Jazim-e-ghazal enthrals Sydney audience

By Lokesh Varma

When word spread that Jazim would be visiting Sydney, the generation of ghazal fans from across south-east Asia wondered who is this young talent. The ghazal which is essentially a lyric poem set to music while exploring human emotions associated with love and separation was the milkiat of singers like Jagjit Singh or Mehdi Hassan. Requiring training in classical music, diction and language training for years along with an ability to appreciate nuances or barikhi of sher-o-shayeri, ghazal singers don’t get churned out on a process line.

So nobody really expected Jazim Sharma to woo and move Sydney audiences at Cinestarr’s first Gold and Black series. A brainchild of veteran entertainer Yogesh Sharma, this series gives upcoming singers a voice on the stage and a chance to showcase their talents.

However much to his credit as well as Jazim’s prodigious talent that the evening was a success. It was a packed house that greeted the young singer at the Rooty Hill RSL. The stage was beautifully set up, the shama-e-mehfil glittering on the stage and the expectant audience enjoying the night’s vibe and some of the more shaukeen imbibing a drink or two.

The evening commenced with MCs Manish, Deepti and Jazeel Mistry introducing two talented singers – Ankita Sachdev and Rucha Lange. Ankita has sung with the maestro AR Rahman her talent was obvious when she sang the evergreen ghazal – dil cheez kya hai, aap meri jann lijiye, bas ek baar mera kaha maan lijiye.  Rucha Lange then graced the stage and sang ”“ dukh ki ghaadi beet gaye aur such ke din aaye.

The audience began to warm-up and the multi-generation and multi-national crowd started to enjoy the night. And then the star of the evening arrived. He introduced himself by way of a famous sher – ibadaton ki tarah main ye kaam karta huin, mera usool hai pahle salaam karta hun. Certainly he has come a long way from his sare ga ma days. He has now cut a few albums, lent his voice to movies and has composed music for his ghazals.

Little did the audience know that the shahazada-e-ghazal was going to pay his tributes to famous ghazal singer and famous shayers. Mehdi Hassan sahib was the first one with the ghazal – ranjish hi sahi dil hi dukhane ke liye aa, aa phir se mujhe chhod ke jaane ke liye aa. He then added another not-so-popular sher from the ghazal ”“ waise to subhi ne mujhe badnaam  kiya hai, tuh hi koi ilzaam lagane ke lieye aa.

He then sang Faiz’s Gulon mein rang bhare which has also been sung by Arijit Singh in a recent movie. And continuing on his quest to present his repertoire of talent, he sang the technically difficult chupke, chupke, raat din, aansu bhahana yaad hai as a tribute to Ghulam Ali sahib. This was followed by the ever-popular hum ko kis ke ghum ne mara ye kahani phir sahee, kis ne toda dil hamara ye kahani phir sahee.

Jazim then followed with his long tribute to Jagjit Singh. Singing in the same mellifluous voice as the original, Jazim sang hazaroon khwahishen aisi and tum itna jo muskura rahe ho to a rapturous applause.  This was then followed by hoton se chhoo lo tum, not just by Jazim but with the full audience joining him in chorus. Jagjit fans recognising this as the Ghazal King’s trademark move during his concerts.

The tempo changed after the interval with super-hit songs of the 60s and 70s by Lata, Kishore, Mukesh, Asha Bhosle and Rafi being sung. Pankaj Udhas’s chandi jaisa rang hai tera and songs by Nusrat and Rahat songs were also rendered, cementing his tag not only as shehzada-e-ghazal but also of a promise of much greater things in the future for much-starved ghazal aficionados.

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