Unity Bollywood Concert an excellent show of local talent

By Neena Badhwar

Unity Bollywood Concert was a night when the current mood of tension in the subcontinent community helped to relieve all through the medium of music. The Concert held at Worker’s Club in Blacktown on March 2, Saturday was a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. The stage was impressive with Saaz band playing with visuals lighting the back drop in a myriad displays and the night proved to be a presentation of music, the musicians and the singers at their best.

Local artists I find are much better than the overly priced artists from India. In terms of entertainment, cost and talent. With pride one can say thanks to such class of musicians and singers that have come into the entertainment and are really good even to the extent of bringing younger generation into their fold. The event presented by Manjit Singh Chopra of Fame Events was attended by a mixed audience comprising of Indians from Fiji, Indians from India and also many Pakistanis who equally one could see were enjoying the music, the songs, the antics on stage and even an energetic song and dance on ”˜Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyar Ke Charche’ by the singer Ami Surti who happened to randomly call her dad Jeetendra. I always thought no one can ever dance like the great Shammi Kapoor or even come near in shaking a leg like him. Well he did, totally transformed and danced like Shammi. Every one watched him in awe and enjoyed the performance as memories of the movie ‘Brahmchari’ came flooding.

Khushboo, Vijay Kumaran, Soumitra Sarkar, Ashish Rauthan and Gunjan Shah

It will be difficult to name all as there were over twenty songs sung by the talented singers. But as Manjit Chopra said, “We pick our singers carefully.” Each and every singer was one better than the other. Khushboo opened up with the first song the lilting ”˜Chauhdanwi Ka Chand’ from back stage and went on to sing ”˜Bahon Mein Chale Aao’ and the mesmerised audience was in the arms of the singers as night brought best songs supported by the Saaz band. Nitin Sharma’s ”˜Dil Kamla dub dub jaaye’ was in sufi rendition. Gunjan Shah’s ”˜Deewani ho Gayi’, Deepak Saxena’s ”˜Tu hi mera shab hai’ and Ashish Rauthan’s ”˜Tu mane ya na mane dildara’ was an alaap that touched heights, he totally lost in himself. No wonder he is called the ”˜Voice of the Himalalayas’.

Nartan dancers, Khushboo and Ashish

In between the dancers of the Nartan Institute of Performing Arts (NIPA) entertained dancing to the fast numbers ”˜dil sada chori ho gaya’ and ”˜Muqabala’ and many more. Khushboo and Ashish with their ”˜O Zalima’ and Vishal Kumar’s ”˜Tere Waste Mera Ishq Sufiana’. Avikalp’s ”˜Ye Jawani hai Deewani’ and Ami Surti’s ”˜Dama Dama Mast Kalandar’ were simply mind blowing. Definitely Manjit’s strict screening of Sydney talent was on show on the night. It must have been months in preparation as one singer said that for them they prepared a song or two but the band and its musicians have been rehearsing with all the songs and singers for weeks on end.

Manjit Singh Chopra and Jaden Mahadevan

The program was ably held together by the charming MC Roushika Reikhi, an actress and a model, now married to a Fiji Indian, who talked about singers and musicians in glowing words introducing each one of them with a lot of respect that artists ought to get and deserve. They make Sydney sing and enjoy in an atmosphere of friendship.

Vishal Kumar

Towards the end Vijay Kumaran’s ”˜Pag ghungroo bandh meera naachi thi’ hit the crescendo when the audience could be seen singing along and swaying with his superb delivery. Vijay Kuamran is better, or shall I say as good as the great Kishore Kumar.

Musicians on the night were Avi Kumar on Keyboard, Manoj on Tabla, Raveen Maharaj on drums, Shalendra Nand on Bass, Shivan Sen on Congas and dholak and Vinesh Kumar on guitars. Without their support the night would not be so successful.

I end the article here but not without mentioning the duo Vishal Kumar and Jaden Madhavan, Sydney’s rising stars, with ”˜Desi girl’ totally stole everyone’s heart. Their antics matched their singing to a tee. Thanks Manjit Chopra for continuing to put up Unity Bollywood concert. Music is the great binder for us all, Unity and peace is very much needed in the current strife that has engulfed India and Pakistan for few days. In the midst of it all, was this concert that tried to unite us all through music and the same language, we all here down under speak and understand from our sub-continent.

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