Master’s Voice

For someone who has given Lucknow a gift to cherish in the musical score of Umrao Jaan,it was his turn to receive an award in the city.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published:February 22, 2009 2:16 am

Don’t mess with masterpieces,says Khayyam

For someone who has given Lucknow a gift to cherish in the musical score of Umrao Jaan,it was his turn to receive an award in the city. Hindi film music composer Khayyam was given the first Naushad memorial award at the Valmiki Auditorium of the Sangeet Natak Akademy on Saturday evening.

Receiving the award in all humility,he reminded one and all of the priceless service Naushad,whom he considered his ‘ustaad’,had done to the nation by taking the rich Hindustani classical music to the masses with winsome,unforgettable melodies. “But anytime you listen to them—or render them—remember not to tamper with the original classics,” he advised,looking askance at what passes off as music in the present day and age.

So,having received the award,as he sat back flanked by poet/lyricists Shahryar (Umrao Jaan,Bazaar) and Hasan Kamal (Nikah—but in which the music was scored by Ravi),the award committee members presented a show using golden oldies composed by Naushad and some by Khayyam. While rendition of the songs by winners of a contest was pleasant and well received by the audience,those presented as dance items were better heard than seen for the messy choreography. It was,nevertheless,a delight to hear gems like ‘Door koi gaaye’,‘Mera salaam le jaa’,‘Suhaani raat dhal chuki’,‘Dukh bhare din beete re’,‘Yeh kaun aaya roshan ho gayi mehfil jis ke naam se’ and several others. As a proof of the mesmerising magic of songs as old as 60 years back,the audience sat through the entire 2-hour programme applauding heartily,tapping feet and even clapping with the rhythm of the songs. Such ‘special effects’,surely even Khayyam didn’t mind.

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