Music knows no boundaries. This was proven by a cross-country music session whose participants were the legendary singer Farida Khanum from Pakistan and Rekha Bhardwaj from India, with the mastermind of the collaboration, Ali Sethi, also joining in, over a live video on Instagram. Rekha Bhardwaj was accompanied by her husband and movie director Vishal Bhardwaj.
Sethi is currently self-isolating in New York City and has been conducting daily singing and chatting sessions on Instagram live that have become hugely popular among his audience.
Both Khanum and Bhardwaj showered praises on Sethi for making the collaboration possible, and for being an ardent lover of music. Khanum sang her famous song Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo, whose lyrics were written by poet Fayyaz Hashmi. “We are extremely lucky that we are in this moment with you,” Vishal Bhardwaj said.
Rekha Bhardwaj sang Phir le Aya Dil from the movie Barfi on Sethi’s request.
“You don’t know what you’ve done today,” Rekha Bhardwaj told Sethi after she participated in the cross-border collaboration. Sethi’s live video was joined by over a thousand Instagram users.
Talking about the collaboration, Sethi wrote, “If there’s anything we can learn in this difficult time, let it be the value of cooperation across borders. Love conquers all.”
Speaking to Scroll.in, Sethi commented on the importance of solitude for creating art. “I think solitude is necessary for creativity. It’s what dervishes and yogis have advocated throughout history – know yourself before you show yourself,” he said. The singer also said that the idea of creating art during this period of self-isolation that almost all of the world is going through is fascinating. “I have a feeling that the more earnest forms of engagement – the stuff that is usually discarded or discounted by our fast-moving world – will now gain attention. I think attention spans will lengthen. I am happy about that.”
Here are a few other videos of Sethi’s live sessions over the past few days.
He was also joined by Faisal Kapadia, vocalist for the popular Pakistani band Strings, in one of the sessions.