Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas on Khazana, the ghazal festival’s two-decade long journey
The yr was 2001. Three mates and ghazal singers Pankaj Udhas, Anup Jalota and Talat Aziz have been having a casual dinner. Thinking again to the Nineteen Eighties, they remembered Khazana, the ghazal competition began by music label Universal that was discontinued after 5 years. That night, the mates determined to Khazana, a platform in Mumbai the place younger ghazal singers might carry out.
Pankaj was already related to Parents Association: Thalassemic Unit Trust (PATUT) in Mumbai and Cancer Patient’s Aid Association (CPAA). He urged the live performance be a fund-raiser for these two organisations. Since then Khazana — the Festival of Ghazals held round September has change into an annual characteristic.
Over the previous 4 years, the platform has expanded exterior of Mumbai, by means of the Khazana Artist Aloud Talent Hunt, the place artists can ship in entries and be shortlisted for the fund-raising efficiency. Besides being a platform for aspiring ghazal singers to carry out, the initiative helps to unearth and nurture younger expertise from throughout the world. Pankaj cites the instance of Jammu-based Aditya Langhe, the winner of Khazana in 2018 who launched his personal album.
Looking again at the festival’s journey over 20 years, he says, “Fortunately, we received an incredible response from the first yr itself. It has been getting higher every year by way of reputation, participation of artistes and elevating funds. In reality, we have now been in a position to do bone marrow transplants for practically 200 youngsters and deal with and rehabilitate many most cancers sufferers.”
The venture has a tie-up with Mumbai’s Oberoi Hotel (Union Bank of India is one other supporter) which performs host to the four-hour occasion. Besides Pankaj, the jury, which incorporates Anup Jalota, Rekha Bharadwaj, Sudeep Banerji, shortlist singers to pick 4 new performers in a four-hour musical occasion.
Hungama Digital has been dwell streaming the occasion for the previous six years, however final yr the occasion was digital owing to the pandemic. “Thousands of individuals from the US, UK, South Africa and the Middle East appreciated this endeavour. This was opposite to the widespread perception that individuals don’t hearken to ghazals anymore,” he provides.
The 70-year-old singer notes such platforms and expertise hunts assist ghazal singing to outlive and prosper. “I used to be the first artist to voice my opinion that we have to take new singers into the fold for this style of singing to outlive. We attempt to nurture singers with a hope that ghazal singing doesn’t cease with us and carries on with the youthful technology.”
The septuagenarian is lively on social media interacting with followers, posting updates about his music. “ I get pleasure from this interplay. I used to communicate with followers even when there was no social media and thru information papers. Also, the posts on Instagram/ Facebook, are put by me and never any company. So these messages come straight from the coronary heart.” He tweeted in June that he was coming into the studio after a long time for a venture, however doesn’t need to reveal the particulars.
What he does reveal is that he’ll publish his memoir in 2020 and it’ll full of reminiscences spanning a profession of 45 years.
Entries are open till July 31, for the Khazana Artist Aloud Talent Hunt; contestants can add movies on artistaloud.com/khazana2021/ July 31