Is this the End for Ghazal
Thus wrote MirzaGhalib in pangs of apprehension and trepidation fearing all will be lost in indifference. Ghazal in India has come to witness a similar fate today. Within a very short span, the musical heritage of Indo-Pak ghazal has seen the loss of its two stalwarts: Jagjit Singh who introduced guitar to the rendition of ghazals and is credited with having popularised them in cinema and popular culture, and Mehdi Hassan- the name synonymous with the classical tradition of the ghazal, the name which makes musicians and music lovers aliketouch their ears in veneration. Will ghazal along with its mellifluous harmony, nostalgia and incisiveness be lost forever? The question haunts the ghazal enthusiasts with increasing immediacy in the absence of any successors. The demise of Mehdi Hassan has reawakened and reinforced the anxiety that had first arisen near the close of 2011, the year that took away half a dozen gems of artistic faculties in India: musicians Bhimsen Joshi, BhupenHazarika, UstadSultan Khan, Asad Ali Khan and Jagjit Singh; artists M.F. Husain, JehangirSabavala and Mario Miranda; theatre persons Badal Sircar and SatyadevDubey; filmmaker Mani Kaul; writer Indira Goswami; photographer GautamRajadhyaksha; actors ShammiKapoor, NavinNischol and DevAnand. The questiontroubles us: will the new generation of artists be able to carry forward the tradition inaugurated by these exemplary veterans?