Umbai’s ghazals soothe patients

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015,22:25 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | If Ghazals are often hailed as the purest expression of unconditional love, the music form’s leading Kerala exponent Umbai did soothe many a frayed nerve at the Government General Hospital here today.
Performing before a crowd that largely comprised patients, the recital held as part of the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s weekly Arts and Medicine programme showcased not just how the celebrated Malayali vocalist has enriched the music form that has Sufi origins in ancient Arabia, but also reinforced its healing quality yet another time. From time immemorial, human beings are aware of the fact that the art and music can heal both mind and body.
Knowingly or unknowingly, music has become an integral part of every one’s life, the middle-aged vocalist told a packed audience at the hospital where the Kochi Biennale Foundation organised the show in association with the Mehboob Memorial Orchestra.
Umbai rendered some of the most famous ghazals immortalised by renowned singers like Jagjit Singh, Ustad Ghulam Ali, and Mehdi Hassan in his soothing and mellifluous voice. Mattancherry-born Umbai, also known for recreating many old film songs in his own style of rendering, also sang some famous songs composed by M S Baburaj, including ‘Oru Pushpam Mathramen’ and ‘Thamsamenthe Varuvan’.
He also enthralled listeners by rendering some old hits of playback singer and musician Mehboob such as ‘Cheruppathil Nammal’ and ‘Annoru raavil’.