Purist plucks chords of poetry

Every night singer-composer Shakeel Ahmed shakes the tiredness of his careworn body to sit for riyaaz at 11 pm. It continues unfailingly till 4 am.

Published: 22nd October 2017 08:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd October 2017 08:47 AM   |  A+A-

Every night singer-composer Shakeel Ahmed shakes the tiredness of his careworn body to sit for riyaaz at 11 pm. It continues unfailingly till 4 am. The only time there is an exception is when Ahmed is performing, like he will be on October 28, at Mehfil-e-Khushrang, an evening of ghazal by NGO Sakshi, Centre for Information, Education and Communication.

"Riyaaz is my life’s vital source, a spiritual communion with the divine that requires intensity, discipline and commitment,” says Ahmed, who will share the stage with poet Laxmi Shankar Bajpai.

His gaayaki will string together many emotions. Aisa Hua Deewana Main, Khud ko Nahin Pehchana Main talks of losing one’s centre.

“Another beautiful ghazal called Chandi Ka Badan, Sone Ka Tan Dhoond Raha Hoon main Auron Mein Acchai Ka Dhan Dhoond Raha Hoon talks about how the seeker is looking for the goodness in those he meets,” says Ahmed.

Shakeel Ahmed

Born and brought up in a traditional musical gharana family of Delhi, he was the beneficiary of gurus who hailed from the city. Ahmed’s learning in classical music began at an early age from Ustad Zikrur-Rehman and later Ustad Zafar Ahmed Khan. After that he gained insight from Ustad Zameer Ahmed Khan, and all teachers left a part of them in his sher-o-shayari.

Ahmed is a purist who prefers raga based compositions. “The legendary Sufi poet Hazrat Amir Khusro left an incredible impression on the way I perceive music. His compositions and Sufi philosophy have been a beacon of musical excellence,” he says.

In November 2014, Ahmed’s biggest dream came true when he was invited to Ajmer Sharif dargah of Garibnawaz, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, for a performance. “They tied a holy bandanna around my head and took me through a small processional walk to the Jannati Darwaza. As I began to sing, I became tearful with the thought that only those who He chooses are called to his door and I am one of them,” he reminisces.

In the absence of any extraneous sound systems at the dargah, he sang to an audience of 800 with fervour and devotion. Not much has changed since then. In every show, he continues to see His holy blessings.
October 28, from 7 pm to 9 pm, The Amaltas Auditorium, India Habitat Centre.

Stay up to date on all the latest The Sunday Standard news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp