Farida Khanum
Farida Khanum Image Credit: Supplied

With the Indian festival of Diwali right around the corner, Dubai-based Malhaar Centre for Performing Arts has a special treat for music lovers that comes from beyond the border. Famed Pakistani ghazal singer Farida Khanum will interact with audiences over a live-streamed event on November 6.

Born in Calcutta (now, Kolkata) of British India, Khanum moved to Lahore in Pakistan during the Partition. In the Malhaar Centre ‘Baithak’, the 91-year-old singer, known for the song ‘Aaj Jane Ki Zidd Na Karo’, will join in from Pakistan and reminisce about her childhood and her years of studying music and performing all over the world.

“It can’t get bigger than this as a Diwali gift for our Baithak followers. This is a dream come true for me, personally as well,” says Jogiraj Sikidar, Founder-Director of Malhaar. “Music doesn’t have any border or faith and this Diwali we will gift our viewers, who have been with us through the pandemic times, the music of light and who can light up our world better than the musical icon of the Indian subcontinent — Farida Khanum saheba.”

Malhaar’s artists will perform Khanum’s compositions during the concert, such as ‘Mere Humnafas’, ‘Muhabbat Karnewale’ and ‘Dill Jalane Ki Baat’.

“I am very excited to share my music and story with Malhaar Baithak’s viewers,” Khanum says. “Malhaar is doing a great job by bringing beautiful music through the online monthly musical session to a wide audience and I am looking forward to be part of Baithak.”

The performance will consist of poetry narrations, trivia, singing, accompanied by live instruments and more.