Most of the Indians go to see live concerts because:
- They are the people with approach and can manage to get free VIP passes and all.
- They are from rich section of the society and can manage to buy tickets (if any).
- Attending live concerts is a feel good thing and a bit of fun.
The real fans of artists are generally sitting in last rows, or even worse; standing. The folks sitting in VVIP and VIP sections are the the output of above 3 points. Anyways yesterday night there was a live concert of Ghulam Ali and me and 2 of my friends were ready to enjoy and had high hopes. So we got the tickets well in advance to avoid any “not available” etc etc situation. The time printed on the ticket was of 7 PM and 2 other singers were supposed to perform before Ghulam Ali. So we reached the venue around 6:15 to find that they had just started to setup the stage and other stuff. Nothing much strange as India runs like that only. Finally after 8 PM they started entering people and we got good seats. Weather was being tricky and a rainfall was a sure thing to happen. Finally things started moving a bit and it started drizzling as well. They introduced some local signer on stage and he left after singing 1 song. Then came the two expected ones; a man and a lady and till then it was no more drizzling; it was raining. Things continued but people were waiting for Ghulam Ali only.
Then after 9:30 Ghulam Ali came (rain had stopped by then) and was seated in the first row with some chief guests and that guy and the lady were still singing. Now those guys were not supposed to waste any time but he still continued. Many people had even left till this moment. Ghulam Ali took the control of stage around 9:45. It has been just half an hour or little more that police came to get it closed due to 10:30 PM limit. Somehow somebody talked to them and the matter was sorted out but probably for some time only. After sometime a policeman came in front of the stage, raised his hands and asked them to stop ! Man just imagine, an artist of the stature of Ghulam Ali singing on stage and a policeman, in this way, telling him to stop; what a crying shame !!! What the heck the organizers were doing at that time ? Anyways Ghulam Ali did acknowledge him and said “shayad woh keh rahe hain k hum yeh band kar dein…bas 2 min mein kar dete hain….” Ghulam Ali said the final words and started to leave.
Then the stage was taken over by the host. He got pretty emotional and said that some xyz of Delhi is sitting here (some counselor or something was sitting there in guests). The night clubs can run up to 4 AM. There is not an issue with that but a ghazal mehfil cant continue after 10:30 PM. Then some action was taken and permission was given for another half an hour or so. Then Ghulam Ali started again but the taste has been lost till then. So things were just not that good.
And about the ambiance and other things there i just don’t understand what the heck is the need for people to bring their 0-14 yrs kids along. And then eating chips, sipping soft drinks…ghazal mehfils are for that ? On stage on guy is going up, another coming down etc etc. One sick idiot was standing in front of the stage and shooting with his video camera, Ghulam Ali requested him twice to stop but everything fell on deaf ears. Then two security guards came and literally pushed him away. Still he was not ready to move. Enough of crap…
Lets talk about the whatever little Ghulam Ali saab sang…well he started with Ghalib’s har ek baat pe kehte ho with an opening sher from ishq mujhko nahi vahashat hi sahi……then came Faraz saab’s hui hai shaam to aankhon mein bas gaya hai fir tu followed by dil mein ik lehar si uthi hai abhi; amazingly done. Every time the word leher being presented with different sur taal and style. Pure magic ! After that pehli wari aj uhna akhian ne takkia. And then in hurry few others like awargi and hum tere shahar mein aaye hain.
At the end it was a magical show spoiled by few idiots ! We came back so sad and disappointed. An oppurtunity to watch such a great artist lost 🙁
And for the friends who would like to know what what according to me a ghazal mehfil should be like, please watch these videos. This is what magic a ghazal mehfil can create.