Talat Mahmood’s daughter pays homage to him in Poland

May 9th, 2009 - 1:07 pm ICT by IANS  

By Surender Bhutani
Warsaw, May 9 (IANS) It was on this day 10 years ago that legendary singer Talat Mahmood died. At that time his daughter Sabina, who lives in Poland, had not been able to reach Mumbai to see her father’s body.

Sabina’s brother Khalid did not wait for her and her husband Riki Rana for the funeral. Many of Mahmood’s admirers felt let down because they could not pay their last respects to the legendary singer.

To pay homage to her father and to overcome her grief, Sabina collected many of Mahmood’s fans in Poland for a programme in his memory Friday evening. The event began with a performance by Rana of the singer’s favourite song “Seene mein sulagte hein arman” from the movie “Tarana”. The song was composed by Anil Biswas, the music director who introduced Mahmood to Bollywood in 1949.

There was hardly a dry eye during the two hours that Rana sang many great numbers of his father-in-law. Still the audience wanted more.

Rana concluded the programme with “Hain sab se madhur vo geet jinhe, hum dard ke sur mein gate hein” (Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts).

“If Riki is so good then what about Talat Mahmood? He must have been a king in his time. The pathos of his songs has been heart touching,” said Janusz Krzyzowski, author of “Bollywood Poetry” and president of the India Polish Cultural Committee.

Surender Zahid, an Urdu poet living in Poland, was of the opinion that real ghazal singing had died with Mahmood.

“Whether it was Mehdi Hassan or Jagjit Singh, all the great ghazal singers have consciously or unconsciously imitated Talat Mahmood. His greatest contribution was his selection from classical Urdu poetry.

“The works of great poets like Ghalib, Mir, Daag and Faiz were interpreted in a new manner whenever Talat Mahmood sang them. He was a purist to the core and his diction was so sublime…almost unique,” said Zahid.

Sabina related many incidents of life with her father, who fondly called her Shoby.

She remembered how she once forced Mahmood to attend a concert by Kishore Kumar, who was highly flattered that such a great artiste had come to hear him sing and invited him on stage.

On another occasion, when the Saudi Arabian consulate in Mumbai refused to give a visa to Sabina to accompany him for his concert, Mahmood threatened to cancel his programme. In no time the visa was arranged for Sabina by the organisers in Jeddah.

(Surender Bhutani can be contacted at suren84in@yahoo.com)

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