Sydney relives nostalgia of the great Sahir Ludhianvi

By Manju Mittal

Sydney came alive on Friday February 22, 2019 with ”˜Sahir ki Yaadein’ presented by Rajeev Kapoor at the Parravilla Function Centre, Parramatta.  In this concert stars of the evening Shobha Ingleshwar, Lalit Bunty Bhatia and Sirisha Telugu paid a musical tribute to the legendary poet and Lyricists Sahir Ludhianvi.  Packed audience lapped up every song, and they were treated to a mesmerizing evening of soulful songs rendered beautifully by three singers. The concert was a nostalgic trip with hall full Sydney devotees of the great poet.

Sahir’s songs are an indelible part of Sydneysiders’s life as they listen to him everyday, his songs in the film ”˜Pyasa’, ”˜’Phir Subah Hogi’, ”˜Dhool Ka Phool’, ”˜Gumrah’, ”˜Waqt’, ”˜Hum Dono’, you pick any, all are one above the other and the list is endless. Guru Datt’s ”˜Pyasa’ song “ये कूचे, ये नीलामघर दिलकशी के, ये लुटते हुए कारवां ज़िंदगी के, कहाँ है कहाँ है मुहाफ़िज़ खुदी के? जिन्हें नाज़ है हिंद पर,वो कहाँ हैं?” Sahir’s poetry was a class apart, him insisting that the credits be given to lyricists, as he made film makers pay him one rupee above Lata Mangeshkar’s remuneration. His ”˜”कल और आयेंगे नगमो की खिलती कलियाँ चुनने वाले, मुझसे बेहतर कहनेवाले, तुमसे बेहतर सुननेवाले; कल कोई उनको याद करे, क्यूँ कोई मुझको याद करे?’ But Sydney remembers you fondly as the night proved to be an excellent journey of this talented poet who made the film era golden for all.

We look back to the era of Indian films, graced by some exceptional talents such as Majrooh Sultanpuri, Gulzar, Anand Bakshi, Shakeel Badayuni and Sahir Ludhianvi whose poetry struck chords and touched hearts with not just every song they crafted but with every word they weaved. Sahir Ludhianvi was one of those rare talents who not just maintained the vulnerability of Urdu in his lyrics but also perfectly captured the essence of the situation.

‘Chhu lene do nazuk hoton ko’ by Lalit Bhatia brought out the nostalgia

”˜Sahir Ki Yaadein’ was a night when Shobha Ingleshwar, Shirisha Telugu and Lalit Bunty Bhatia won us all with their choice repertoire of Sahir songs.  

One of the most talented singers of Sydney Shobha Ingleshwar, needs no introduction to her fans in Sydney. She is most popularly known for her romantic and melodious songs. Shobha is a singer, Reiki healer, Yoga instructor and director at Lotus Holistic Wellbeing. She has sung many songs in different languages and in recent years she has devoted many of her concerts to charity and fund raising for many worthwhile causes in Sydney and then there was no looking back for her.

Rajeev Kapoor, is a poet, writer and singer, he was MC for the evening as he warmed up the audience with interesting anecdotes of Sahir Ludhianvi. He welcomed the local talented artists and the stars of the evening, Shobha Ingleshwar, Lalit Bunty Bhatia and Sirisha Telugu. Concert commenced with a devotional song ”˜Tora man darpan’ a performed by the talented and well known Shobha Ingleshwar.

Lalit Bhatia is our local talented singer belongs to a creative family from Delhi, Lalit grew up in an environment soaked with music and started singing at an early age. He has performed in many private functions. Lalit charmed the audience with the soft romantic number ”˜Kabhi kabhi mere dil’. An Amitabh Bachchan nostalgic number set an exciting passionate romantic mood for the evening. Lalit Bhatia’s solo songs ”˜Mere dil mein aaj kya’ and ”˜Chu lene do nazuk’ were amazing he performed a few Sahir’s songs and treated us to his nostalgic impressions of Rajesh Khanna and Guru Dutt. Lalit’s performance not only took Sahir’s lovers of pure classical music down the memory lane but also he left audience asking for more.

Sirisha Telugu with Arun Nanda and Mike Hamidi

Sirisha Telugu then came on the stage with Lalit ”˜Abhi na jao chor’ listening to her soothing voice was a sheer delight. Sirisha, another wonderful singer, has passion for singing and has performed in numerous community events. Sirisha, who indeed has some resemblance in voice to mystical Lata Mangeshkar, she captured the attention with beautiful song ”˜Yeh ladka hi allah’. She sang few other memorable numbers ”˜Yeh mera dil’, ”˜Nazar jo teri’ and many more.

Shobha and Lalit started off to a thundering applause with the popular number ”˜Maang ke sath tumhara’. Another enjoyable song was ”˜Aaage bhi jane na’ by Shobha. It is not possible to enumerate all Sahir’s songs from the golden era but I enjoyed the duets ”˜Jo wada kiya’, ”˜Tumhari nazar kyu’, ”˜Keh du tumhe’ and ”˜Yeh dil tum bin’ by Lalit, Shobha and Sirisha.

Another highlight of the concert was ”˜Mere naina sawan’ solo performance by very talented Jaggi, what a high pitch that was. Lalit, Shobha and Sirisha sang numerous songs from Sahir Ludhianvi’s collection and kept the audience engaged by interacting with them and having them perform with them.

Musicians Stephen, Andy and Sadiq Rehmani

We hope to see such programmes regularly where local artists can openly perform and everybody is welcome to join. Local Singers and musicians had the audience completely mesmerised and audience certainly left the venue after having had a good time. Rajeev Kapoor appreciatively said, “I am thankful to the Indian community for coming and supporting the event and look forward to entertaining you all more and more”.

One night on Sahir does not do justice to his huge list of songs as we look forward to more on him like the one that Sydney audience enjoyed thoroughly in ‘Sahir Ki Yaadein’.

Pics Courtesy: Hemu Negi

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