Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5. 73, Tuesday, June 23, 2009















Immersed in passion

"Qawwali is not only music, it is a message. It was created by Sufis, and when we compose and practice this music, it remains immortal. Once you start listening, it reaches out to your soul, mingles with your spirit, and you become more human. "My dream is that one day I will fulfil the desire of Khan Sahab Nusrat Fateh Ali, to disseminate this message to the world," said Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

It was a long awaited evening on June 17. But the wait was worthwhile as the event at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre commenced with a majestic instrumental by the talented musicians accompanying Rahat Fateh Ali Khan on his tour to Bangladesh, titled "Safar Mein." The combination of tabla, drums, bass guitar, dhol, saxophone, keyboard, harmonium and the backup vocalists accompanying the Ustad created a mesmerising effect.

This was followed by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's "Allahu." The audience was spellbound by the next rendition of the famous "Maan ki Lagan" (from the film "Paap"). The live version of this song sounded superior to the original one, with additional 'taan' and 'alaap. This was followed by a ghazal, "Tumhe dillagi bhool jani padegi," the famous "Tere Or" (from "Singh is King"), "Naino Ki Mat Suniyo," "Bol Na Halke Halke" (from the album "Jhumbarabar") and then "Sanu Ek Pal Chain," a rendition that stirred the inner emotions.

After a 15-minute interval the musicians welcomed the Ustad back on stage with another instrumental. He then asked for requests from the audience. The artiste began with a famed Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan number "Ye Jo Halka Halka." The popular song "Jiya Dhadak Dhadak" (from the film "Kalyug") enthralled the audience as it became almost an anthem right after it was released. One of the unforgettable renditions of the evening was "Tere Bin Nahi Lagda." Throughout the rendition he reminded everyone of the late maestro Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with his vocal expertise and impeccable qawwali nuances.

Other memorable renditions were "Jag Suna Suna Lagey" (from "Om Shanti Om") and "Sason Ki Mala Se Simru Mein." The audience was captivated by his accuracy in executing the high notes till the very end. Lastly he sang "Dam Mast Kalandar," as a grand finale.

Throughout the concert, Ustad Rahat Ali Khan demonstrated his years of 'taleem' under his uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with utter humility. All in all the evening was a complete success on the organisers' part.

Born in Faisalabad, Pakistan (1974) the son of Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat was trained rigorously by his uncle Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in the art of classical music and qawwali, as Nusrat had no son of his own. An extremely gifted child, he started his musical training at a very early age. In an interview, his father Farrukh had spoken of how Rahat would be receiving musical instructions from Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with a pacifier in his mouth.

On the June 17 evening Rahat Ali was accompanied by his brothers and cousins in the chorus who are training under him to carry on the family's heritage.

The event was presented by Clear anti-dandruff shampoo, co-sponsored by Emirates, Etihad, and Hotel Sarina. Media Partners were ETV and Radio Today and the main organiser was Adscience.

By Nazia Ahmed



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