10 comments on “What Begum Akhtar Did to the Ghazal

  1. o my richard. i am certainly going to send a link to this entry around. and will look for the book and cds. o my what a way to start the day. many many thanks.

  2. ps clicked on two links thinking to go from one to the other but got simultaneous singing. i recommend trying it. wowza.

  3. I always mean to deepen my knowledge in ghazals but never manage it. Know very little of Begum Akhtar’s talent. Thus am happy to read about it here.

  4. Ann, you are very welcome! The book should be relatively easy to find – I actually found it on the shelf at Barnes & Noble!

    Ava, thanks, that is a nice description too.

    Harvey, I am also happy to share what I know here – which probably isn’t all that much, really. :) I like listening to great singers singing ghazals, and I learned a bit about ghazals a good number of years ago (long before the classic film obsession :) ). Of course, I must depend mostly on English translations, or just enjoy the sound of the voice singing the lyrics. I always find it a pleasure to hear Begum Akhtar… And I greatly enjoyed her acting when she played Darling in Roti (1942).

  5. She is an amazing ghazal singer, I especially like her earlier ones, where here voice is so relaxed…my favourite

    This is her hit ghazal bar none, and deservedly so: one of the best ghazals ever

    For trivia, my Dad says the first mainsteam hit ghazal was this by Kamla Jharia, apparently being constantly played on the radio and sung by everyone (wouldn’t it be great to hear this ghazal blaring out from every street corner?)

  6. Thank you, Bawa. I was hoping that you would read this and answer by posting some wonderful-sounding stuff. :) Even though I can’t understand the meanings of many of the words (though I have started to learn some), I love the sound of her singing and of the ghazal in general. And after watching/listening to your favorite, I played a whole bunch of ghazals from that series on YouTube, and I enjoyed every one of them.

  7. That album is just so good. My favourite’s first lines translated (badly) are
    Heart, and that too a broken heart
    Now…life is worth living

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