| 15 Jul 2024
Begum Akhtar's Centenary Year to be marked on DD Bharati

NEW DELHI: Renowned for her exquisite ghazal rendition and her inimitable thumri-dadra style, Begum Akhtar and swayed listeners cross the country with her poignant voice and emotive performances.

This is the centenary year of Begum Akhtar (1914-1974) and DD Bharati has prepared a special presentation on this.

'Akhtari Ki Mehfil Aur Kaifi Azmi', will be telecast on 8 October at 9.00 pm and repeated at 5.00 am and 1.00 pm. The programme is a presentation featuring the legendary Begum Akhtar singing the verses of literary giant Kaifi Azmi.

Kaifi sahib is not only present at the mehfil but is, in fact, part of the performance, occasionally reciting a couplet from one of his ghazals, which Begum Akhtar later renders in song. Begum Akhtar's charm and charisma is matched in equal measure by Kaifi sahib's rich baritone, stylishly lazy drawl, Byronic good looks, and powerful recitation.

Born Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, Begum Akhtar was known for Ghazal, Dadra, and Thumri. She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for vocal music, and was awarded Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan (posthumously). She was given the title of Mallika-e-Ghazal (Queen of Ghazals).

DD Bharati sources indicated to that there may be more programmes on this legendary ghazal singer during the year to pay homage to Begam Akhtar. She will always be relevant and unparalleled because she was unique — she remains the queen of ghazals.

One particular ghazal of Kaifi Azmi sung by Begum Akhtar was:

Suna Karo Meri Jaan In Se Un Se Afsaane

Sab Ajnabi Hain Yahan Kaun Kis Ko Pehchaane

Yahan Se Jald Guzar Jaao Qaafile waalo

Hain Meri Pyaas Ke Phoonke Huye Ye veeraane

Meri Junoon-E-Parastish Se Tang Aa Gaye Log

Suna Hai Band Kiye Jaa Rahe Hain But-Khaane

Jahan Se Pichhle Pahar Koi Tashna-Kaam Utha

Wahin Pe Tordhai Hain Yaaron Ne Aaj Paimaane

Bahar Aaye To Mera Salaam Keh Dena

Mujhe To Aaj Talab Kar Liya Hai Sehara Ne

Siwa Hai Huqm Ki "Kaifi” Ko Sang-Saar Karo

Maseeha Baithe Hain Chhup Ke Kahaan Khudaa Jaane

(Kaifi Azmi)

The aim of the programme is also to revive and bring back the lost glory of ghazals which were an extension of Hindustani classical music —the decline in poetry and the lack of sensitivity towards appreciating art in all its forms, painting, poetry, et al, has created a wide chasm between the original form and somewhat diluted interpretations.