Adakar’s enthralling evening of ghazals and Bollywood nostalgia with Suhas, Savaniee and Ken’s Saxaphone

By Vijay Badhwar

The Adakar Theatre and Cultural Group presented a night of popular Bollywood songs and ghazals at the Madison Function Centre in Dural on November 18, raising the bar for the community music soirées with a sit down sumptuous dinner, albeit with similar content and format of the popular shows.

The main attraction of the musical evening was Marathi singer from India, Savaniee Ravindra, accompanied by well known Sydney artiste Suhas Mahajan, the two running the show virtually non-stop for three hours, churning out Bollywood hits from the 60s and 70s interspersed with popular gazals – a programme that overwhelmingly enthralled the well-settled Indian community in Sydney.

Saba Abdi introduced the Adakar Group to be the bearers of subcontinent culture for the coming generations, also explaining the origin and structure of ”˜Shairs’ and ghazals, but the audience was rather in a mood to delve into the real experience.

Suhas was obliging with Jagjit ghazal ”˜Baat niklegi to phil door talak jayegi’, a good start that improved as he warmed up with later ghazals and peaking with Kishore number ”˜Woh Shaam kuch ajeeb thi’ from film Khamoshi. He sang well, true to the original numbers and also the context, especially with Ahmad Faraz’s famous ghazal ”˜Ranjish hi Sahi’, immediately followed with Jagjit Singh sung ghazal, ”˜tum itna jo muskara rahe ho’.

Savaniee was thrilling from the very start with Lata number ”˜O sajna Barkha bahar aeyi’ and continued with ”˜Aap ki nazron ne samjha’ and many more, sometimes over embellishing, but entertaining. That beautifully simple ghazal – Farida Khanum’s ”˜Aaj jane ki jid na Karo’ – Savaniee sang so well, was the highlight of the evening.

But the real surprise of the evening was Ken Singh on Saxaphone: an ”˜Ajeeb dastaan’ that he kept a secret from the Sydney community for so many decades. The hauntingly beautiful tune, softly played, brought many young-at-heart couples to the floor.

Although it was three hours of singing, Savaniee was still rearing to go nearing the end: several one-liners and then the final number, of course, ”˜Dama dum mast qalandar’. The audience had their fill.

The food was delightful – North Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian, also with dosas, idli and vadas, piping hot jalebis and lot more. A satisfying evening.


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