Jashn e Awadh
Scintillating electrical guitar roared to live, bright and clear cymbal clung in the air; engaging drumbeats were orchestrated seamlessly with the lingering Tabla beat, bamboo flutes and Sarangi melodies. Lively music, cheerful color, mesmerizing Kathak dance and clapping audience brought the show to its climax.
Jashn e Awadh, the festival of Awadh, was the tale of the last Nawab: Wajid Ali Shah. Although he wasn’t regarded highly because of his submission to British, he was dearly remembered for his remarkable contribution to Indian culture. He left a rich treasury of poems, songs, music and dance.
Through a spellbinding story telling, the last, ill fated emperor was vividly depicted. Hundred year old poems left by Wajid Ali Shah were sung again today with newly composed music. Lyrical classic Hindustani music gently echoed in the serene theater. Then the masterful Kathak dancers, light as feathers, swift like thunder, graceful like bird, seized all the imagination. It was all then Lucknow again! The elevated audience clapped, chanted and shouted uncontrollably after almost every dance and every song.
None of performers is doing art for a living. Rather, they all do their regular work during day time. After sunset, they let their passion flow. With uncompromising dedication, they have delivered nothing short of excellence. A white washed room that I can touch the ceiling by just extending my hand were where the show was made. Performers rehearsed every beat of Tabla, every step of Kathak dance, every word of the script to perfection. No one looked like anyone who finished a tiring day’s work, they looked so fresh and so determined.
I was deeply inspired to witness the legendary show.