Zikr Tera/ Roopkumar and Sunali Rathod
Label: Copyright Roopkumar Rathod; published by Turnkey Music & Publishing
Price: Rs 200
Rating: *** 1/2
OVER the past two decades or so, the ghazal duo of Roopkumar and Sunali Rathod has released some popular albums like ‘Ishaara’, ‘Mohabbat Ho Gayi’, ‘Mitwa’, ‘Khushboo’ and ‘Bazm-e-Meer’. To mark their 25th wedding anniversary, they have now come out with ‘Zikr tera’, which is also a tribute to the late Jagjit Singh.
Featuring eight ghazals, a highlight of the album is the choice of simple yet effective poetry, mostly penned by newer names. Each ghazal contains only three or four shers, which help the songs attain a certain compactness. The arrangements by Deepak Pandit are melodic, with some neat solos and interludes.
The collection has five solo songs by Roopkumar, two by Sunali and one duet in the opening song ‘Haathon mein haath’. Penned by Shakeel Azmi, it impresses with the matla “Kuchh is tarah se milein hum ki baat reh jaaye, Bichad bhi jaaye toh haathon mein haath reh jaaye”. The poet also writes Sunali’s ‘Aur kuchh din’, which begins, “Aur kuchh din yahaan rukne ka bahaana milta, Is naye shahar mein koi toh puraana milta.”
The young poet Saani Aslam contributes with ‘Zaroorat uski’, which goes, “Rukh badalte hue mausam si hai fitrat uski, kuchh dinon ke liye main bhi tha zaroorat uski” and the veteran Madan Pal writes ‘Sawaal sabne kiya’. Both songs are sung by Roopkumar.
A highlight of the album is Parveen Kumar Ashhk, who writes the last three ghazals. On Sunali’s ‘Abr guzra’, he shows a distinct influence of Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz in the opening sher “Abr guzra hai bekhabar kitna, zard hai aaska shajar kitna”. Both ‘Meri chaadar tha’ and ‘Zamin ko aye khuda’ have been sung by Roopkumar, with the latter having the wonderful lines, “Mohabbat mein badal jaaye siyaasat, Khuda Lahore Dilli se mila de.”
The rendition of the poetry is assisted by the clear diction of the singers. Among the musicians, Deepak Pandit shines on the violin, with Ashvin Srinivasan and Rakesh Chaurasia chipping in on flute, Sunil Das playing sitar, Heera Pandit handling tabla and percussion, and Sanjay Jaipurwale contributing on guitar.
On the whole, it’s a well-produced album, though one wishes there were a couple of duets more. That would have created a perfect balance.
RATING SCALE: * Poor; ** Average; *** Good; **** Excellent; ***** Simply outstanding