While Faiz Ahmed Faiz remains our ultimate reference for being the genius of a poet, writer, journalist and politician who helped to forge a revolutionary consciousness in the South Asian sub-continent, there's another feature of this maestro of his craft for which we shall always be indebted to him – being the muse behind the classiest music Pakistan has produced.
South Asian classical music is one of the most complex and fascinating music systems found anywhere in the world. According to its theory, different types of melodies should express different moods. Classical and contemporary South Asian singers generally employ well-established ragas and sublime poetry (ghazals, nazm or folk) provides the basis for conveying layered emotions by entwining music and words.
Faiz's universality of a youthful spirit and the freshness of his language attracts every music aficionado. Both the political and love poems of Faiz are the essential repertoires among ghazal and contemporary singers. While the revolutionary message of Faiz is still relevant as it was some fifty years ago, the challenge to sing Faiz as it deserves to be sung has become a more daunting challenge than ever before.
The likes of legends Madam Noor Jahan, Fareeda Khanum, Iqbal Bano, Tina Sani and Nayyara Noor having immortalized Faiz, it is quite a feat that a young lass still in her teenage years makes a mark with the extravagant verses of the legendary poet.
But as they say talent is a god given treasure, and Sara comes rich with the wealth. Her pronunciation correct to the letter comes handy when rendering ghazals of giants of Urdu. What makes her case stronger while in pursuit to sing kalaam of someone as grandiose as Faiz, is her capacity to understand and grasp the layered meanings contained in Faiz's intricately woven phrases.
From his passionate urging to "aaj bazaar main pa bajolan chalo" to tender recalls of the fanciful "raat yun dil mein teri khoee hoi yaad aaee", to the almost melancholic, wistful ode "gar mujhay iska yaqeen ho meray hamdam", Faiz has more shades than contained within the rainbow and this is why singing Faiz tests one's mettle like none other. Fortunately for Sara, while her vocal range equips her to accompany her audience at all varying frequencies of Faiz's moods, her understanding of the context of the lyrical genius strewn within his verses helps her recreate the magic the greatest Urdu poet of our time has spelled.
Whether the event is a "Shaam-e Faiz" prompting with 'har ragg-e khoon main phir charaaghaan ho' – remembering the great poet at his death anniversary at Marriot, Islamabad or celebrating his life at his 104th birthday by sharing the stage with sublime Tina Sani, who has sung Faiz more than anyone in the sub continent, Sara can not stop being buoyant about it. "You see, Faiz's "bol kay jaan ab tak teri hai" has been the frame of mind I've grown into as a person. I think I enjoy him because I own his philosophy. And this is probably why I am able to share the pleasure with my audience as well," a radiant Sara explains.