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Jaspinder Narula: Ghazals are like a breath of fresh air

Ace vocalist Jaspinder Narula talks about her upcoming concert and what distanced her from Bollywood

Jaspinder Narula
Jaspinder Narula

The Nineties served her with distinction and awards. Her career spanned more than two decades with over 50 successful films. Singer Jaspinder Narula — the lady who matched up to Remo Fernandes' anglicised tone in Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha (1998) — went on a hiatus in 2010, though she continued touring for concerts. The fourth edition of Ghazal Bahaar, a two-day festival to rejoice the legacy of Urdu poetry, brings Narula back on stage.

"It feels like I am able to breathe fresh air after a long time. It felt surreal during rehearsals. I haven't been performing ghazals for a long time. There aren't too many shows happening and people don't know me as a ghazal singer. Listeners often box an artiste into one genre," says Narula, who will be paying a tribute to legends she grew up listening to.

"I am not doing any of my ghazals. I chose gems from the diaries of Lata Mangeshkar, Mehdi Hassan, Farida Khanum, Noor Jehan, Asha Bhosle and Begum Akhtar," she says.

The songs she will perform include Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo, Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat and the melodic Dhuaan Bana Ke Fiza Mein Uda Diya.

Narula shared a special bond with ghazal maestro, the late Jagjit Singh. He encouraged her from the time she started performing as a child. "Jagjit Uncle had come for a concert in Ludhiana in the '70s. It was also Baby Narula (that's me) night. His son Vivek was probably two years younger to me. After the show, we were running after each other in a circle, like most kids do," she laughs.

Her voice changes when asked about the film industry today. "Bollywood underwent a drastic change. Music directors changed, people offered work to newcomers, and forgot the old artistes. But I don't pitch myself to people. I don't knock on anybody's door for work. If they want me, they will call me," says Narula, who will join the legendary Anup Jalota, Chandan Das, Malini Awasthy among other well-known singers at the concert.

AT: February 2, 3 
AT: Nehru Centre, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli.
CALL: 24964676 
COST: Rs 300 onwards

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