In memory of Begum Akhtar

In memory of Begum Akhtar


It’s that time of the year again, when ghazals and Sufi melodies soothe music lovers in Delhi. Keeping up with its popularity as a cultural hub, Delhi played host to a different genre of music ghazals and Urdu shayari.

Titled Jamal-e-Begum Akhtar, the event was dedicated to the memory of acclaimed vocalist by her disciple vidushi Rita Ganguly.

The artists of the event included Ganguly herself, Begum Abida Parveen, Munawwar Rana and caricaturist Sudhir Tailang who showcased their individual talents to pay tribute to Begum Akhtar in their own different ways. 

Ganguly was ecstatic presenting present the event for music enthusiasts and after the event said, “It was a really satisfying event. We have been organising annually since 2007. Last year it was Hari Haran and this year it was Abida Parveen presenting her soulful voice for the audiences.”

Begum Akhtar was an internationally acclaimed singer of Purab Ang Gayaki which includes Thumri, Dadra, Tappa, Kajri, Jhoola, Hori and more formats within the genre and who had received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for vocal music and was also awarded Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan (posthumously). She was also the undisputed queen and earned the sobriquet Mallika-e-ghazal.

Munawwar Rana - a well known Urdu poet set the mood of the evening with his shayaris and the audience was left asking for more.

He was followed by none other than Begum Abida Parveen, who sang some really soul-stirring ghazals and mesmerised the audience with her voice.

It was surely a treat for Delhiites who had been keenly and patiently waiting for her to arrive on stage.

Another interesting part of the event was the live caricature of Parveen that was created by Sudhir Tailang even as the singer performed. It was the most engrossing act of the evening.

After the event, Sudhir shared, “Music is in my DNA. It has been a part of my family for so long. Last year, I sketched Hari Haran and this year it was Abida Parveen. I loved making the caricature as she is quite an exceptional woman. Altogether, it was a very sufiana experience for me,” he said with a smile.  

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