Snag with the speeches made at any public gathering is that they tend to go on, on and on. And at the end of the day, on reflection, you find most speakers have said nothing that you hadn’t heard before. For me the best part of Saturday’s ID Milan at St.Philomenas was when the master of ceremonies Dr Javeed Nayeem announced dinner.My suggestion for the next Id Milan : cut out the speeches. Let there be biriyani and more of Alfie’s music. Mrs Khuraishi who dropped us home, not inclined to leave just yet, asked if we could stay on some more time after dinner to listen to ghazal and soul-stirring songs from vintage movies. My wife readily agreed. And we weren’t the only ones who lingered on after dinner to take in more of the music.Singer Alfie, a classmate of Dr Nayeem, expressed his intention to form an association of ghazal-lovers in Mysore. Such a move would, I am sure, further the Anjuman-e-Hadeeqatul Adab agenda – to promte Urdu and the Muslim culture. Speaking of Alfie’s musical talent Dr Nayeem recalled that in their student days at St. Philomenas, they used to hold impromptu music sessions under a tree on the college campus , cutting classes. Alfie’s proficency as a singer could be attributed to the missed physics and math classes.
If ghazal is integral to Muslim culture, biriyani is an inseparable part of their cusine. An Id milan dinner without biriyani would be soda without scotch. Understandably, there was a queue at the non-veg buffet where biriyani was on offer. I opted for rumali-roti and veg section, if only because it was relatively less crowded.