Renowned Pakistani singer
Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi, who enjoys an immense fan following
in India, will perform for the first time in the country next
The 61-year-old singer, famous for his renditions Acha Sila Diya and Bedardi Se Pyar, will perform at a series of concerts in various cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad between October 12 to November 15.
Despite his popularity here, it will be Mr Khan's first ever concert in India.
"I always wanted to perform in India but never got the chance. I know that I have a decent fan following across the border. It is very unfortunate that I could never perform in India until now," the singer told PTI from Lahore.
Mr Khan feels that musical and cultural exchange is a must between India and Pakistan and he has no apprehensions about his proposed visit.
"Many Indian artistes are coming to Pakistan now and our artistes are going to India. This cross border musical exchange is a must to normalise things," said the singer, who used to sing Mohammad Rafi and Mukesh's songs in his school days.
Mr Khan has recorded more than 4,000 songs in seven languages. By 2006, he had released 403 music albums. During his much-awaited India visit he wishes to meet melody queen Lata Mangeshkar.
"I am a huge fan of her. I want to meet her when I perform in Mumbai. I will seek her blessings," he said.
There were rumours in India that he has been jailed for murdering his beloved. A film called Bewafa Sanam was also made and marketed saying that it is the real life story of Attaullah Khan.
"This is completely false. I have heard that they did this for the success of some movie. My fans were hurt and so am I," said the artist who has been honoured with the Pride of Performance Award by the Pakistan government.
Currently working on folk and Sufi fusion, Mr Khan is worried about the standard of Shayari and lyrics these days.
"Shayari in Rafi and Mukesh saab's era was different. Songs were meaningful and melodious. Nowadays the life of a song is maximum six months. No one remembers any song for long as they lack soul. But I am hopeful that the trend will change someday," said Khan.
He does not endorse the idea of musical reality shows to find talent nor does he want to be a part of it.
"I have noticed that reality show winners do not get work in the long run. The name and fame is temporary plus they tend to lose concentration. I will not judge any reality show since I consider myself a learner," he said.
Since some political parties are against Pakistani artistes and cricketers coming to India, organisers of Mr Khan's shows do have some apprehensions but they are hopeful that the concerts will be successful due to Mr Khan's popularity here.
"There are some apprehensions due to the threats from some political parties but we are conveying the message of brotherhood through these shows. Artistes are not bound by any border. We wanted to invite him in 2008 but it was postponed because of the Mumbai terror attack," said Manmeet Singh, CEO of artistebooking.com, who is organising Mr Khan's shows.