A three-day Ghazal festival in the city aims to reinstate the importance of the age-old legacy of Urdu poetry by bringing to stage ghazal singers like Anup Jalota, Jaspinder Narula, Ashok Khosla, Radhika Chopra and Chandan Das.
Titled Ghazal Bahaar, the festival will also pay a tribute to legendary Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib and 'King of Ghazals' Jagjit Singh.
“We just marked Ghalib’s 151th death anniversary. It is a tribute to him. Each singer will also recite a few lines written by him and since some people find his language a bit difficult to understand, I will also explain them in simple Urdu and English. February is also the birthday month of Jagjit Singh and we are also paying a tribute to him,” says Urdu scholar and writer Shakil Warsi who has compèred several ghazal shows over the years.
While Warsi understands that people these days find EDM and fast-paced Bollywood music more attractive, he is happy that there is still a section that continues to romance ghazals. “And, this section is not only filled with middle-aged people but also includes youngsters. There aren’t as many people as there used to be… but the ones who love ghazals know that it is their heritage and they have to support it,” he says and immediately adds, “There is a kind of calmness to it. When you are tired of running around the entire day, ghazal soothes you.”
In its seventh season, the event, organised by Ashok Khosla, focuses on a mix of contemporary and classical styles of ghazal and alongside the legendary artists, it will also feature new-age artists like Jazim Sharma, Poorva Guru, Divakar Meena, Pratibha Baghel, Gayatri Ashokan, Sameer Date and Surinder Khan.
Apart from popularizing the ghazal genre, Ghazal Bahaar will also be donating the proceeds raised from the event towards the welfare of SBMS Vriddh Anand Ashram and Guru Nanak Anad Ashram, which are run by Ashok Khosla in Pune in the loving memory of his Guru.
When: Feb 27 to 29, 7 pm onwards
Where: Sheila Gopal Raheja Auditorium, Bandra West, Mumbai
Tickets available on bookmyshow.com