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September 20, 2020

Face to Face with Nargis Naheed

Islamabad

September 20, 2020

Nargis Naheed is an ardent lover of music and poetry. At a time when despair hangs over large sector of the classical music world, the traditional music specialists are wondering whether this passion for classic is too good. She herself a musicologist, speaks optimistically of classical music which has fallen into a strange crossover zone, through bizarre ads and rush-hour programming.

She says: “It has become part of the great subliminal murmur of mass culture, but I bemusedly find things to like in even the most despicable mod music in our musical world of Eastern Hemisphere. Music to me is simply a ‘raw material, an opportunity to mix, cross and blend.

“With no family background in music, I remember the sounds produced by my engineer father while working with his engineering tools. This led to my singing and music craze. My fondness for singing grew after my mother got me a harmonium. I later on took music lessons and read books on it. Nasiruddin was my first tutor then Ishaq Nizami.”

Answering a question how the traditional musicians might feel about having their work treated differently by a new streak of generation, she says: “To me there are endless ways to construct melodies and rhythms, scales and structures and music continually redefines itself.”

She adds by saying: “The purist in us should stop groaning as experiment is the foundation of any music genre. Terming mod music as something out of reject tray does music a considerable disservice.”

Talking about her poetry Nargis Naheed says: “I love verses woven with a fresh style in both traditional and modern poetry. I like to see refined feelings running through poetry as colored fishes swim in an aquarium. I adore intermingling of music and poetry:

Omr ki orrni pe chaahat se

Naqsh yaadoun kay sab utaar leeyay

Qatra qatra dard se dil chaid kar moti banay

Tuu keh daryayay havas mein dhoondta hai seepian

Titli kay pabkh larzay phoooun pe parrparrayay

Takhleeqay karb dekhi raanaeoun mein aksar

Ek irtaashay ghum bhi paya hai naghmgi mein

Meethi madhur madhur cee shehnaeoun mein aksar

Sar ki takrana kabhi os se lipat kar rona

Pooch tnahayee I dewaar se bipta meri

Muj ko jis haath ne Naheed mitaana chahaa

Thi osi haath mein taqdeer ki rekha meri

Barri muddat se hai ankhoun mein num ab lo’t bhi aao

Naheen baki raha yarayay ghum an lo’t bhi aao

Gar talafi ya madava koi mumkin ho tu phir

Jaa palat kart tu wohi omr ko lay aa meri

All talk of Nargis Naheed was a meditation on change, on the natural transition from youth to maturity – both in music and poetry — the balancing act between the old and the new.