Glorious tributes to KL Saigal on his anniversary

KLSaigalCUPERTINO, CA: India Community Center at its Cupertino Branch organized a Special Birth Anniversary Memorial Event of the legend Kundan Lal Saigal, of India. It was attended in large numbers by members of the community. Two popular Ghazal Singers of SF Bay area, Praveen Chaddha and Piyush Nagar rendered some of the famous songs of Kundan Lal Saigal, a legend whose contribution to Bollywood music field from early thirties of the last century, was everlasting.

Saigal was an extraordinary singer and a shining star who shone with dazzling brightness for over a decade and half from 1930- 1942. There were singers-actors of those days, but none had the charisma and appeal that matched which Saigal commanded.

His characteristic rich and reverberating voice, his unique diction and style of rendition, coupled with his inborn talent of natural singing the songs, with emotiveness and intense feeling were his great assets. The incredible feature about this great singer was that he had no formal training in any classical music from any preceptor. Yet, he was at the top in his field of art and was an inspiration to later singers and actors of the modern era.
Music was his life and soul. He sang for himself, more like a Sufi saint, finding in music the most effective instrument, for sublime communion with the Ultimate. A great artist, a great man, Saigal belongs to the class of human beings who defy death. He thus remains as an immortal singer.

Senior members of ICC Cupertino who had witnessed and listened in person to Saigal’s Bollywood songs, considered it essential to celebrate his Birth Anniversary which fell on April 11, to promote his contribution in US as an actor-singer. Especially, this was more relevant, as the America born Indian youth in US are unaware of this unforgettable legend who was popular not only in India but also abroad in Afghanistan, Iran, Kuwait, Nairobi, Tangiers, Jakarta and Fiji as also in many other countries. Saigal had made an indelible impression on the music aficionados, universally in these countries, with his charming voice.
This special event was organized in association with Sangeet Dhwani, a community based organization in the SF Bay Area, which has been engaged in promoting the rich musical heritage of India over the last fifteen years.
Praveen Chaddha, who initiated the event with some of the choicest Saigal’s songs gave a splendid performance, closely following the diction and nuances of Saigal.

The songs he had selected were; Soja Rajkumari Soja (movie Zindagi); Bazaar Se Gujara Hun Kharidar Nahi Hun; Main Kya Janoo Kya Jadu Hai (Zindagi); Apna Gham Bhool Gaye (Soordas); Babul Mora (Street Singer); Ye Na Bata Sakunga Mai; Gum Diya Mushkil (Shahjehan);.

Praveen mentioned that Saigal was a role model to some other older singer-actors like Surendra (of nostalgic movies), Mukesh, Mohd Rafi, Talat Mehmood and gave glimpses of their performance. It was Lata Mangeshkar who became the ardent music lover of Saigal and produced a special album paying tributes to Saigal.
The second Vocalist Piyush Nagar too sang some memorable songs of Saigal, such as Jab Dilhi Toot Gaya; Karu kya Aas Niras Bhayi; Ae Dil Ae Beqarar Kyun; Do naina mat wale tihare; Mujhe na Sapno Main (sung by Jagmohan); Pyar par bus to nahin (Talat).

Followed by these singers was Harindra Vasvada, a senior ICC member who gave a splendid performance of two Saigal songs: Dukhake Ab Din Bitat Nahi (Devdas); Aye Quatib-E-Taqdrer (My Sister).
The members of the audience were spellbound by the enchanting voice of all these singers which they expressed with thunderous applause.

Further, It was a pleasant surprise that a lady Singer, Aanal Anjaria seated with the audience came forward to sing two songs: One of Lata Mangeshkar Raina Beeti Jaaye (Amar Prem) and Bol re Papihara (Guddi) (sung by Vani Jayram) who were very much influenced by the inimitable voice of Saigal. Her melodious voice was appreciated by the audience with wide applause.

Special thanks to Ustad Surinder Mann, an experienced Tabla Maestro of Bay area, who accompanied all the singers with his mesmerizing skill.

At the beginning, Shakuntala Bahadur welcomed members of the audience on behalf of the ICC, in her chaste Hindi, followed by a Shloka in Sanskrit (prayer) after which the traditional lamp was lit by the singers, as if to recollect Saigal’s famous song “Jag Mag Jag Mag Diya Jalao” based on Deepak Raag, sung in the well known Hindi Movie “Tansen” (1943).

Pradeep Joshi of Sangeet Dhwani and Dr GRK Murti, who had conceived the idea of organizing this special event, narrated some interesting features of KL Saigal’ profile.
The event was very ably emceed by the Retired General of Indian Army Ravinder Chopra who quoted several anecdotes regarding the life and music career of Saigal. BV Jagadeesh, a member of the Board of ICC Trustees, appreciated the initiative of organizing an eventful program in the memory of a well known legend singer of India.

The sound system was well managed by Lal C.Khatri and Dilip Shah. Vote of thanks was proposed by Dr MK Rao, Program Coordinator in ICC Cupertino.

India Post News Service

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