Nostalgia of RD Burman by Natraj Academy

Manju Mittal - Natraj 2


By Manju Mittal

Sydney is a city that lives in music ”“ music of yore thanks to Natraj academy and its founder Avijit Sarkar. Not only does he sing but he makes others sing as well while Sydney listens and marvels in the music gatherings he attracts.

On June 20, 2015, not even a cold chilly weather stopped music lovers to attend RD Burman Concert organised by the Academy at Redgum Function Centre Wentwothville. It was a night of soulful Pancham numbers and nostalgia as melodies of RD Burman songs were brought back to life. The hall was packed, cosy, warm and it was indeed a successful sold out show with helpful students ushering us to our seats.

Multi talented Avijit Sarkar needs no introduction to his fans in Australia. I have been listening to Avijit Sarkar since I migrated to Australia 26 years ago. His rendering of golden old songs at the concerts always made me feel nostalgic. I have been one of his devout fan of his art of singing ghazals and songs, specially the ones of Hemant Kumar and Manna De. Avijit has spent last 35 years in Sydney singing on stage, entertaining us with his versatile voice. Avijit is a musician, painter, writer, poet and actor and editor of e-magazine ”˜The Mind Creative’. In recent years, Avijit has devoted many of his concerts and recordings to charity and fund raising for many worthwhile causes in Australia. He has composed music for Australian documentary films, radio and theatre in Sydney.

Natraj Academy was established by Avijit Sarkar with an aim to provide an opportunity to showcase the prowess in classical vocal singing as he has trained many under his tutelage. The academy also provides training in drama, dance and literature. R D Burman concert was prepared by Natraj Academy students under the guidance of, of course, Avijit Sarkar.

Avijit Sarkar was MC for the evening as he warmed up the audience with interesting anecdotes of RD Burman. He welcomed artists of the evening and introduced each and every singer and their special talent. Concert commenced with a children song ”˜Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata koi’ – a performance by young kids that impressed us all that now even the young are also being moulded by Avijit. Then came Darshik Bhagat with the soft romantic number ”˜Rimjhim gire sawan’. An Amitabh Bachhan nostalgic number set an exciting passionate romantic mood for the evening. Rajshree Malgaonkar’s ”˜Tujhse naaraz nahi zindgi’ took me back to my college days. Listening to her soothing voice was sheer delight. Meena Mahanty captured the audience’s attention with beautiful classical number ”˜Roj roj dali dali from the movie ”˜Angoor’.

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While the audience had anticipated singing talents, what was unexpected was the superb sound form live Jazba Band. The magic of Jazba band musical was just brilliant.

Another enjoyable number was ”˜Ek din mit jayega mati ke mol’ by Ronesh Hargovind. Razia Sultana stole everyone’s heart by singing solo ”˜Kuch na kaho’. Young girl Ridhi Sharma’s ”˜Lakdi ki kathi’ from the movie ”˜Masoom’ was appreciated by the audience. The passionate duet followed by Darshik Bhagat and Poornima was a favourite ”˜Bheegi bheegi rato mein’ from movie ”˜Ajnabi’. Aditi’s solo song ”˜Ae ri pawan’ was just amazing. Shiv Sharma and Kerman Mistry then came on the stage with the soft romantic numbers ”˜Pyar deewana hota hai’ and ”˜Deewana mujh sa nahi’.

Arun Nanda and Gitanjali shared the mike with the ”˜Jawani Deewani’ classic ”˜Jaanejaan dhundhta’ and it was time to travel down memory lane, going back to the 70’s. It was an interesting choice and another solo old hit song by Arun Nanda ”˜Gulabi ankhe jo teri dekhi’ from movie ”˜The train’, a singer of his vocal talent definitely shows Arun is really a dedicated singer and performer.

Shailja Chandra came on the stage with the sizzling number ”˜Pyar karne wale’ from the movie ”˜Shaan’, Shailja’s beautiful delivery of her alto vocal range brought out the sweet deeply flirtatious quality of the song. Manoj Baruah’s song ”˜Mere naina Sawan’ was nostalgic while Dipankar Choudhury sang in his versatile voice ”˜Yeh jo mohabbat hai’.

Equally hauntingly nostalgic were the duets ”˜Ek main aur ek tu’ by Amit Anand and Razia Sultana and ”˜Jai jai shiv Shankar’ by Rashmie and Manoj Baruah and ”˜O haseeno zulfo wali’ by Aditi andWill. Singers Reshmi, Sonali Parikh, Amit Anand, Will Bhatnagar sang beautiful renditions. The evening ended with the beautiful song ”˜Yamma Yamma’ by Bhaskar Chetia made audience get up to dance and sing along as they clapped and eagerly participated.

Great music, audience and good food are the ingredients for a memorable evening. Delicious food was for sale at a very reasonable price with yummy hot jalebis.

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Singers and musicians had the audience completely mesmerised and the audience certainly left the venue after having had a good time. As I went home I didn’t realise I was humming all those songs that had surfaced from my memory of long gone days. This local musical show truly touched my heart strings and altered my soul.











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