At mehfil we celebrated an evening of listening. It was an opportune time to select the topic ‘ Begum Akhtar’, as it also happens to be the centenary of this renowned singer.
Javed Saab commenced the evening by informing the audience that it was a fruitless exercise to speak in a mehfil in which his voice would be followed by the melodious voice of Begum Akhtar. He suggested that since the audience had come to listen to the divine voice of this magnificent lady it would be unnecessary for anyone to ruin it by talking.
Taking a cue from him, the evening floated through with songs sung by Begum Akhtar such as “ Woh jo humme tumme qarar tha” “dewana banana hai toh” “Aye mohabat tere anjam pe rona aaya” “Koi Umeed Bar Nahin Aati” “Mere humnafas mere humnawa” and many others.
We also had the pleasure of having amongst us Sudeep Banerjee who is not only a music director but also a ghazal singer. He explained the audience the nuances of thumri, which was Begum Akhtar’s specialty, and he also sang some ghazals to which the audience were spellbound.
The musical evening ended with a documentary on Begum Akhtar, which was made by Film Division and then the curtains came down with a promise to return in the new year 2015 with many more exciting evenings .
Given below are the links to her songs and the documentary played in the course of the evening.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAMvDeJRfSA – Documentary on Begum Akhtar