Friday, April 23, 2004

Asha Bhosle Live in Dubai : April 22nd 2004

Magic of Asha Bhosle in Dubai: April 22nd 2004 : Convention Hall , World Trade center

Few months ago when I saw the announcement of Asha Live Show in one of the magazines , I was determined to be in Dubai on this day but enthusiasm dried after seeing A. R. Rahman Live show in Dubai that was organized and publicized on wider scale but devoid of acoustic finesse which separate live symphony from cacophony orchestra. Apprehension remained till I heard Asha on previous day on FM. She was asked if she had been to this auditorium. She said in positive and rated highly for its impeccable environ and architecture. Moreover, this place was built specially for IMF meeting. Knowing Dubai’s rulers’ penchant to build everything grand and immaculate, Place must surely be something befitting undisputed queen of Indian music.

An entry to the auditorium quickly displaced all fear as I managed to get place within striking distance. Stage flanked by two TV screens and with seating arrangement running almost parallel. It was grandeur at its best, unlike the symphony auditorium with galleries along the hall but spacious enough for every seat to get bird’s eye view of the stage. Right in front of me was sound management consoles driven by laptop. I knew it would be high class show similar to Lata’s I had witnessed years ago.

The audience comprised mainly middle aged music connoisseurs who came early to grab coveted seats. I was hoping to see the auditorium filled upto brim and as an appointed hour crept it started filling up. It was nice to see the show starting on dot. There was no curtain raiser as stage was open and within settling down of musicians Asha appeared amidst backdrop of typical RD background score. This lady looks younger by every year she advances. She wore spanking white –silver sari and arm band that would make shy of local Arabic woman! The introduction was as musical as one would get with words woven around musical genius of RD score.

Asha started with tribute to Gulzar +RD with: Roz Roz Aankhon Tale ! from movie Jeeva (hardly any of us would remember this movie) followed by “Katra Katra Milti Hai” !!! (Izazat) and “Bechara Dil Kya Kare”! A dig at Ravindra Jain’s faux pax at politics promptly followed with recognition to his musical talents resulted in “Sajna Hai Mujhe Sajna Ke Liye”.
By then, young hearts were getting restless with desire to see Asha in feet tapping score. Mood was swiftly swayed by Kambakht Ishq (Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya). Asha has had two of her numbers top the charts in the past two years - Kambhakt ishq and Khallas who could say that Asha has turned 70 recently!!!

With “Muttu kudi”… Amitkumar arrived on stage a white salwaar kurta with a maroon jacket and wearing spects- it was like Kishoreda in reincarnation. Their chemistry started yielding results with Pehle Pehle Pyaar Ki (The great Gambler) followed by “Thandi Hawa Yeh Chaandni Suhaani” . She let Amit to take care of solo singing .He promptly complied with Bade Achhe Lagte Hai!! Now with Kishorda’s histrionics it peaked with Raama O Raama !! Amit started with “Aapke Kamre Mein Koyi (Yadoon Ki Barat) and Asha had compliment to make it duet. Now it was Asha’s turn for second innings and she had audience in trance with Dum Maao Dum !!…followed by Teri meri yaari badi purani(Charitraheen).
Then came a light hearted part of Asha when she mimicked “Kabhi To NazarMilaao” in Noorjehan’s voice followed by Lata and Gulam Ali. One could see traces of her mischievous traits in her gestures and mannerisms perfected to the minutest !! This was capped by her unplugged version of CD with just her voice with piano.
It was time to climb down from heightened ecstasy to serious somber melody. This came in the form of “Sarakti Jaaye Hai Rukh Se Naqaab “– as song gets over… she slowly started taking her ‘difficult growing up years of naqaab ‘ by narrating her struggle in ruthless and fierce world. What better song than “Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Dosto” would have summed her feelings?
Her tribute to her father came with Shoora Mee Vandile – alaap in tortuous forms making people squirm to admire her sheer lung power and depth of her classical repertoire.
To make sure that local flavor get recognition, Notes and instruments were tuned to make “Mera Pyaar Shaalimaar'' in Arabic version. All we needed was a belly dancer, to take us to Pharaoh’s land.

Her nostalgic memories of Kishorda’s took her in narrating composition scene of “O Nigaahein Mastana” with Asha giving background aalap with Kishor (here amit) rendering this memorable number. Tempo picked up with “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” but now it was turn of amit to show his solo skills with “Phoolon Ke Rang Se” with anecdotes of Kishorda and SD Burman.
Asha in her finale started with introduction of her musical co-artists -- some of them have been accompanying her in their three generations. Conductor was Mukesh Parmar- Yanni look alike. Musical geniuses solo skills from these artists were soon transformed into harmony of medley woven with Rabba Rabba ( Mansoon Wedding), Reshmi Salwaar Kurta Jaali, Shehri Baabu Dil Lehri Baabu, only to reach crescendo with Kajra Mohabbat waala,

It was stroke of midnight and one could see Asha being as vivacious and chirpy as when it began. Had it not been for respect for regulations , audience would have been just too happy to go all night along.

As people retraced back with mind and heart filled with every melody, thoughts flashed to some of her memorable songs which missed out only due to constraint of time factor. Like Aaiye meherbaan (Howrah Bridge), Aao huzur tumko (Kismat) Chain se hum ko kabhi (Praan Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye), Aage bhi jaane na tu in Waqt

Though epic show slip into a memory but whose freshness and vitality will remain forever for years to come.

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