The Gurmani Centre for Languages and Literature held its penultimate event in the Halqa-e-Danish series on, “Maestros of Raag” on Friday, November 16, 2018 with an audience exceeding over 200. The event was a lively discussion on poetry, literature and music and was hosted by the renowned music artist, Mr. Ali Aftab Saeed.
The main guest of the night was the legendary Ghazal singer, Tina Sani who had flown in from Karachi to speak to the audience at LUMS. Moreover, on the panel was the celebrated Urdu poet, Moen Nizamuddin who is also a tenured Professor at the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS) at LUMS.
Ms. Sani, through moderated questions by Mr. Saeed, recalled how she took up Ghazal singing as a profession. She brought to light the fact that she had been written off by the professionals of the time given that she had grown up in Kabul and possessed neither the Urdu prowess of her contemporaries and nor their powerful ‘Gharana’ backgrounds. She then recalled how she had gained overnight success by the popularisation of one of her Ghazals that she had sung for PTV. She also mentioned her progressive views on Ghazal singing and how a Nazam or Ghazal may be sung in any way as an artist chooses to interpret it based on their attachment with the piece. She felt her success was based on this since the Faiz Ahmed Faiz Ghazal that had propelled her to fame was one with which she felt a deeply personal connection.
Mr. Nizami contrasted her opinions by mentioning how a singer ought to be faithful to the intended message of the poet behind the lyrics. This resulted in a lively discussion which allowed the audience to see the matter from both perspectives.
The floor was opened to members of the audience after the session concluded, who all thanked Ms. Sani for gracing the stage and asked questions about the future of both the Urdu language and Ghazal singing. Ms. Sani replied candidly that she was of the opinion that languages tend to evolve and dissolve over time, and art tends to be a response to the times one resides in. The evening concluded with Ms. Sani, despite having an inflamed throat, singing some of her most famous Ghazal couplets to a crowd which was left enchanted.
The final event of the series will take place on Friday, November 23, 2018, which is a tribute to the King of Ghazals – Mehdi Hassan.