Indian singers collaborated with Merton poets over the weekend for two shows weaving together classical music and spoken word performances.

Hosted by Saudha, the Society of Poetry and Indian Music, performers including leading Hindistani classical vocalist Chandra Chakraborty entertained crowds at Morden Assembly Hall and Raynes Park Library.

The sessions, which were accompanied by Merton poets including Erik Schelander, were part of Saudha's touring Ghazal and Thumri festival, celebrating two styles of semi-classical music.

Ahmed Kaysher, festival organiser, said the lyrics and mood of the Indian music were interpreted through traditional and contemporary verses of English poetry and "seamlessly intertwined with the thread of music".

Wimbledon Times:

Ghazal and Thumri Festival: Sayan Gupta

Ghazal is originally an Arabic verse form dealing with loss and romantic love. A Ghazal is a poem made up of couplets, two-line stanzas.

There is no specific rhyme scheme or pattern to these couplets, and the poem may contain any number of them.

Thumri is another North Indian vocal form and is based on romantic-devotional literature.

The words are strictly adhered to, and the singer attempts to interpret them with melodic improvisations.

Mr Kaysher said: "Saudha organises high quality Indian Classical Music concerts and festivals gluing up with other form of arts from around the globe.

"This classical music does have a remedial and therapeutic impact on the modern human being, apart from it's beauty as a serious art form.

"We also connect with children into our workshops.

Wimbledon Times:

Ghazal and Thumri Festival: semi-classical vocalist Farzana Sifat

"We help people to be creative and to develop their imagination involving them in workshops where attendees are asked to write the images in a poetic form while the music is being played and those verses predominantly in English language are then intertwined with music through recitation."

To find out more about Saudha, visit