The Rotary Bangalore Southwest recently treated Bangaloreans to an evening of soulful music at the Nimhans Convention Centre. Called Ishq Sufiyana, the event was in aid of children suffering from cancer (paediatric chemotherapy) at Kidwai Memorial Hospital.
The event focussed on sufi music and its sub-genres, qawwalis and ghazals, mostly from Hindi films. The evening proved to be a great platform for young talented singers from Jaipur, Mumbai and Bangalore. The singers were accompanied by a nine-piece ensemble of musicians, who were lead by Srinivas Achar on the lead guitar.
“Sufi instrumentation is a complex fusion of traditional tabla, dholak, harmonium on one hand and Western instruments like guitar, drums and synthesiser, on the other. We came thoroughly rehearsed,” said Srinivas.
The team kickstarted the evening with Goonj Sa Hai Koi Iktara from ‘Wake Up Sid’ and then swiftly moved on to Teri Deewani from Kailash Kher’s album, Chand Sifarish from Fanaa and soon followed it by a Talat Aziz and Lata Mangeshkar number Phir Chidi Raat from the movie Bazaar, Mahi Ve from Kante and the peppy number, Tere Mast Mast Do Nain from Dabbang.
This soon gave way to the ghazal medley by Vakil, a playback singer and the winner of the reality show Zee Saregama. He revisited legends like Mehdi Hassan with Ranjish Hi Sahi, Jagjit Singh with Hoshwalonko Khabar Kya, Ghulam Ali with Chupke Chupke and Farida Khannum with Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo.
The fact that the evening was for a cause made the concert even more special for the singer. “It’s really the compelling cause of pediatric chemotherapy that drew me to come and perform here, all the way from Jaipur. I am much obliged to the organisers for giving me this opportunity,” he added.
The focus then shifted to qawwali genre with Aaya Tere Dar Par from Veer Zara, which interestingly was originally sung by Vakil himself.
This was then followed by foot-tapping numbers like Dama Dam Mast Kalandar and the evergreen Nigahe Milaneko and Parda Hai Parda. Soon enough, the evening transcended to sufi, with Sagar, one of the singers, performing Bulla ki Jaana Main Kaun from Rabbi Shergill’s album.
Another young singer, Manoj Vasishta’s rendition of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s O Re Piya, got him a standing ovation. “This evening was a really good platform for budding talents. And I was overwhelmed when the audience gave my rendition of O Re Piya a standing ovation,” beams Manoj. Rithisha, another singer, also treated the audience with songs like Mar Jawa and Mahi Ve.
Vakil then took it up a notch with numbers like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Saanware Tore Bin and Maula Mere Lele Meri Jaan from Chak De India. It was a fitting finale when all the singers jointly rendered the theme song Ishq Sufiyana from ‘The Dirty Picture’.
Rotarians Sandeep Raja, Vijay Tadimalla, Badri Prasad and Dr Vijay Kumar, director of Kidwai and rotary past district governor S Nagendra were also present at the event.