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Ghazals and their Goddesses

The mesmerizing poetry was made even more spellbinding by their not so conventional voices!

The Ishq was made Sufiyana and the Love found more expressions than just romance!

Qawwalis were the new adult rock and lyrics found more meaning than music for a while!

– To all the gemstones who lend their voices and lives to ‘Ghazal Gayaki’

Here enlisting the female gems who have earned their places in millions of hearts by their ada and kala!!

1. Farida Khanum

Roots in Amritsar, born in Kolkata and now in Lahore, Pakistan; Farida is a Classical singer being entitled “Mallika-e-ghazal” by Times of India.

She started learning Ghazal from her sister Mukhtar Begum at age seven and later learnt Khayal, Thumri and Dadra from Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan. Her sister Mukhtar Begum would take her, a seven-year-old Farida, to Khan’s place for riyaaz.

She became a star in Pakistan when President Ayub Khan first invited her to a public recital in the ’60s. Khanum was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civilian honour.

 

Her claim to fame was the unforgettable ghazal “Aaj Jane ki Zid Na Karo”.

2. Abida Parveen

 

A Pakistani singer of Sindhi descent and one of the foremost exponents of Sufi music, she is held as one of the greatest world’s singers.

She received her musical training initially from her father, Ustad Ghulam Haider, whom she refers as Baba Sain and Gawwaya. He had his own musical school where Parveen got her devotional inspiration from. She and her father would often perform at shrines of Sufi Saints. Parveen’s talent compelled her father to choose her as his musical heir over his two sons. She sang her first complete kalam when she was 3 years old.

Parveen also has a distinct clothing style which she has created out of ease and comfort. She wears long simple frocks buttoned up to the top covered with a coat. She is always accompanied by an ajrak, a sindhi duppatta,which she claims come from the dargah of Shah Bhitthai and her wardrobe are full of it. Parveen always lets her curly hair untied.

Her claim to fame were the cherished Yaar ko Humne from the album Raqs-e-Bismil and Tere Ishq Nachaya which is a rendition of Bulleh Shah’s poetry.

3. Begum Akhtar

Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, fondly known as Begum Akhtar was a well-known Indian singer of Ghazal, Dadra and Thumri genres of Hindustani classical music.

 

Received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for vocal music, and was awarded Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan (posthumously) by Govt. of India. She was conferred upon the title of Mallika-e-Ghazal

She trained under Ustad Imdad Khan and classical stalwarts like Mohammad Khan, Abdul Waheed Khan of Lahore, and finally she became the disciple of Ustad Jhande Khan.

Her first public performance was at the age of fifteen. The famous poetess, Sarojini Naidu, appreciated her singing which encouraged her to continue singing ghazals with more enthusiasm.

She was amongst the early female singers to give public concert, and break away from singing in mehfils or private gatherings. She also acted in Indian Cinema and sang all her songs herself.

She has nearly four hundred songs to her credit.

4. Noor Jahan

Noor Jahan was the adopted stage name for Allah Wasai, a singer and actress in British India and Pakistan. With a career spanned seven decades, she was given the honorific title of Malika-e-Tarannum

 

She has recorded about 10,000 songs in various languages of India and Pakistan including Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and Sindhi languages.

Along with Ahmed Rushdi, she holds the highest record of film songs in the history of Pakistani cinema. She is also considered to be the first female Pakistani film director.

In 1957, Jahan was awarded the President’s Award for her acting and singing capabilities.

5. Penaz Masani

Penaz Masani is an Indian Ghazal singer who started singing in 1981 and has made over 20 albums in following years

 

In her career, she has won a number of awards, including the title of ‘Shehzadi Tarunnam’ and the 11th ‘Kalakar Award’ for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’. Masani has worked as a playback singer for Bollywood, in more than 50 Hindi movies and sung in over ten languages. Under the aegis of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, she has performed in countries as far reaching as Germany South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Vietnam.

She was honored with the Padma Shree award in 2009 too!

