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SubDrift Boston Arranges Open Mic Program

Geetha Patil

Subcontinental Drift (SubDrift), Boston chapter arranged an amazing open mic program for the South Asian talented people of New England area to show case their artistic brilliance and skillfulness on Friday, September 23, 2016, at East Meets West (EMW) Bookstore, a community space in Central Square from 8:00pm to 11:00pm. The program was very actively and meticulously organized by the well-known Boston based Indian classical musicians and art lovers Mr. Michael Dwan Singh and Mr. Aditya Nochur who work tirelessly to patronize South Asian music, art, culture and science in the US and beyond.

Mr. Aditya Nochur with a big smile of his face welcomed amiably all the participants and audience of the floor to their monthly ‘Friday Open Mics’ event. “We are back in action for the fall, which is known as a second spring season when every leaf becomes a flower and let us put together some festive events with talented artists for you.  For this open mic we were excited to return to the EMW Bookstore that has a long history as an Asian-American bookstore and a center for creative art, technology, and activism.  This Bookstore provided critical support to SubDrift Boston when we were first getting started four years ago and for a long time we did our open mics at the Bookstore, so this Friday night feels like a really nice homecoming for us! SubDrift, Boston is a part of the national movement that took place for building creative community amongst local South Asians. Through our regular open mics and other programs, we create space for powerful artistic expressions and collaborations” he said very proudly. He also thanked EMW Bookstore for offering their cute and cozy venue decorated with some unique art pieces free for this event.

Mr. Nochur made an announcement about their upcoming grand event very enthusiastically. He said that the SubDrift Boston community is looking forward to its ‘Hindie Rock Fest’ to be held at the Central Square YMCA on October 14-15, which will showcase many artists of South Asian descent (including several who performed on this Friday) on a larger stage before hundreds of people.  Hindie Rock Fest is drawing performers and audience members from all over the country, highlighting the prominent role, Boston plays in the national South Asian arts, culture, and scene.  This is the third incarnation of Hindie Rock Fest and the first time we have made it a two-day festival, which shows how our movement to build creative spaces for our communities continues to grow and strengthen. He also cordially invited all the audience to come and participate in the event.

The hidden talents of the artists manifested in myriad forms and colors as a crowd of more than 60 people cheered them up. Participants’ melodious singing of classical and non-classical songs, playing of different instruments, readings of poetry and short stories made the audience to show their appreciation and welcome them with big rounds of applause. The audience of the event had a unique opportunity to experience some unusual presentations. As special highlights of the program, they listened to the poems of Bāṇabhaṭṭa, a 7th-century Sanskrit prose writer and poet of India.  The reading of Sanskrit poems by Mr. Anand made the audience to feel the classical melodies of the language and how one’s entire body mind consciousness is moving into a state of balance. Mr. Anand is an academician but interested in Sanskrit poetry reading and writing. He also read two of his Sanskrit poems. Sanskrit the classical and sacred language of Hinduism, is the oldest and the most systematic and sweetest language in the world made the audience more vibrant and animated at its richness. Another mesmerizing performance of Indian classical vocal music 'Payal Mori Baaje' by Mr. Aditya made the audience to give him huge cheers. The melody of Aditya’s voice as he sings is spellbinding. Rajna and Shireen also gave a wonderful performance of Qawwali.

Mr. Ali Akhtar from Portland, Maine sang two songs in Rock style and amused the audience profoundly with his sweet voice. Mr. Naman expressed his thoughts in his poem on the pain and sufferings experienced by people during the partition of India and Pakistan which took the audience’s mind back into the history and get the glimpses those sore moments. Audience relished Hindi poetry on the fall season by Mrs. Neena Wahi that described the colors of the season and talks among the trees and their attitudes. Hindi language has really great words that provide good feeling to our emotions as audience were saying wow, wow to her reading. Isaiah’s Rapp song in the form of dialogue with the audience was amazing as the audience were adding their response through their claps. Rishi, Pranav, Zian, Jayati, Salwa Tareen and many others along with the first timers and seasoned artists displayed the talents in front of the audience and grabbed their appreciation.
“I am amazed not only by the diversity of talents exhibited on a small stage by the busy South Asian professionals and students but also by their expertise and elegance” said one of the audience at the event.

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