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Sahir Ludhianvi’s timeless lyrics transport houseful audience to Bollywood’s greatest era

BY VEENA RAO

Atlanta, GA, September 25, 2023: The auditorium at Berkmar High School in Lilburn came alive with the echoes of Sahir Ludhianvi’s poetic genius. The sold-out show, ‘Sahir- Part 2’ on September 16th was a treat for fans of Bollywood’s timeless melodies, and it was a night that will surely linger in the hearts of those who attended.

The stars of the evening were the immensely talented singers Dhawal Chandwadkar, Abhilasha Chellam, and Rasika Ganoo, who effortlessly transported the audience back to Bollywood’s greatest era. Their voices painted vivid pictures of love, longing, and the complexities of life, as Sahir’s unforgettably poignant poetry flowed through them. The life story of Sahir Ludhianvi was eloquently narrated in perfect Urdu diction by Nachiket Devasthali, adding depth and context to the evening’s musical journey. The show was masterfully directed by Milind Oak of Niche Entertainment, who preferred to stay behind the scenes this time.

The repertoire for the night included Rafi, Geeta Dutt and Lata classics like “Abhi Na Jao Chhod Kar,” “Jane Kya Tune Kahi,” “Yeh Duniya Agar Milbhi Jaye” (a song that left the audience clamoring for an encore), Hai,” “Jo Wada Kiya Woh Nibha Na Padega,” “Allah Tero Naam,” and lively renditions of Kishore Kumar’s hits such as “Wada Karo,” “Kehdoon Tumhen,” and Mukesh’s timeless “Kabhie Kabhie Mere Dil Mein.”

The evening’s enchantment commenced with a rendition of Sahir Ludhianvi’s timeless classic, “Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hoon,” a song immortalized by Mukesh and Amitabh Bachchan in “Kabhie Kabhie.”

Main pal do pal ka shayar hoon, pal do pal meri kahani hai pal do pal meri hasti hai, pal do pal meri jawani hai…

The lyrics, which speak of the transient nature of life and the emotions that bind us, set the perfect tone for the night’s celebration of Sahir’s poetic legacy.

The event, a testament to the enduring power of Sahir’s words, was brought to Atlanta by Mustafa Ajmeri and Krishan Goyal of Global Entertainment & Media Services. A special moment of the evening was the felicitation of Atlanta community icon, Dr. Prakash Desai. He received the lifetime achievement award from the Consul General of India in Atlanta, Dr. Swati Kulkarni for his unwavering patronage, outstanding dedication, commitment, and 50 years of service to the Atlanta Community, fostering a deep appreciation for great Indian culture, art, music, and philosophy. 

The emcee for the evening was Shaveta Jain, who melded the various segments of the show together effortlessly.

Sahir Ludhianvi, a legendary figure in the world of Indian cinema, is rightly regarded as one of the greatest and most revolutionary film lyricists and poets of the 20th century. His accolades, including Filmfare Awards and the prestigious Padma Shri, stand as a testament to his immense talent and contribution to the arts.

According to his Wikipedia page, what set Sahir apart from his contemporaries was his fearless approach to lyrics. He did not sing praises of Khuda (God), Husn (beauty), or Jaam (wine); instead, he fearlessly wrote about the declining values of society, the senselessness of war and politics, and the dominance of consumerism over love. His love songs, although tinged with sorrow, resonated deeply with audiences, reminding them of the harsh realities of life.

In the end, the evening at Berkmar High School was not just a musical event; it was a tribute to the enduring power of Sahir Ludhianvi’s poetry. As the audience left the venue, the echoes of his words lingered in their hearts, a reminder that great art has the ability to transcend time and touch the very essence of our humanity.

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