Overview for Rooh-E-Mousiqi: Begum Akhtar
Hori (dur.12 mins. 03 Secs.)
The Hori Thumri is a form that combines the wistful romance of the 'Thumri', a North Indian light classical form of singing with thematic content related to the colourful spring festival of 'Holi'. and more often than not, the divine interplay of the love-pranks of Krishna and Radha.
Khamaj and kafi are popular in which Horis are rendered. Kaisee ye dhoom machaayi is a masterpiece of the genre and one of the most enduring renditions of begum Akhtar.
Ghazal (dur. 09mins. 30secs.)
Traditionally believed to denote a conversation with the beloved the Ghazal is a short sequence of couplets in which each couplet is thematically complete in itself. It is a testing form of Urdu poetry.
Jigar Muradabadi was one of the greatest poets in Urdu and his forte was the Ghazal. In the post-Iqbal phase of Urdu poetry while most poets- were experimenting with new forms of poetic expression, Jigar adhered to the genre and produced his unforgettable collection titled 'Aatish-e-Gul', Tabiyat in dinon .. : is a Begum Akhtar classic that captures the romantic depth of Jigar's poetry through the poet's satirical opening lament on how the loss of sorrows has reduced the joys of living.
Ghazal (dur. 10mins. 15secs.)
Faiz Ahmad Faiz was one of the greatest Urdu poets of the Indian sub-continent and a trailblazer in the world of modern Urdu literature. Faiz enthroned social and moral values and the force of change on the seat occupied by the traditional concept of 'the beloved' in the empire of the ghazal and gave the ghazal a new fervour. He believed that poetry was also 'a struggle', and participating in it was not just a demand of art, but also a demand of life.
'Aye kuchh abr kuchh sharaab aaye' is one of his most popular ghazals. Literally translated, its opening lines mean ' Let the clouds come, let the wine flow ... and then let any oppression come this way:
Dadra (dur. 16mins. 09 secs.)
The 'Dadra' is another very popular form of North Indian light classical vocal music. Generally performed after a Thumri, it has a charming, at times coquettish cadence that highlights the romantic content of the form. The lilting tempo is medium-paced and expression of emotions is a key element of rendition. Dadras are generally set to the six- beat rhythm cycle also called 'dadra', but not as a rule.
'O bedardi sapne mein aa ja.: is one of the most famous dadras sung by Begum Akhtar. Like most dadras, it provides room for lyrical improvisation as well as interpretation at the physical and spiritual levels.
One voice that has remained contemporary across generations is that of the majestic Begum Akhtar. Each performance of hers it magical ecstatic and Divine. So sublime that each one in the audience would have liked to cling on to any one movement that perfect note and make it their own.
Project Director: L.D. Mandloi
Devised & Designed by: Kamalini Dutt
Associates: Ved M Rao & Kali Prasad