Umrao Jaan remake?s a shame

Published on Nov 24, 2006 12:05 AM IST

Her?s is a special art?rendition of ghazals in the Beghum Akhtar style. Needless to add, she?s the only one to do so in India. When it comes to lending a voice to the verses of noted poets (shayars) like Abrahim Zauk, Josh Malihabadi and Firaq Gorakhpuri, she?s the first choice. However, distinctions apart, the ever-smiling Sunita Jhingran is a versatile singer not limited in her repertoire.

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None | ByVinayak Sinha

Her’s is a special art—rendition of ghazals in the Beghum Akhtar style.  Needless to add, she’s the only one to do so in India. When it comes to lending a voice to the verses of noted poets (shayars) like Abrahim Zauk, Josh Malihabadi and Firaq Gorakhpuri, she’s the first choice. However, distinctions apart, the ever-smiling Sunita Jhingran is a versatile singer not limited in her repertoire.

Not many know that Jhingran has a very special love for her hometown Lucknow despite being somewhat ignored here. When noted musician Khayyam offered to sign her for his next album, she refused politely, only because she didn’t want to her hometown.

Trained by noted performers and ustaads like Afzal Hussain Nagina, Hari Shanker Misra, Naseer Ahmed and Pt. Sita Ram Tewari, Jhingran excles at ghazals, thumris, dadra, sufiyana qalam and khayals with the notable merukhand style of taans and alaaps.

Her Urdu diction is flawless and her tallafus (pronunciation) is admired for its clarity—something so very important for ghazal singing. No wonder, she was felicitated with the Saraswati Award by the Shia Memorial Society.

Recently noted actress and theatre personality Nadira Babbar invited her to Mumbai to recite ‘Nauha Marsia Salam’ the sacred elegy for Muslims. Her audience, including comedian Raju Srivastava, veteran actresse Nimmi Ali Raza and Kumkum, gave her a thunderous applauses. The verses were recorded in her voice for ‘Yaad-E-Hussain’ a cassette released after nine shifts of recording in a single day. Melody Queen Lata Mangeshkar was so impressed that she herself went up to Jhinran to congratulate her for her performance. Jhingran’s popularity is obvious from the tonnes of fan mail she receives even from Paistan. What is sad is her being ignored by her fellow artistes. She is also critical of the awardees selected for the Yash Bharati Award.“

Jhingran muses, “Maybe, I am too straighforward without any nakhras so people tend to take me for granted.”

“Forty years of rigorous riyaz has made my vocal chords and my heart accustomed to the cruel world. What ever I do, it is with my whole heart and the rest I leave to God. I was heartbroken when the wife of an influential officer snatched away the prestigious ‘Yash Bharati’ from me because her husband was well connected politically. But, soon, I overcame the trauma and was back on track, serving the cause of music. I want to request the government to pay attention to the State-based artistes also otherwise the day is not far when all of them, as they already are, will flee the state,” she says with a heavy heart.

Commenting on the “bogus music” of JP Dutta’s remake Umrao Jaan, she says, “This is an insult of the original film, both from the point of view of lyrics and music. The original movie was a special one that brought laurels to our state, whereas the new one is a failure.”

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