‘Chupke Chupke raat-din aansu bahaana yaad hai’ from BR Chopra’s 1982 block buster Nikaah, was the attraction apart from many others featuring in a concert that had connoisseurs and commoners queuing up outside concert hall to listen to the unique style of ghazal singing, rendered by Ghulam Ali. It was an occasion where the nitty-gritty and complexities of Hindustani classical music were melded with that of ghazal singing.
There was also a time when ghazal had changed from a genre deeply-rooted in a cultural set-up of old nobility. Films like Nikaah have changed all that and very soon ghazal was embracing the popularity among the masses.
“At that time Bollywood, once, gave me my kind of song and I sang. Ghazals were at their peak then in terms of popularity and ‘Chupke chupke…’ just aquired a different status. Not sure if I could manage the acrobatics that take place today in Bollywood, I decided that I would try if a song that suited my voice came my way,” said Ali.
Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali who has ruled the hearts of ghazal lovers both in India and Pakistan has been singing ghazals since the past 62 years. This long stay in ghazal singing has imparted more melody and tang in Ghulam Ali’s silky voice.
On the eve of 24 April, Premia Group organized a concert ‘Celebrating 62 years of Singing Ghazals’ at Delhi’s Siri Fort auditorium. Ghulam Ali felicitated Country’s famous The Real Estate Guru, Tarun Shienh with garlands and presented him a bouquet. Noted musician, Pt. Vishwanath was also felicitated on the occasion.
Narrating his experiences of ghazal singing in India, Ghulam Ali told, that he still hasn’t forgotten those days when an early morning phone call in Bombay’s Taj Hotel during his first visit. “I woke up with a start and picked up the phone. The voice on the other end said, ‘Main Rafi bol raha hoon’. I ignored and said, ‘Kaun Rafi?’. ‘Ji Mohammad Rafi,’ the mild voice from the other end replied. He was calling to invite me over for breakfast. A visit to his house in Bandra, almost one hour later, had him so excited that he wore one slipper and came out to hug me. One can’t forget these gestures. One can’t forget this nation and its love. Politics can’t do justice to what we, the artistes, have felt for each other,” says Ali, whose 75th birthday later this year in December is already being looked at as an occasion for much celebration in India. “It’s been 62 years since I have been singing now. I will keep doing it till the last breath,” he says. We will keep tuning in.
Among the audiences who have gatherd to listen to Ghulam Ali live, were, Chairman Premia Group Tarun Shienh, Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav, Rajya Sabha MP KC Tyagi, Legendary Poet Nawaz Deobandi, Renowned Bedu Ji (Sankat Mochan Banaras), Mr. Panda Chairman NDMC and Bollywood singer Mohit Chauhan among other dignitaries.