Artist’s Motivation; Miles to go before I sleep

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

These golden lines from Robert Frost bring back the wondered thought- what keeps an artist going?

It sure must be something really burning which keeps the urge inside an artist alive. To keep his pen rolling, his paints flowing, his camera clicking, his legs tapping and his heart jumping, all the way.

Indecisive of what the reasons would be, I just thought of putting down a few points which keep me, as an artist, going …

  1. Take it out on a paper
    It’s when I have a lot of things to surrender to, lot of things to face to, in daily life, at home, at work, in relationships or I am just grumbled of the general behavior of a common human tendency and I desperately need to take it out somewhere, writing or painting become the best medium. I just write it down or paint it out and the relieve exchanged is worth that effort!
  2. The mighty incentives
    Two words of a serious thought on my creative work brings in voluptuous changes. With the prowess of the web today, exposing talent is easy, quick and vast! Even the comments that I receive on a four line poetry of mine, is capable enough to take me 10 miles further.
  3. The critical “high”
    Believe it or not, one thoughtful remark coming from n expert in the industry can teach an artist lesson for his entire life. We don’t actually realize its importance since these experts are not really in our reach. Even one thoughtful remark from a friend can boost an artist so much. If even once, by any chance, one becomes lucky enough to recite his poem to a well famed poet or show his photograph to the most eminent photographer in the industry, it takes you another one million miles in a flash.
  4. The urge of getting better
    It is said “Practice makes man perfect”. Similarly, any art comes through two channels- Inborn talent and sheer experience. Artists tend to learn through hit and trial method. It’s their own work which motivates them to improve further! When I compare my two years old poetry with the present one, the difference is crystal clear. The journey of evolution in me and my writing comes alive in those papers. It’s that promise to myself to keep getting better just gives me a push every time!

As an artist, I keep doing my art for myself but somewhere I realize that what I did, isn’t enough and that I have to keep going , because, there are miles to go before I sleep…!!

Actors, Models, Singers and Photographers: Use Facebook and Attract Fan Following

Undoubtedly, Facebook has become a very popular social networking platform with more than 800 Million users. Many businesses have already started using it for connecting with the target users and consumers.

 

Artists like you, who are actors, models, singers, photographers and film makers can also use Facebook for connecting with their fans, communicating with them, sharing ideas and interacting with them. Before Facebook or social media in general, this was very difficult because you would have to worry about setting up a website and other such online communication platform for initiating connection with your fans. That was hassle. But Facebook is free. All you need to invest is your time and creativity.

So let’s first understand how you can use Facebook:

Facebook Profile: Profile is your personal space. This can be for your close friends and family members. With profile, you can get connected to only 5000 ‘friends’. So that’s the limitation.

Facebook Page: We recommend you start with creating a Facebook page. You can set up the page with more information about yourself, photos, videos etc. Your fans can the ‘Like’ the page and become fans of your page. Once they become fans of your page, they can post comments on your status updates, post their views, share their views on photos/ videos etc. Here, you don’t have to worry about any limit on number of fans 

Facebook Group: If you are passionate about some subject and want to get together people associated with that subject to discuss, debate, share and interact then you can form a Facebook group.

Assuming that you go ahead with creating a Facebook fan page, the next step is letting people know about the page. You can do that by requesting your friends to spread the message. You can also publicize the page on your website, portfolio or other social networking accounts such as Twitter, MySpace or YouTube. You can also use Facebook ads if you want to attract more fan following.

Once you have the fans liking your page, it is very important to maintain engagement and connection with them. Ensure that you post regular updates on the page and keep the fans updated. Keep your fans updated with what you are up to. Post about your new assignments and projects. Your fans can also help you in case you need any assistance like connecting with someone or finding anything in particular. Respond to comments promptly and regularly. Engage the fans by asking their opinions or views.

Remember, Facebook is a very effective medium but you have to be persistent, creative, prompt and diligent with it.  Maintain consistent connection, be honest with your fans and value their opinions and views.