Sydney enjoyed Jashn 2.0 but remembers India sadly with ”˜Bharat humko jaan se pyara hai’

By Neena Badhwar

Jashn 2.0 at Pioneer Theatre on May 22 was a sold out event with sari and jewellery stalls enticing ladies who congregated in the foyer for some shopping. People stood patiently in line for the allocation of seats, soon as we settled, concert started bang on time at 7pm.

Preeti Thadani invited singers on stage with orchestra warming up for a night full of entertainment, a music packed performance by the quartet organised  by Satya Events.

Smiling they entered, Aditi Janveja, Amit Anand, Will Bhatnagar and Pragati Saikia exuding a youthful presence singing with Ganesh Vandana.

And thus started an evening of popular music with Will Bhatnagar rendering ”˜Mere Sawalon Ka Jawab Do Na’ in memory of great singer SP Balsubramaniam who lost his life to Covid last year in September. There is no answer to the infliction which has taken millions of lives and an untold suffering everywhere.

Will sounds very much like SP, excellent young singer that I am listening to for the first time and somehow feel that the evening’s music has started on a good note. Pragati comes in next with ”˜Ye hosla kaise jhuke’– a Salim Sulaiman song from the movie ’Dor’ the lyrics have been chosen to suit the tough times ”˜Raah pe kaante bikhre agar, uspe phir bhi chalna hi hai’, Aditi sings from the heart. Audience claps in appreciation. Amit Anand follows up with ”˜Ye Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai’ from the movie Saajan. Musicians equally enjoying the rapport that has built thus between them and the singers. Singers have not only worked hard on the songs they introduce each number with some little anecdote or a quiz encouraging audience interaction. The next song is a semiclassical, ”˜Payalia Jhankaar mori’ in Raag Puria Dhanashree, Aditi sings while Abhijit Dan playing tabla accompanies giving taal. It’s a difficult composition yet Aditi comes out with flying colours, audience is clapping at the end. Will and Pragati Saikia sing ’Chaar Chaar Kadam’ from the movie ’PK’ in memory of Sushant Singh Rajput, a feel-good number thoroughly enjoyed by all. What a pity that the great actor only took ”˜Chaar Kadam’ leaving many fans sad with his untimely death last year. Aditi tells later that Amit, her husband is originally from Patna and had studied in the same school with Sushant’s younger sister, “We wanted to pay our tribute to Sushant!”

”˜Tere liye hum yun jiye har ansoo piye’ from Veer Zara is next sung beautifully by Aditi and Amit, musicians smile along giving company on instruments, the flute, the guitar, it’s a night of great selection of songs ”˜Kaise keh diya Alvida’ sung by Will from the movie ”˜Life In a Metro’ is next, accompanied by beautiful guitar. ”˜Mitwa’ from the movie ”˜Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna’ is another high note sung by Pragati with Aditi and Will singing ”˜Key Sera Sera’ audience reliving the energy of Madhuri Dixit and Anil Kapoor song. ‘Mere Dholna’ sung by Will and Aditi, quite a difficult rendition with multiple sargams at superfast speeds was entertaining. All of them then together sing ”˜Bharat humko jaan se pyara hai’, we are all thinking of India and fellow Indians, praying for the wellbeing of our families. It is a sad time and I think Aditi and her team have chosen very carefully the songs, her cheerful demeanor passes through us all, life does not stop and we must do all what we can to keep the morale high and help as much as through various means, charities or directly supporting our families back home. ”˜Khamashiyon’; ”˜Ooopar Khuda’; ”˜Mere Dholna’; ”˜Subhanallah’ ”˜Jo haal dil ka idhar ho raha hai’ ”“ amazing selection of songs. Audience includes Aditi’s teachers in Medha Pathak, Avijit Sarkar and Aparna Nagashayana. Aditi looks upto them for approval after each song, as if to seek their blessings, she says, “It has been years of training under them which started from home as my mum was a Sangeet Visharad.”

About the songs, “We have been working hard for the last eight months, so many rehearsals between us and with the musicians, we had many sessions to co-ordinate and achieve harmonious ensemble because we had chosen some semi classical numbers. One cannot just end up on the last day to sort out the accompaniments. It all involved hours of practice with the musicians and discussions with them. There is a lot of work that goes on in the lead up to the final performance.”

She adds, “This is why musicians were also enjoying along with us on stage. It created a great symphony amongst us. Moreover we were there since morning in the actual hall trying to work out the sound with Abdul. Sound to me is equally, rather very important for a good concert.”

Who decides about the wardrobe because the singers came differently dressed for the songs, outfits suited to the mood of the songs, “That also we worked on and decided what to wear and when. We looked at every aspect of the concert which helped and created a great chemistry between us. It was only possible because we were just four of us as singers. And with Avijit ji as my teacher, I have learnt a lot. Timing, songs, musicians, sound, pay attention to, it is as if you visualise everything to the minutest of details.”

On final note Aditi thanks the Sydney audience who not only want to be entertained but demand much more out of the concert and the artists. And also from the musicians, Abhijit Dan on Tabla, him accompanying Aditi taking the ragas on a high; Sadiq Rehmani with his guitar and providing background chorus that was required in some numbers; young Aahan Janveja sitting and playing his Cajone all the way never ever stopping and supporting his mum and dad is another future artist in the making; Shalen Nand on Bass Guitar ; Sanjesh Nand on Keyboard; Rakesh Swami on Drums; Vikas Pawar the flautist; Akber Alibhai on Keyboard; and of course Sanjiv Raja and Parag Tijoriwala on percussion. Three guitars played from different positions with Vir Chand as the lead guitarist added another dimension to the music.

Musicians stand in the back ground but definitely quite important in making a concert successful. Sydney is slowly building up a great orchestra of its own, artists, singers, helpers and volunteers. Perhaps we would like an orchestral performance by this talented set of Sydney musicians, the passion they have for the music and spend thousands of dollars on their instruments only because ”˜music is their life’. And Aditi knows that without their co-operation success of a concert is not possible.

Jashn 2.0 was a thoroughly enjoyable show, though I have one small regret that the senior citizens such as me who came in the 1970s and 60s do carry some old time nostalgia. Perhaps Satya Events should look into entertaining the pioneering Indians who settled here forty-fifty years ago and still unhe bhi ”˜Bharat bahut pyara hai’.

In the end audience is the best  judge, they enjoyed almost three dozen songs presented by Jashn 2.0 on the night. Obviously Jashn 3.0 is in the offing.

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