The first in the Humkalaam series, Shaam-e-Sahir, was presented on Friday, 11 May 2012, at the 700-seater IAF auditorium, Subroto Park, near Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi 110010, organised by the Marshal of the Air Force & Mrs. Arjan Singh Trust.
Sahir’s name was such a crowd puller that the Air Force auditorium was packed by 6.30 pm. In fact, there were lots of people who had to stand and sit in the aisles. The evening was enjoyed by Delhi’s crème de la crème, including Marshal of the Air Force, Arjan Singh, Current Air Chief Marshal NAK Brown and former Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik.
Produced by BBC’s former producer Pervaiz Alam, the programme, based on one of India’s leading lyricists and poets Sahir Ludhianvi, featured recitation of Sahir’s poems by All India Radio’s award-winning broadcaster Danish Iqbal, soulful singing by India’s leading ghazal singer Radhika Chopra, tributes by Sahir’s publisher Amarnath Varma. Delhi’s versatile actress Mala Kumar enacted ‘Yaadein’ about Sahir’s friendship with Amrita by Punjabi’s literary giant Amrita Preetam. The Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan’s Choir of about 20 singers and musicians sang Sahir’s masterpiece’ Aao ki koi khwaab bunein kal ke vaaste’.
Radhika Chopra’s singing of Sahir’s songs mesmerised everyone. She drew huge applause as she sang Allah Tero Naam, Tum apna aanj-o-gham apni pareshani mujhe dedo, Tum agar bhool bhi jaao to ye haque hai tumko, Man re tu kaahe na dheer dhare, Jurm-e-ulfat pe humein log saza dete hain and Chalo ek baar phir se ajnabi ban jaayein hum dono.
Shaam-e-Sahir’s highlight was its final presentation ‘Woh Subah Kabhi toh aayegi’ sung by the Choir. As the song reached its climax, almost everyone in the audience joined the chorus and sang ‘Woh Subah HameeN se aayegi’.
As the musicians and artists regaled audiences in the hall, a large number of books on Sahir in English, Urdu and Hindi were displayed in the foyer for sale. And so were the Humkalaam’s T-shirts with Sahir’s one-liners. Once the programme was over, hundreds of members from the audience wanted to buy the Sahir memorablia. Following are some of the comments written by people on facebook:
Nityanand Goswami: Shaam-e-Sahir by Humkalaam was unique in its presentation and content. This was a programme of substance with some really serious poetry by Sahir such as Taj Mahal & Parchhaiyyan and yet a packed hall enjoyed each and every nuance of the programme. So…so enjoyable!
Vertika Nanda: You were simply superb and so was the musical evening!!!!!!!! May God Bless you…वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी…उस सुबह की इंतजार में कई लोग उस हॉल से बाहर आए होंगें…कम से कम मैं तो…..
वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी ..उस दिन की गुनगुनाहट अभी भी है कानों में..सुबह का इंतजार सब करते हैं। सबसे ज्यादा चिड़िया..भेड़िए को उस सुबह की इंतजार नहीं होती। चिड़िया ही सोचती है ..वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी..वही गुनगुनाती है..तिनके जोड़ती है..प्रार्थना करती है..हथेली को भींच कर उसमें किसी सच्चे मोती को छिपा लेती है..आंसू पी लेती है..और बहुबहुदाती है किसी मंत्र की तरह..वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी
Vivek Uberoi: Great evening! Looking forward to many more…
Aruna Mukim: Your work will be applauded….absolutely mesmerizing show it was!
Sabeeha Inaamdar: After the fabulous programme, I laid my hands on ‘Talkhiyaan’ by Sahir and a couple of shirts printed with Sahir’s poetry. Collector’s item.
Shailendra Vijeyvergia: Really memorable event! Thanks for providing an opportunity to be part of the event.
Danish Iqbal: What an Evening of Soaring Taans and soulful singing- the Inimitable Pervaiz Alam was at his wittiest Best…..Music and Poetry reigned supreme at the Air Force Auditorium…’Remembering Sahir’ was made memorable by the melodious and mellifluous rendering of Radhika Chopra, monologue of Mala Kumar and the Choir of Delhi Gharana….It was an absolute Treat….
Looking forward to many more such evenings…..