Shab-E-Mehfil– the Annual festival organized by Aarohi Arts Association, a non- profit, non- government organization for performing arts with a mission to celebrate and share Indian cultural traditions and heritage.
The history of an exotic and highly cultured Lucknow with all its pomp and splendour and its romantic Shan-e-Avadh associations actually dates from 1775A.D. when Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula shifted the capital of Avadh from Faizabad to Lucknow.
The glorious era of Lucknow lasted till 1856 when the last Nawab, Wajid Ali Shah was deposed by the East India Company and banished to Matiyaburj near Calcutta. During these eventful years, Lucknow became one of the most celebrated centers of Oriental opulence, music, dance, drama , poetry and scholarship. The Nawab Wazirs brought with them their Persian music, dance, language, costumes and culture which blended beautifully with the already highly-developed arts, language and culture of Hindu India.
This synthesis resulted in remarkably enriched forms of music, Kathak dance, poetry, drama, language and the celebrated Indo-Iranian ‘Ganga-Jamuni’ tehzeeb for which Lucknow became famous. The spoken language became a charming blend of Persian, Urdu, Hindi and Avadhi and in music too, brajbhasha had a favoured place.
That hauntingly melodious Bhairavi Thumri composed by Wajid Ali Shah in his movement of intense grief while being forcibly parted from his beloved Lucknow for ever, is a fine example of such synthesis. Connection of Kolkata with Awadh is not just musical but historical as well as last nawab was forced to settle at Metiaburz of Kolkata in his last days after loosing his Kingdom to British.
A well conceived and directed musical evening by Koyel Dasgupta Naha – who is one of the brightest voice of the current generation of Indian Classical and Semi Classical vocalists, Shab-E-Mehfil was a tribute to the glorious history of Awadh – its music, dance, style, literature and culinary heritage.
It was a homage to the golden era when Thumri and Kathak, as sister art forms, were embracing earthly love; giving it the finest artistic expression and paving its way towards acceptance as a classical art form and in elite society at large. It celebrated the empowered womanhood in the Tawaifs (a high- class courtesan) who were not only an artiste par excellence in dance and music, but also considered an authority on etiquette and aesthetics.
A seeks to recreate the magic of the courts of Wajid Ali Shah with some of the brightest stars of current generation musicians and dancers and seeks promote a deeper and subtler awareness of our rich and diverse cultural heritage.
A a house full auditorium witnessed a mesmerizing performance by Koyel. Legendary songs like Bedardi Se Preet Lagayi, Saiyan Rooth Gaye, Mere Ham Nafaz, Teri Katili Nigahan Ne Mara, Hamari Atariya Pe Aja Re Sawariya, Sawariya Nazariya Kahen Mare presented keeping the essence of Awadh.
Dance was presented by Priyanka Saha Ghosh, while musicians like Sandip Ghosh ( Tabla ), Debashish Adhikari ( Harmonium ), Debashish Halder ( Sarengi ) offered their the best. It was well narrated by Somadutta Bhattacharya.
The musical was graced by the august presence of noted musicians from the cith like Deb Sankar ( Violin Brothers ), Jyoti Goho , Alla Rakha Kalawant, Arshadali Ali Khan and so on.
A evening was truly musically yours to cherish for many days to come in our memory.