Bestowed with the title ‘Queen of Ghazal’, Penaz Masani has enthralled audiences around the world for quite a while now with her extensive concerts, which left audience mesmerised. The stalwart singer was in the city to spellbind the audience once again with her charming voice at 29th National Exhibition of Contemporary Art at State Art Gallery of Fine Arts, Madhapur.
Penaz says that she has a very strong connection with Hyderabad and she has lost count how many times she has come here. “The audience of Hyderabad has always showered their love on me. I have been coming here for a long time. I guess the last time I visited was six to seven years back. The city has changed drastically; with all the flyovers, the metro rail and malls. I am confused where I am now,” she quips.
The panel of judges comprised of stalwarts like Jaidev, Naushad and Raj Kapoor. I won the first prize. Jaidev sir was mighty impressed with my performance and took me to my guru Madhurani ji,” recalls Penaz. “Initially, she said no, but Jaidev sir insisted her to take me under her wings and there I started learning Ghazals, under her tutelage,” she smiles.
Penaz has the distinction of holding one Platinum and three Gold Discs to her name. She has worked with renowned musicians like OP Nayyar and RD Burman amongst many others and has rendered her voice for more than 50 Bollywood films apart from singing in over dozen languages. She is the only women to have achieved an eminent status in what is a traditionally a male-dominated world of Ghazals.
The Ministry of Minorities launched a scheme ‘Jiyo Parsi’, which is a Government of India supported scheme to arrest the decline in the population of the Parsi Zoroastrian Community in India. There are only 61,000 Parsis in India now. And at max 1.5 lakh around the world,” she informs. The rules of Parsis do not allow people to marry outside the community.