An evening of soulful ghazals by Avijit Sarkar and Rachana Bhatnagar


image-2By Manju Mittal

Shaam-e-ghazal mehfil in Blacktown suburb reverberated with soulful ghazal on Saturday evening September 17, 2016, featuring renowned singers Avijit Sarkar and Rachana Bhatnagar. Avijit Sarkar, Sydney’s own great singer and musician has been blessed with voice that adapts to any song that he sings. He performed in a variety of styles and he himself admits that he is the most suited to the ghazal. Avijit has intoxicated many with his music and that is the power of his singing. He has toned his voice to sing the ghazals of late ghazal king Jagjit Singh with ease. The mellifluous voice of Avijit transported the audience into a different era and mood, accompanied by folksong queen of Australia Rachana Bhagnagar.

Rachana Bhatnagar, who hails from Baroda, Gujrat has established herself as a versatile singer in Australia. Rachana was born into a family with a deep rooted love for music. She was initiated into music by her mother, Dr Kumud Saksena at the age of five and she continued her training at the age of eight under the guidance of her guru, Lata Prabhune. Rachana began singing with enthusiasm and determination as she grew up impressing everyone with her melodious and smooth voice. She has also gained popularity as a Ghazal singer. Her subtle command on the grammar of the ragas, the melodic structures the rhythmic disciplines and the distinctive technique of voice with its demands makes her  a pleasant experience for the audience to listen to.

Ghazal is a soothing poetic form consisting of rhythmic verses where the heart touches the soul. Ghazal queen Rachana commenced the ghazal evening with a very soothing rendition ”˜Aapki yaad aati rahi’ followed by very mellow version of ”˜Musafir hain hum to’. The first and only passionate duet of the evening followed by Avijit and Rachana ”˜Agar hum kahein aur woh muskura de’ the pathos in their voice was startling.

Avijit’s performance of Jagjit Singh’s most famous ghazal ”˜Duniya jise kehte hai’ was utterly incomparable. He also included ”˜Hosh walo ko khabar’, ”˜Pyar ka pehla khat’, ”˜Ranjish hi sahi’ and many more. Highlight of the evening was ”˜Jhoola’ song from Rachana. It was insurmountable when she sang Farida Khanum’s famous ghazal ”˜Aaj jane ki zid na karo’ with an exquisite mixture of classical music. The audience melted and eventually joined them in singing.

After a delicious dinner provided by the host, Avijit & Rachana continued with the ghazals , many were farmayash ( requests ) from the audience. The event was not only about ghazals, Sydney’s young poet Gaurav Kapoor recited his poem, sher-o-shayri and brought the poetic aura to the program. The evening was concluded with some fine singing by two students of Rachana Bhatnagar, Priya Desai who rendered famous ghazal of Jagjit Singh ”˜Hontho se chu lo tum’ and ”˜Jhuki jhuki si nazar’ by Rimmika Bose.

Avijit was accompanied by his talented troupe of musicians Sadiq Rehmani on guitar, Abhijit on tabla and Sanjeev Raja. Avijit Sarkar and his troupe were touched by the passionate response from the audience. Two talented singers Avijit and Rachana and musicians had the audience completely mesmerised. Audience applauded each and every ghazal and enjoyed the evening thoroughly.

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