Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas on Khazana, the ghazal pageant’s two-decade lengthy journey
The 12 months was 2001. Three pals and ghazal singers Pankaj Udhas, Anup Jalota and Talat Aziz have been having an off-the-cuff dinner. Thinking again to the Nineteen Eighties, they remembered Khazana, the ghazal pageant began by music label Universal that was discontinued after 5 years. That night, the chums determined to Khazana, a platform in Mumbai the place younger ghazal singers may carry out.
Pankaj was already related to Parents Association: Thalassemic Unit Trust (PATUT) in Mumbai and Cancer Patient’s Aid Association (CPAA). He advised the live performance be a fund-raiser for these two organisations. Since then Khazana — the Festival of Ghazals held round September has turn into an annual characteristic.
Over the previous 4 years, the platform has expanded outdoors of Mumbai, by approach 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 internationally. Pankaj cites the instance of Jammu-based Aditya Langhe, the winner of Khazana in 2018 who launched his personal album.
Looking again on the pageant’s journey over 20 years, he says, “Fortunately, we got a tremendous response from the first year itself. It has been getting better each year in terms of popularity, participation of artistes and raising funds. In fact, we have been able to do bone marrow transplants for nearly 200 children and treat and rehabilitate many cancer patients.”
The mission 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 reside streaming the occasion for the previous six years, however final 12 months the occasion was digital owing to the pandemic. “Thousands of people from the US, UK, South Africa and the Middle East appreciated this endeavour. This was contrary to the common belief that people do not listen to ghazals anymore,” he provides.
The 70-year-old singer notes such platforms and expertise hunts assist ghazal singing to outlive and prosper. “I was the first artist to voice my opinion that we need to take new singers into the fold for this genre of singing to survive. We try to nurture singers with a hope that ghazal singing does not stop with us and carries on with the younger generation.”
The septuagenarian is lively on social media interacting with followers, posting updates about his music. “ I enjoy this interaction. I used to keep in touch with fans even when there was no social media and through news papers. Also, the posts on Instagram/ Facebook, are put by me and not any agency. So these messages come straight from the heart.” He tweeted in June that he was getting into the studio after a very long time for a mission, however doesn’t need to reveal the main points.
What he does reveal is that he’ll publish his memoir in 2020 and it’ll stuffed with recollections 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