Reena’s thandi havaayen cools down a hot day for a Magical Mehfil


By Kersi Meher-Homji

The temperature at Pennant Hills Hall in Sydney shot up to 40 °C last Sunday but Reena Mehta’s singing thandi havaayen made us feel as if it was 23 °C! That’s the magic of music.

I enjoy concerts of old songs rendered by local talent. But at the recent Aasha Foundation’s Golden Bollywood Mehfil conducted by Vinod Rajput it was different. It carried subtle messages.

The audience entered into a world of nostalgia, a world without egoistic maniacs like Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson as Vinod started off with KL Saigal’s all-time classic kya maine keeya hai. It took the audience back to the glorious days of Gandhiji, Nehru and Saigal who tried to unite India by nonviolence, ideology and sangeet.

Today’s world politicians should listen to Mera joota hai japani, patloon Englistani, sir per lal topi Russi, phir bhi dil hai Hindustani from Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420 for international integration rather than segregation.

This song by Vinod sung with a wistful expression was the highlight of the concert as was Reena’s Mera naam chin chin choo from the movie Howrah Bridge and  Ai dil mujhe bata de from Bhai Bhai.

It was enjoyment personified as melodious songbirds Pushpa Jagadish, Seema Anil and Razia Sultana took us back to the days of our childhood with harmonious humming. They gave their own interpretation to each number whether sung solo or as duet with Vinod.

Pushpa, the Lata of Sydney, made us hum with wistful love songs Aaja re pardesi from Madhumati and Dheere dheere chal from Love Marriage.

The lilting voice of Seema Anil invited us to the land of love by crooning Aaja sanam from Chori Chori and Ye raate, ye mausam ye chanchal hava from Dilli Ka Thug.

I heard Razia Sultana for the first time and her red hot numbers Hum pyaar mein  jalne walon ko chein kahan,  haaye  aaram kahan from Jailor and Ye raat ye chandni  phir kahan from Jaal made the audience clap their hands and tap their toes in unison.

Thank you, Vinod Rajput, for orchestrating an outstanding Mehfil and raising money for Aasha Australia Age Care Foundation for our seniors.

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