Monday, April 6, 2015

A Concert by Ghulam Ali - Healing Experience

When Srini asked me if I wanted to go to the Ghulam Ali concert I said yes. I'd first heard Ghulam Ali in college thanks to Sanjay who would not only play the famous numbers like 'Awargi', 'Hungama hai kyon', 'Chupke chupke' etc but also explain their meanings and intricacies carefully. I bought many cassettes and listened to many hits over the years. So a chance to see the legend was not to be wasted.

I had this nagging headache through the afternoon and into the evening. I picked Sagar on the way and we tried to enter Shilpakalavedika, the venue, through its many well hidden entrances and exits and found that they were too busy saving space for VIPs! Firstly none of the gates are marked properly and unless you have previous experience or, are a high calibre sleuth, you will never realise where this Shilpakalavedika is and where its many entrances and exits are. And when we found one and tried to get in, we were told it was an exit and we should go to gate 1. At gate 1, there were two frantically waving gentlemen who kept saying 'there's no parking, park wherever you want to but please go'. We parked in the open grounds opposite Shilparamam and went back in - only to notice that there was space to accommodate a hundred odd cars. 'VIPs ke liye sir' said the man at the gate.

My headache grew worse at all this. To cap it all there were long queues and an inefficient system - two or three tables and that's it. I have seen the same 'Book My Show' concerts at Bangalore and they did a fantastic job. I could see some black marketing going on and some fake tickets were sold or duplicated, people evicted and so on. Anyway we managed to get in, grab some water and pizza and went right in. The seats in Shilpakalavedika are not comfortable. The curtain lifted and the show began at 730 or so.

I thought to myself - if the music can connect to me, this ache will heal. All through the first half Ghulam Ali sang ghazals unknown to me so I could not really connect to them. I was waiting for the big songs I knew. In the second half his son came on and sang a few songs with his father and a couple of his own compositions. One composition, the original of which he sang, was beautiful, but after that his voice just went flat, don't know if it was about the mike or something. Srini said Ghulam Ali's voice was also not as it had been (I could not make out any difference) and someone else said the sitar was bad (I could not make that out too). But when he sang 'Chupke chupke', 'Awargi' and 'Hungama' I completely got immersed in the music and wonder of wonders, by the time I got out of the trance, my ache was gone. Music heals my friend.

Another item ticked off. A Ghulam Ali concert attended Live. A new principle - that good music heals.

1 comment:

Rajendra said...

fortunately I attended one without glitches in the US-they do some things better, I guess.