rains are often associated with raag malhaar. This time around, they seem to have also brought with them some classical sufi music.

Sufi strains were heard live for the second time this month as Rekha Surya delighted a select audience at the banquet hall of Hotel Ashok this week.

However, Surya, like Anita Singhvi who had chosen the Sufi theme earlier, doesn’t really come from the Sufi school of thought. Trained by the likes of Begum Akhtar and Girja Devi, she is at home with thumri and dadra as opposed to qawwali, which is often the chosen medium for Sufi. The reason for the Sufi concert was her upcoming album Piya Se Milanwa — Shades of Sufi poetry, in which she blends the different forms of music.

However, the concert started on a false note after the tabla artiste went missing for some time. Surya had to start with Hum hain ishq mastana with only the rubab and the keyboards to support her. But the audience — including Gursharan Kaur, the Prime Minister’s wife — did not seem to mind.

Renowned gynaecologist Dr. Indira Kohli found the concert enjoyable after the table player arrived. “I liked Gunahgaar yahan kaun hai ye mat poochho the most,” she said. Surya has also penned the song.

For the debutante album singer, the effort was special because of the variety it had. “(The album) includes Kabir’s ghazals, shabads and a mix of Khusrau and Meera’s works.” And that probably is why almost no one — including Soli Sorabjee, Nalini Singh and Rani Jethmalani — left early.

First Published: Aug 27, 2004 16:39 IST