The Velvety Embrace of Sophistication – Urdu Qawali and Mushaira at The Garden of Five Senses (18-20, Nov’ 2011)
सब मेरे अपने हैं, कहने को मेरा कोई नहीं।
मैं भी इस शहर में उर्दू की तरह रहता हूँ।
This sher by a famous shayar embodies the true spirit of Urdu. This language of courtesy itself, can make even the most simple sentences sound like the words of the Almighty. The shers, the ghazals, and the nazms can transport you to a world where angels spread their wings and dance to the heavenly tunes. No number of superlatives is enough to describe the inherent music of this sophisticated language.
Over the centuries, several shayars have left their beautiful verses for us to cherish. But, unfortunately, youth in urban India does not always get the opportunity to come close to the language and its abundant literature. And that is a huge cultural loss for our society. In such an environment, any attempt to bring the language back to the masses is commendable.
The Qawali and Mushaira Festival organized by Delhi Tourism in the open-air amphitheater in the natural surroundings of the Garden of Five Senses needs to be applauded. The festival began on the 18th of November with enchanting Qawalis by Farid Ayaaz and Abu Mohammad Qawals based in Pakistan belonging to the best known gharana of Qawali, Qawal Bachon ka Gharana of Delhi. Their Qawalis are as popular to the older generation as with the youngsters. The aura and ambiance of the gardens complimented the music and the listeners were mesmerized and swaying with the tunes of the harmoniums.
On the Day 2 of the festival, esteemed shayars such as Meraj Faizabadi, Raees Ansari, Rihana Shaheen, Surender Shajar, Javed Mushiri brought the evening to life with the individual flavors of their heartfelt ghazals and shers. The audience encouraged them with their appreciation and applause. There were several requests for more and the Shayars duly obliged the audience.
The Day 3 marked the conclusion of this momentous event with touching and tantalizing Qawali by Atif Hussain Khan from Hyderabad. The whole amphitheater reverberated with his soulful voice and the accompanying music.
The decorations were subtle and tasteful and Delhi Tourism did well by not going overboard with them.
Such events are crucial for a society as they are a sign of its maturity. A society that treats its art and artists with respect should never fear for its cultural survival. Hope to see more such events organized year after year in the city. On the whole, a good initiative in the light of the 100 years anniversary of New Delhi.
Delhi Tourism had put best efforts in making this festival wonderful !!!
Smt. Kiran Walia, honorable Minister for Women and Child Development, Govt. of Delhi and Shri G. G. Saxena, MD & CEO, Delhi Tourism were also present on the concluding day of the event.
Title and most of the captions on this post are added by Vibha Malhotra !!!