It was a nostalgic evening. The select audience had gathered from different places, backgrounds and walks of life. But they had one thing in common: love for good old Hindi film music. As promised, they were transported back to a few decades when the soft velvety voice of Talat Mahmood ruled the hearts of all music lovers. The Jashn-e-Talat was curated in memory of that legendary singer and actor.
Talat Mahmood, one of the most popular singers of his time, was a significant part of the golden era of the film music industry in India that gave several memorable hits between the 40s and 70s. The same songs were brought to life again, 20 years after his death, at the non-ticketed event on March 4 that was dedecated to the artist’s music and career.
“It has been an effort of several years… It was a a long standing dream of mine to do a special tribute to my grand uncle. I’m glad to have organised and curated an evening, which I want to be seen as a game changer in how we receive the works of our legends of yesteryears and make it equally relevant to the youth today,” Sahar Zaman, the legend’s grandniece who curated Jashn-e-Talat, said in a statement.
“The event was the culmination of a series that started in October 2017, when young singing talent was tapped at competitions in Delhi University colleges and by organising flash mobs at popular malls of the Delhi-NCR. “Several college students who sang Talat’s songs and ghazals in competitions are now marveling at this genius they have just discovered. The visitors at the malls were surprised to see how contemporary dance can be done on the vintage music of Talat Mahmood,” said Zaman.
On March 4, the line-up of artistes saw these youngsters rub shoulders with seasoned performers from the field of music, dance , arts and literature. “It was a multi-performance show,” said Zaman.
While selected college students belted out some romantic duets, ghazal exponent Dr Radhika Chopra and All India radio artiste Sanjeev Choudhury sang Talat Mahmood’s best known hits. Kathak exponent Vidha Lal danced on a classical track sung by the artist. And then, there was a surprise Salsa piece by Moving Souls Troupe dancers Ravi Rastogi and Dispasree Chatterjee.
The evening was also graced by celebrated singer Talat Aziz.
In a live show on the stage, artists Faizan Khan and Amit Srivastav painted Talat Mahmood’s most famous images as the event rolled on. A book written by historian and musicologist Manek Premchand, “The Velvet Voice – Talat Mahmood”, was also on the offer.
“His song Sham-e-gham-ki-kasam that people instantly identify with, even though the younger generation might not know its his song, but they would still be familiar with the melody. That’s the great contribution of any artiste. Even after they’re gone, the memories they leave behind through their work, it goes on and on. Even though generations change but the melody and art lives on as long as people have hearts,” said Talat Aziz.
Zaman now hopes to make Jashn-e-Talat an annual event.