RAWALPINDI: Renowned Semi-classical and ghazal singer Munni Begum put on an enthralling performance at a ‘Sham-e-Ghazal’ at the Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC).
The RAC auditorium was packed as residents of the twin cities came to attend the event. Among those attending were PML-N MNA Tahira Aurangzeb, MPA Raja Hanif, MPA Tehseen Fawad and Rawalpindi Commissioner Azmat Mehmood.
The stage was decorated to give a traditional look and when Munni Begum, a Pride of Performance winner, stepped onto the stage in a red and black sari and her signature smile, the audience greeted her with a standing ovation.
She sung some of her famous ghazals, starting off with the famous ‘Aik baar muskora do’ and following with ‘Lazat-e-gham’, ‘Mareez-e-Mohabbat’ and ‘Tumharey shehr ka mausam’. The two hour performance was often interrupted by thunderous applause.
RAC had arranged the event after requests were put in by locals who said they wanted to hear Munni Begum perform live, said RAC Resident Director Waqar Ahmed.
“We are working on hosting more events which will feature legends in the world of art and culture so that locals can meet them and watch them perform live. Sham-e-Ghazal has proved popular with residents of the area and will be continued in the future”, he said.
After the event was over, he thanked Munni Begum for coming all the way from the United States for the performance.
Many of those who attended said that musical performances should be held more regularly at RAC.
“This is my first visit to RAC and I came with my friend to listen to Munni Begum,” said Mohammad Haider, a resident of Satellite Town.
He said RAC should also invite other singers so that local audiences have an opportunity to see them perform live.
Art and cultural events are often limited to painting and calligraphy exhibitions with a few exhibitions by fashion designers, he added.
Another guest at the event, Sarmad Malik said that though he listened to Munni Begum on DVD, listening to her perform live was a different experience.
Events like these are very rare in the garrison city and should be held more often, he said.
Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2016