Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Puraani Yaadein

Today, August 15, 2007 marks the 60th Anniversary of India's Independence from the Britishers. For this special occasion, I got to attend a very melodious musical program "Puraani Yaadein" performed by Swarkinnari group (Mumbai) on the evening of Tuesday, August 14th. Again, the artists of the group included singers Bhanubhai Vora, Triptiben Chhaya and Kamlesh Barot. On tabla was Sujit Vandur, dholak was played by Sundeep Salgaonkar, electronic drums were played by Bindesh Pande and Deepak Bhavsar on electronic keyboard.

There were less people in the audience compared to the audience during the dairo, for Tuesday being a week night, but the audience was very enthusiastic and there were practically no children so very well behaved for the program. The artists truly enjoyed performing and were communicating more comfortably, with ease with the audience members. The main theme of program was not decided as this evening was arranged by the coordinators only on Sunday night. The artists were given freedom to perform what they wished and what the audience wanted, which was mainly golden oldies of Hindi Film Music and desh-bhakti geet for 15th August. All of these made the whole evening more pleasant and enjoyable.

The evening began with Deepakbhai playing instrumentals of a couple of songs raat ke humsafar and kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya and then Vighneshwaraaya Vardaaya Surapriyaaya... was sung by Triptiben to start the songs.

This was followed by the prayer song aye maalik tere bande hum by the entire team. It was a performance that gave me goose pimples.

The theme of very first round of songs was patriotic songs. Kamleshbhai sang hai preet jahaan ki reet sadaa starting with the sheyr jab zero diya mere bhaarat ne.... Such beautiful patriotic song it was! This was followed by aye mere pyaare watan and immortal aye mere watan ke logon by Triptiben. Jahaan daal daal par sone ki chidiya by Kamleshbhai was simply awesome.

The organizers' son is getting married soon so Bhanubhai talked of how the best time that a couple spends together is the time between their engagement and marriage. Along with a lot of funny jokes on this topic and some valuable advices, he talked about the fun times shared between a couple during this courtship period. On this theme, Triptiben sang afsaana likh rahi hoon from film Dard (1947). Kamleshbhai continued to sing on the same theme with Kishore Kumar's phoolon ke rang se dil ki kalam se. It was simply amazing! Near the end of the song with help of fantastic music from Deepakbhai, he switched to yet another Guru gem from Padosan, tum hi to laayi ho jeewan mein mere pyaar pyaar pyaar... kehna hai kehna hai aaj tumse yeh pehli baar. That's when I realized that both the songs are based on the same raag pahadi. Two evergreen duets, again in same raag, sung by Triptiben and Kamleshbhai were sau saal pehle mujhe tumse pyaar tha and jo wada kiya woh nibhaana padega. And I didn't even realize when Triptiben started din saara guzaara tore angna... mere yaar shabba khair right in between the music of jo wada kiya woh. It was fabulous! The audience joined in singing this song with her.

Since pious month of Shravan has started on Monday, everyone was eager to sing some bhakti geet for Shankar bhagwan and other Gods. After Bhanubhai talked of the significance and importance of this holy month and how he was very happy that Indians in America have tried their best in keeping their culture alive so far away from India. Triptiben sang prayer song of Jhulelaal ho laal meri... damadum mast kalandar followed by a devotional qawwali song Shirdi wale Saibaba aaya hai tere dar pe sawaali from Amar Akbar Anthony by Kamleshbhai. Then was a turn for a prayer to Lord Shiva. Triptiben and team sang bam bam Shiv laheri. A prayer to Jalaram bapa jholi meri bhar de beda paar kar de per audience's request was sung by all three singers.

Then started the round of all time favorites. The reality of life was portrayed in the kasme waade pyaar wafa sab waade hai by Kamleshbhai. And the evergreen aaja sanam madhur chandni mein hum was a duet by both singers followed by Noor Jehan's aawaaz de kahaan hai duniya meri jawaan hai by Triptiben. Kamleshbhai then sang chaudhwin ka chaand ho and audience was taken back some 47 years to golden era of romance and black & white films. Then came melancholic song by Kamleshbhai tum na jaane kis jahaan mein kho gaye depicting the lonesomeness felt by a lover.

By this time it was almost 11 PM and the artists were ready to sing their last round of songs based on raag bhairavi but audience won't let them. More and more requests were being made and so finally the artists gave in. I thought it was very nice of them to keep the program going for additional 40+ minutes when they also had to catch an early 6 AM flight to Houston, TX the next morning.

Bhanubhai talked about many philosophical topics including the time when our soul wants to buy new clothes meaning move to a new body and leave the old one behind. Kamleshbhai sang pankhiDa ne aa pinjaru to convey this message in a poetry.

Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hai was sung for all the newly weds and people who are soon going to be married. Kamleshbhai did full justice to the song and audience couldn't stop applauding after listening to him. Then started the last round of new favorite songs including tujhe dekh dekh sona... jiya dhadak dhadak jaaye and lagan lagi tum se man ki lagan and everyone's favorite chand sifarish jo karta hamari... subhan allah. Audience went crazy for the last song there! Triptiben and Kamleshbhai sang jaise Radha ne mala japi Shyam ki and a Gujarati song taara re naam no chhedyo ektaaro... hu taari Meera tu Girdhar maaro. Actually the last Gujarati song was based on raag bhairavi and continued into tu ganga ki mauj main jamuna ka dhara.

The program concluded with patriotic songs of aye watan mehboob mere tujhpe dil qurbaan hai... hum jiyenge aur marenge aye watan tere liye, dil diya hai jaan bhi denge and mile sur mera tumhara. I was really hoping they would sing the national anthem jana gana mana but unfortunately they chose not to sing. I had to feel satisfied with what I had already listened to. :-)

It was a great musical evening full of memorable songs! A good job well done, Swarkinnari group.

Vande Mataram! Jai Hind! Wishing a very Happy Independence Day to all Indians all over the world.

"Puraani Yaadein" Function Photos

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