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Monday, May 12, 2003

Ambassadors of Peace

Music indeed knows no boundaries. Yesterday, hundreds of Indian, Pakistani and Iranian fans among others, danced and partied to the wonderful tunes that were very passionately rendered by Adnan Sami, Asha Bhonsle and Sudesh Bhosle. No one cared who their neighbour was. Very contrasting to the sights we saw at the Cricket World Cup India-Pakistan match.

Asha Bhonsle was welcomed with a standing ovation. One that she richly deserves. She has been singing for movies since 1954, a career spanning nearly 50 years. Going by her dynamism, no one would have believed that she is around 70. She entertained the crowd with a mixture of her old and new numbers.

All hell broke lose when Adnan Sami stepped onto the stage. In spite of the many many many extra pounds he carries, he danced a bit and made sure the crowds followed him as well. He belted out songs mainly from his "Tera Chehara Kab Nazar Aye" album - an awesome collection of very passionately rendered songs. Adnan is a natural entertainer. I still remember him from over 12 years ago when he shared the stage with Zakir Hussain and the two ferociously fought each other; Adnan on the Piano and Zakir on the Tabla. It was good to see him still performing with admirable gusto.

Not to be outdone by the Adnanism, Sudesh Bhonsle returned for a second performance and had the crowd laughing through with his excellent mimicry of stars such as Sanjeev Kumar, Asrani, Prem, Mohd. Rafi et al.

It ended beautifully with Adnan getting the entire crowd on its feet and dancing to his tunes. An outstanding performance by the trio.

This was my second "live performance" after A R Rahman's show in Detroit. That one was stunning with some of the biggest names from the music world - S P Balasubramaniam, Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan, Mahalakshmi, Vasundara Das, Sukhwinder Singh, Sivamani, Sonu Nigam among others. I believe SPB has 35000 songs to his credit. I guess that would add upto 2000 CDs! Quite an achievement. One song that stood out was "Kadhal Rojave Engai Ni Engai" from the movie "Roja". He sang this in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu - all at once, seamlessly blended and so effortlessly; esp when he alternated lines in each of these languages! Amazing performance!!! And there was Hariharan's "Uyire Uyire, Vandhu Enoda Kalandhu Vidu" from the movie "Bombay" and Rahman's "Vellai Pookal" from "Kannathil Mutham Ittal". And my favorite Sivamani thundered away melodiously on the drums! Simply superb!


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