Enthralling classics further cause of education

Sudhir Urmi Tajmahal webMILPITAS, CA: The Foundation for Excellence (FFE) hosted a fundraiser concert Sunday June 18 at India Community Center (ICC), Milpitas. The organization, founded by Prabhu Goel, supports underprivileged youngsters in India to fulfill their dreams of becoming engineers and doctors.

The evening’s program was titled, “Yaadein: Down Memory Lane with Timeless Classics from 1940-2017″.

Jagruti Shah, a local radio jockey, was the emcee for the evening. To start off, slides were played to showcase the good work that FFE does. After the intermission, the touching stories of real scholars who have benefited from FFE scholarships were relayed.

The opening singer was Upender Kaul. The original artist to whom Kaul paid tribute to was other than the legendary actor-singer, K L Saigal, with”Mujhe Itna Bata De…” from the 1944 film, “My Sister”, and classics from “Street Singer” and “Zindagi”.

The evening was not just entertaining but also very informative. The organizers had put up a slide show on the screens to accompany the songs that displayed the film poster and photographs of the composers, lyricists and playback singers who are the unsung (pun unintended) heroes and heroines of film music.

Thus, one got to catch a glimpse of the faces of famous names ranging from composers – Salil Choudhary, Roshan, R D Burman, Anu Malik, Laxmikant Pyarelal and Jatin Lalit; lyricists – Majrooh Sultanpuri, Hasrat Jaipuri, Sahir Ludhianvi, Asad Bhopali, Rajendra Krishan, Anand Bakshi, Yogesh and Varun Grover; to singers – Mukesh, Rafi, Manna De, Talat Mahmood, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Kamal Barot, Kishore Kumar, Yesudas, Kumar Sanu and Monali Thakur.

The winner of last year’s “Voice of Bay Area” contest – a young girl named Amrita – along with two other young female singers, Shravya and Shreya, beautifully sang the famous prayer, “Ae Maalik Tere Bande Hum…”.

Shreya is the daughter of the organizer and director of the show, Sudhir Aravindan, a stellar singer himself.

His wife, Urmi Joshi, is a superb singer-performer, too, and she started off with the poignant romantic melody, “Yeh zindagi usi ki hai…” from “Anarkali”. Singer Nikita was next with a number from “Dastak”, starring the late actor, Sanjeev Kumar.

The timeless “Jo waada kiyaa woh nibhaana padegaa…” from the film, “Taj Mahal” followed.
Urmi shared an interesting tidbit that one of the upcoming oldies was inspired by Mozart. This was “Itna Na Mujhse Tu Pyaar Badha…” from the 1961 film, “Chhaya”.

Other songs that were featured from the 1960s era were:
“Saawan ka mahina pawan kare shor…” (film: “Milan”);”Abhi na jaao chhodkar…” from the Dev Anand-Sadhana starrer, “Hum Dono”; the female duet by Urmi and Nikita, “Hasta hua noorani chehra…” from “Parasmani” and the heartrending, “Jaane kahaan gaye woh din…” from the Raj Kapoor classic, “Mera Naam Joker”, performed by another FFE member.

The era slowly shifted to the 1970s and 80s. Jagruti spoke about the innocence of young love at 16,setting the mood for the next song by Urmi -“Ae Pyaar Teri Pehli Nazar Ko Salaam…” from the film, “Ek Duje Ke Liye”. The performance was so impactful that the audience asked for an encore and she obliged.

Sudhir took the audience into a jazz groove with”Zindagi…kaisi yeh paheli…” from the classic, “Anand”.Nikita and Urmi joined him, seguing the word, “Paheli” into the number, “Kaise Paheli Zindagaani…” from the 2005 film, “Parineeta”.

A tribute to Kishore Kumar followed with “Chalaa jaata hoon…kissi ki dhun mein…”with Sudhir yodeling in the latter’s trademark style, and the foot-tapping “Jaane man…jaane man…” from the Amol Palekar starrer, “Chhoti Si Baat” with Nikita.

The next Hindi film actor to be honored was the late Shammi Kapoor. Sudhir rendered “Dil Tera Deewana…” in a voice reminiscent of the actor’s boisterous innocence.

The audience started making requests and some began dancing in front of the stage. Sudhir referenced Shah Rukh Khan and he and Nikita sang “Tujhe Dekha to…” from the iconic”Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge”and a song starring Amitabh Bachchan, “Intehaan ho gayi…”.

The program wrapped up with Nikita’s phenomenal rendition of the more recent, classical ‘raag’ (Yaman) based “Moh Moh Ke Dhaage” and current hits such as”Channa Mereya…” and “London Thumakda”.

Lakshmi Iyer
India Post News Service

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