Celebrating the life and work of yesteryear icon Talat Mahmood through music and dance

Celebrating the life and work of yesteryear icon Talat Mahmood through music and dance

By OUR CORRESPONDENT | | 3 March, 2018
Sahar Zaman, chief curator of Jashn-e-Talat.

Jashn-e-Talat by Sahar Zaman is a unique event curated in memory of  the legendary singer and actor Talat Mahmood.

Mahmood was one of the most popular singers of India, known for his soft, velvety voice. He was a significant part of the golden era of the Indian music film industry, gave several memorable hits from the 1940s -’70s. Known as the “King of Ghazals”, he was the first to bring the genre of ghazals to mainstream film music. He was the voice for all top actors, including Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor and Sunil Dutt, to name a few.  Songs such as “Jalte Hain Jiske Liye” and “Phir Wahi Sham” continue to be remembered by people in his inimitable style even today.

When interviewed at the Joe Franklin Show in the ’80s, he was introduced to the American audiences as the “Frank Sinatra of India”. He was the first ever singer to have started the trend of world tours, making his first performance trip in the ’50s, which was in the prime of his career. He toured all over the globe, performing to packed halls such as the Royal Albert Hall, London, and the Madison Square, USA.

His good looks and mild mannerisms made him an instant heartthrob, too. He starred in more than a dozen films as the main lead, cast opposite top actresses of the time, such as Nutan, Suraiya, Shyama and Mala Sinha.

This special memorial dedicated to his music and career will take place on 4 March , 2018 at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodhi Road, 6:30 p.m. onwards. The event is non-ticketed.

It is an effort of several months of reaching out to the youth and re-introducing his music in colleges and shopping malls, through a series of singing competitions and flash mobs. 

“It has been an effort of several years, which is culminating on 4 March. 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 will 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”, says Sahar Zaman, chief curator of Jashn-e-Talat and the legend’s grand-niece.

The event is a culmination of an ongoing series since October 2017, where college singing competitions in Delhi University and flash mobs in popular malls of the Delhi-NCR region were organised. Several college students who sang his songs and ghazals in competitions are now marvelling at this genius they have just discovered. The visitors in shopping malls were surprised to see how contemporary dance can be done on the vintage music of Talat Mahmood.

As a result, the lineup of artistes at the festival includes both youngsters and seasoned performers, from the field of music, dance, arts and  literature. It is a multi-performance show. 

Starting with the shortlisted college students singing Mahmood’s romantic duets, there will be performances by the ghazal exponent, Dr Radhika Chopra, ghazal legend Talat Aziz and the AIR artiste Sanjeev Choudhury, singing his best-known hits. Kathak exponent Vidha Lal will also dance on a classical track sung by Mahmood. For the youth element, there is a surprise salsa piece by the Moving Souls Troupe dancers Ravi Rastogi and Dispasree Chatterjee. 

Apart from this, there will be live portrait artists Faizan Khan and Amit Srivastav painting Mahmood’s most famous images. A special book written by historian and musicologist ManekPremchand, called The Velvet Voice: Talat Mahmood, will also be on offer. 

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