The second day of the sixth Faiz International Festival had a lot to offer in terms of diversity and richness and the literary sittings, the performances, the music and ambiance all left festival visitors in a reverie.
Alhamra was brimmed with children on Saturday as Chughtai Public Library had parked at the venue a glittering rickshaw, the kitab gari for children. Little ones not only searched books from the mobile library but also enjoyed drawings and paintings. In the corner of Gallery III one could see children attired in vibrant colour dresses reading their favourite books.
Another significant feature of the festival was the constant playing of Faiz’s recorded poetry on speakers, the audiences at the entire venue had the chance to enjoy ghazals sung by singers.
The open mic venue where a large flex bearing Faiz’s portrait was placed turned into a red carpet area for many, as most of the festival visitors were seen taking photographs there. There were food stalls too offering all kinds of mouthwatering stuff such as pathoora, gol gappay, dahi bhalay, tikka boti, biryani the list is a long one.
There was a fabulous performance by Kathak dancer Adnan Jahangir. Clad in a multilayered star-studded green and black robe, Jahangir spellbound the audience with his mesmerising dance performance which had a definite dramatic touch. Through the dance performance one’s journey, struggle and final journey to the eternity was shown.
A session was dedicated on Saturday to the legendary Farooq Qaiser under the title, Gulshan-e-Yaad. Tauseeq Haider moderated the session.
Salima Hashmi and Arshad Mehmood recalled the early memories of Qaiser and threw light on his passion and skills. Babar Niazi and Javed Niazi who have done a lot of music with Farooq Qaiser were also part of the session.
Arshad Mehmood surprised many by sharing that Uncle Sargam puppet was designed keeping in view his (Mehmood’s) face.
Salima shared with the audience that she recognised Qaiser’s immense talent when he first met her as her student at the National College of Arts. She also told the audience that how Qaiser designed the life-size duck called B Batakh for PTV’s famous show for children Akar Bakar. Then more memories were recalled of the famous characters of Uncle Sargam show such as Rolla, Masi Museebatay, Haiga and Sharmeeli.
Babar Niazi said he did some 800 songs for Uncle Sargam’s programme.
The wow performance at the festival was drum beating by quadrum. The rhythmic beating of drums attracted large audiences to drum players and they gathered around the performers in a big circle. Many among the audience danced to the rhythmic beat of drums.
Ali Sethi sang Faiz online while Saaz-e-dil was the last performance of the evening and it paid tributes to iconic singers. Sana Naimat and Faizan Ali, two new singers, sang fabulously Faiz’s poetry, songs sung by the late Lata Mangeshkar and Pakistan’s melody queen Nur Jahan. The songs and ghazals they sang included Guloon Mein Rang Bharay, Mujh Say Phehli Si Mauhabat Meray Mehboob Na Mang, Lag Ja Galay Kay Phir Ye Haseen Raat Ho Na Ho, and Agar Mujh Say Mauhabat hai to Mujahy Apnay Sab Gham Dey Do.