My first opportunity to hear Rahat Fateh Ali Khan live was in 2009, when a dear friend forced me to gate crash a wedding where he was performing. And when I entered the venue, dressed up as if I was the bride’s sister, he began singing…
“Rom Rom tera naam pukarey
Eik Huey din rain hamarey”
And his fine voice dissipated all my anxieties about gatecrashing and I squeezed myself in the enthusiastic crowd and became part of the magic (and wedding). At the risk of being thrown out (and bringing shame to Mr. A) I reluctantly left early – apparently the magic went on until the wee hours of the morning.
The second opportunity (a fully paid one) came in 2010 when he came on stage with his entourage in Singapore and humbly began his introduction by saying
“I am thankful to you and Bollywoods to have me here”
Whether it was Bollywoods or Tiger Woods, his mesmerizing voice, absolutely wonderful songs, one after the other, kept the crowd engaged for over three hours. And when he sang my all time favorite:
“Mein tenu samjhaavan kee”
I thought to myself “kuch na samjhao” but Khan Saab keep up the perfect combination of beautiful voice and lyrics for all times to come.
And the last opportunity (an invite) came only last year in 2013, at the historical, captivating Mohatta Palace in Karachi, where he came for exactly 53 ½ minutes, sang 12 songs, in utter fast forward mode and left the venue before anyone could even absorb and sing along his songs. And that left me completely disappointed.
“Daghabaaz rey hai daghabaaz rey”
From Qawaalis, to classical to Bollywoods film scores to Pakistani Drama background music this maestro began training and singing at the age of 3, with the music Legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Although it would be unfair to compare him with his legendary uncle, it is only fair to say that Rahat Fateh Ali has done Pakistan extremely proud with his controlled high pitched yet dripping with emotion voice.
“Ajj din chareya teray rung wargha”
Unarguably time is of essence and so is fame, however, Khan saab, can I please request you to not marathon through your numbers and let us enjoy the brilliance – aakhir
“Dil to bacha hai jee”
Talking of brilliance, and moving from Faisalabad (Rahat's home town) to Italy I have just the recipe for you featuring our star (that is here to stay) Ricotta. Smooth and sublime this Italian cheese is largely featured in lasagnas but here I have incorporated it into a smooth egg based cake. Whipped together with sugar and egg yolks, fluffy whites are then carefully folded in, the heavenly batter is poured into the tin and then baked for a good 45 minutes, and then left in the oven to slowly cool down. The result is a heavenly smell wafting through your house and a densely put together cheesecake – unrivaled and unmatched- just like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.