Getting closest to Nusrat – Rahat live

Today, finally i got the chance to watch Rahat Fateh Ali Khan live in concert. As we haven’t seen Nusrat singing live so to watch Rahat perform is the closest we can get to watching Nusrat live. And yes that is true as well. No surprises here, Rahat is hugely talented.

Lets first talk about the good stuff. He stared with man kunto maula and did it brialliantly. After that came 2 bollywood movie songs he has done, no wonder he did it awesomely but that was not the stuff we were interested in. Then came the real gem dillagi…Nusrat’s version is of 17 mins. It was not that long but again brilliantly did. Next was yeh jo halka halka saroor hai…& it was a mind blowing performance clearly showing what a great teacher Nusrat was and how beautifully Rahat has been trained under him. Again a long spell of bollywood stuff and then sanu ik pal chain na aave & akhian udeekdiyan. He was about to end it with dam mast qalandar but somebody requestesd to sing tere mast mast do nain (from movie Dabbang). He amazingly sung tere mast mast do nain; not really in a movie song style but at really high pitch. Amazing…amazing performance. And the ending beauty was evergreen dam mast qalandar mast mast that got everyone to clapping with the song. For me personally, the bollywood stuff was the absolute crap, firstly in a sense that that is not what Rahat’s real talent is and secondly it disturbed the flow. When he sang dillagi & halka halka saroor it was magic all around but it got disturbed with that x y z stuff from bollywood.

Really, Rahat has got a huge talent. While singing for more than 2 hours not a single time his voice went out of sur or pitch went low. To give such a performance one needs to have some potential which was clearly visible. Due to the kind of idiotic Indian crowd that comes to attend such shows, they are expected to sing such bollywood numbers and for the same they need to keep drums and other things in orchestra. Otherwise from a qawali point of view, mouth organ & another instrument (probably keyboard) were sounding too loud. There probably was some issue with the sound setup as well. Also clapping sound was not audible and harmonium & tabla were also lost in the drums sound. The whole orchestra was being driven by the mouth organ not by harmonium. Despite of all this, it was an awesome, amazing performance by Rahat and i would love to watch him again & again; best probably at some place where he would sing only qawalis.

Now coming to all the bullshit that happens in India. As expected the arrangement was pathetic. They divided it into 3 sections. First was some VVVVVIP shit, second one for the people who had 2000 Rs tickets and third for the people carrying 1500 Rs tickets. And oh yes there was one ticket for Rs 1000 also and i think those people were standing at the end. The 2000 Rs ticket section was just 20-30% full and people from the 3rd section were trying to enter there but being stopped by security. Finally the revolution erupted, people jumped (man aunties also 😀 ) over the fencing and everybody was sitting in the 2nd section leaving the 3rd one empty.

About the people, as usual they just go there because they can afford to go. One thing i don’t understand is that while going to such an event cant they dump their kids at home ? And oh yes is it for the first time in their life that they get to see ice cream, coke, spring rolls etc over there ? Why the heck they cant take care of their tummies before coming to such shows ? Then every alternate person was getting up and fetching coke ++ stuff for their family of dozen plus items etc etc.

Despite all this, it was an amazing experience to watch Rahat perform live. Wish to see many more such concerts !!!

gam hai ya khushi hai meri zindagi hai tu

Awesome lyrics by Nasir Kazmi and given a life by Nusrat saab. My lifetime favourite.

gam hai ya khushi hai tu, meri zindagi hai tu

aafton ke daur mein, chaiyn ki ghadi hai tu

meri raat ka chiraag, meri neend bhi hai tu

main khizan ki shaam hun, rutt bahar ki hai tu
(khizan – autumn, decay)

doston ke darmiyaan, waj-he dosti hai tu

meri sari umar mein, ek hi kami hai tu

main to woh nahi raha, haan magar wohi hai tu

‘Nasir’ is dayaar mein, kitna ajnabi hai tu
(dayaar – place)

Following are 2 slightly different versions, from 2 different live mehfils (with better sound and video quality)

And here the same ghazal done by Rahat with Farrukh saab on harmonium