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BY GIRISH MODI
Naila Mughal’s last performance in Atlanta was terribly exciting to ghazal lovers. Driven by enthusiasm, the fans asked her to visit Atlanta again for a repeat performance. Naila thought the invitation was more informal and less serious. But her fans were determined and prevailed upon Mustafa Ajmeri to organize another Naila Nite and predictably Naila came back on Friday February 19th for an encore performance at the Global Mall Auditorium.
The hall was jam-packed this time and Naila lived up to her reputation. She sang ghazal after ghazal without disruption for over four hour, mesmerizing the audience. Naila did not rest content singing only her signature items, but also added some new varieties to her repertoire.
Naila graciously acceded to the pleas of her huge Punjabi fans and sang a lot of popular hits for them. However, she could not please her Gujarati fans as she did not know their language.
Naila Mughal’s popularity has already spread to the neighboring Alabama since her performance in Atlanta in January. This time she went to Birmingham and Huntsville to enthrall her fans. As expected, she received an enthusiastic welcome in these two cities and she promised to visit them again.
In Birmingham and in Huntsville concerts, the overwhelming majority of Gujaratis present persistently asked her to sing a Gujarati song. Finally in Huntsville, Naila yielded to their wish as she felt it not fair to disappoint them. She learned few lines of the famous Gujarati Garba “Mehndi to wavi mandave” during the break and sang later in the show to captivate the audience.
In these three concerts, Naila Mughal was accompanied by the renowned keyboard player Saad Ali. Rahil Sadiq, a young, tall, handsome man from Chicago, who is studying for business management, accompanied Naila as a tabla player. In each of three concerts, the audience was thrilled by the master performance of this new artist.