Parveen Sultana walked to the centre of the stage and dominated it through a span of more than twenty songs. On Saturday, it was her moment in the spotlight, seeing that Tomar du chokhe chokh rekhe, a CD of twelve of her songs, had only moments earlier been released at the National Museum. Those who have kept track of Sultana’s progress in recent times will have a fairly reasonable comprehension of the elevating quality of her songs. The voice is rich, the mastery over delivery is remarkable, all of which is again reflected in these new songs. Penned by Ashraf Hossain and M.R. Waseq, with music in the capable hands of Deba, these songs are an aesthetic delight. In Brishti ashar pelona shomoy, E kemon borsha elo, O matal shure and the like, the versatile in the artiste comes alive yet once more.
And it was such versatility that was on display, in all its substantive form, on stage as Parveen Sultana took her audience down the lanes that eventually zigzagged their way to some of the more verdant of musical landscapes. She began with Tagore’s Gram chharha oi ranga matir poth, moved on to the still-searing Padmar dheu re before turning around to recreate the magic of the old Sabina Yasmeen number, Majhi nau chhaira de. These early songs worked up the energy in her, and made expectations soar in her audience. In her element, she moved effortlessly into Aami roopnagarer rajkonya, Tomar du chokhe chokh rekhe and Ochenar moto kore na chenar obhinoy. The evening deepened, passing into the mellowing phases of night. Parveen Sultana showed precious few signs of fatigue. Through Naach moyuri naach and Shaat bhai chompa, she progressed to Tokhon tomar ekush bochhor bodhoy. The melody eventually exploded into the firecrackers of old Shondhya Mukherjee numbers. And then came the tragically soothing Shahnaz Rahmatullah song, Je chhilo drishtir shimanaye, followed swiftly by that Naheed Niazi reminder of Akasher oi miti miti tarar shaathe koibo kotha.
The showmanship in Parveen Sultana, if you will, added to the ambience. Poised and graceful, she often injected humour into her remarks between the songs. She connected to her audience. And it was plain they were in love with her. Starry, starry night?
Source: The Daily Star.