Narendra Kusnur writes about Talat Aziz while paying tribute to ghazal poetry

Narendra Kusnur writes about Talat Aziz while paying tribute to ghazal poetry

It’s always good to hear a ghazal album featuring only one poet, as against the normal practice of having multiple writers

Narendra KusnurUpdated: Friday, March 17, 2023, 09:10 PM IST
article-image

It’s always good to hear a ghazal album featuring only one poet, as against the normal practice of having multiple writers. There’s a certain consistency in style, and in many cases, a good representation of the poet’s oeuvre. The latest example is Talat Aziz’s Yaadein, which contains the work of Dr Bashir Badr.

The album, released online by Saregama India, contains some of the poet’s best-known works, beginning with Aankhon Mein Raha Dil Mein and Agar Talaash Karoon. Though Talat has released these ghazals in earlier albums, the treatment, arrangement and delivery style are different. Badr, 88, is much respected in the ghazal fraternity, and known for his simple and impactful style. For instance, in the album’s final song Sar-e-Raah Kuchh Bhi Kahaa Nahin, he writes, “Isi shahar mein kai saal se mere kuchh karibi aziz hai, unhe meri khabar nahin, mujhe unka koi pata nahin”. On Udaasi Ka Yeh Patthar, he uses a line to describe melancholy — “Hazaaron jugnuon se andhera kam nahin hota”.

Fans would be familiar with Talat’s popular songs, from Kaise Sukoon Paoon and Kya Milega Kisiko Kisise to the film hits Zindagi Jab Bhi Teri Bazm Mein (from Umrao Jaan), Phir Chiddi Raat (with Lata Mangeshkar in Bazaar) and Aaina Mujhse Meri (Daddy). We’ll not pursue that area. In keeping with this column’s format, of choosing a particular theme or artiste and recommending music to check out, we shall now talk of records using a singular poet.

Such albums would come under two categories. In the first, the singer chooses the repertoire of a specific poet, who could be either traditional like Mirza Ghalib or Meer Taqi Meer, or a 20th century writer like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Qateel Shifai or Bashir Badr, or even someone contemporary. The second involves songs specially written by a poet for an album, sometimes after being commissioned by a music label.

Among poets, 19th century legend Ghalib has obviously been the most popular choice. The best-known album would be the music of Gulzar’s teleserial Mirza Ghalib, mainly featuring Jagjit Singh. Albums with Ghalib’s poetry have also been released by Pankaj Udhas, Talat Aziz and Pakistani singers Farida Khanum and Abida Parveen. In 2019, Ghaliban — Andaz-e-Bayaan was released by Sudeep Banerji and Amrita Chatterjee, with poetry recited by Vishal Bhardwaj. In 2000, Ghalib albums were recorded by Sumona Roy Biswas and Somesh Kumar Mathur — today, one only finds the latter on streaming platforms. There was also the compilation Begum Akhtar Sings Ghalib, though now, one only finds three songs on JioSaavn.

Some single-poet albums are not available on Spotify or JioSaavn, which this columnist uses for streaming. Examples are In Search Of Meer by Udhas, which one gets on YouTube without any tracklist or details, and Bazm-e-Meer by Roopkumar and Sonali Rathod.

Pakistani poet Faiz’s works are available in Faiz By Abida, which includes Gul Huyi Jaati Hai and Yeh Jafaa-e-Gham Ka Chara, and Pankaj Udhas’ Dastkhat, which one finds only on JioSaavn. Interestingly, one cannot find Nayyara Noor’s famous Nayyara Sings Faiz album, though individual songs including Tum Mere Paas Raho and Hum Ke Thehre Pardesi appear in playlists.

Some other single-poet albums include two by Jagjit and Chitra Singh — who used Qateel Shifai’s work on A Milestone and Sudarshan Faakir’s writing on The Latest. In 2016, Talat Aziz released a compilation of Majaz Lakhnawi’s poetry in Ae Gham-e-Dil Kya Karun, and in 2003, Roopkumar Rathod had recorded Kaifi Azmi’s work in Pyaar Ka Jashn. Among contemporary writers, singer Tauseef Akhtar had used Roop Sagar’s lyrics in Aamad: The Arrival. One all-time favourite would be Mehdi Hassan’s Kehna Usey, featuring the poetry of Farhat Shahzad,

That brings us to special projects, where writer Gulzar tops the list. Over the years, his collaborative works include Marasim and Koi Baat Chale with Jagjit Singh, Nayaab Lamhe with Pankaj Udhas, Visaal with Ghulam Ali (check the song Mera Kya Hi Tha) and Bole Naina: Silences Speak with Pratibha Singh Baghel. Likewise, Javed Akhtar and Jagjit have done two albums — Silsilay and Soz — as a team.

While these examples feature illustrious artistes, the actual number of single-poet albums is quite less. This is where one welcomes Talat’s latest release. Badr has been one of the remarkable poets to have used the ghazal couplet format, and this is a wonderful tribute.

RECENT STORIES

Theatre Review: Nakalat Saare Ghadle, A 22-Year-Old Hit Play, Is Revived With A New Team

Theatre Review: Nakalat Saare Ghadle, A 22-Year-Old Hit Play, Is Revived With A New Team

Unearthing Ancient Secrets: Tracing Indian Rich Past Through Interesting Archaeological Finds

Unearthing Ancient Secrets: Tracing Indian Rich Past Through Interesting Archaeological Finds

Father’s Day 2024: From Ravana To Dronacharya, Learning Valuable Lessons From Fathers Of Indian...

Father’s Day 2024: From Ravana To Dronacharya, Learning Valuable Lessons From Fathers Of Indian...

Father’s Day 2024: Tabla Maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain Talks About His Late Father Ustad Allarakha

Father’s Day 2024: Tabla Maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain Talks About His Late Father Ustad Allarakha

Father’s Day 2024: 6 Celebrities Share Their Favorite Father Characters From Films

Father’s Day 2024: 6 Celebrities Share Their Favorite Father Characters From Films