On the second and concluding day of the IHC Lok Sangeet Sammelan the jam packed auditorium at India Habitat Center witnessed the enthralling performance of singer Rabbi Shergill and Jasbir Jassi. The occasion was the celebration of poet Waris Shah’s 250th birth anniversary. As a part of two day celebrations held on August 21-22, the singers performed on Punjabi folk songs including some melodious Heer Ranjha renditions.
The first day of the Lok Sangeet Sammelan saw renditions by Char Yaar . The group which came into existence about nine years ago, comprises of four musicians – namely, the elderly composer, vocalist and poet Madan Gopal Singh; ace Guitarist and Banjo player Deepak Castelino; soulful Sarod player Pritam Ghosal and energetic multiple percussionist Amjad Khan.
The concert of day 2 scheduled to start at 7 in the evening, got bit late due to the traffic snarl and the two singers were stuck at on the way to venue. As both stepped on the stage to receive bouquet from joint director, IHC Suman Dave, the first thing they did was to apologize for being late, and then quickly started off with the musical show.
The concert got a melodious start with Rabbi Shergill performing on song ‘Gal Sun Chhalleyan’. In between all his performances he made sure to interact with the audience. “Today I would like to take song requests from you all, well I have been told to only sing Heer Ranjha tracks.But I am aware of the fact that IHC audience is receptive to all sorts of music” he said. Right from the beginning, the request from audience were pouring in for song ‘Bulla Ki Jaana Maen Kaun’ which the singer performed only at end while concluding his part. Jasbir Jassi managed to mesmerize the audience with his Punjabi folk renditions that includes songs like Mukhda ChannVarga, Akh Mastani, Doli Vichon etc. Over all the audience had gala time witnessing the concert at IHC.
Along with Baba Bulle Shah, and Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Waris Shah is among the most widely sung poets of South Asia. The year 2016 marks 250 years of his birth. His love legend Heer Ranjha, which immediately captured the imagination of people has since become an integral part of the cultural memory of the people of Punjab. In addition to writing his poetic tour de force, he is also credited with the melodic impulse that informs the poetic rendition of Heer Ranjha. When Jasbir Jassi sang from Heer Ranja his and his troupes voice and music found thunderous applause and support of the audience. The knowledgeable amongst the music loving crowd started chanting and singing the verses of Heer adding to the occasion.
Nonetheless, it has remained an open text that has welcomed a variety of musical modes and styles for its rendition. In IHC Lok Sangeet Sammelan, the richness of traditional folk melodies and their more recent urban interpretations were presented together for the audience.