Sugar-n-Spice: A Musical Concert Of Songs By Mohammed Rafi And Asha Bhosle
(This article is sponsored by Masala Art)
Javed Wahid, an electrical engineer is a graduate of MIT and Harvard universities. Shrish Nimgaonkar, an entrepreneur is a graduate of Stanford and Harvard. Dr. Meena Sundaram is a cardiologist working at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Dr. Kumkum Malik is a Clinical Psychologist. Sankar Gangaikondan is the owner of a consulting IT company. Dr. Pradeep Shukla, a professor at Suffolk University is a graduate of Brandies University. On the outset it will appear that this article is about some symposium or a conference of some sort of a who’s who in the ivy league alumni, but that is not all what is common between them – all are ardent fans of classical/semi-classical and Bollywood music/songs – and last week together they put a musical show of songs rendered by Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle. The combination of the sweet voice of Rafi and the spicy voice of Asha the program was called “SUGAR and SPICE”. This program was presented by a group that goes by the name “KASHISH” founded by Shrish. Sujit Potdar provided the lighting and stage set up and also provided with some nice photographs for the evening.
Dr. Kumkum Malik was an effective emcee as she walked through the program effortlessly and appeared to be in complete control as well as enjoying every moment of it. She enlightened the audience with her knowledge about the songs rendered. In her own soft conversational style she introduced each singer and often threw a question at them when they were least expecting it. This amusing episode and style continued throughout the show, hence keeping the program lively, the audience enchanted and the performers on their toes.
Referring to them as iconic singers she noted that both Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle have sung the most number of duets. She explained, “Rafi sahab gets to know the actor for whom he will be the playback singer. That was his level of dedication - just to know the actor and immitate his moves and style so that would almost sound like the actor who is singing his song on the big screen.” She gave the example of the song “Sar Jo Tera Chakraye ya dil dooba jai” from the movie Pyaasa – “if you listen to the song closely it sounds like Johnny Walker is actually singing the song.”
For years Jawed Wahid has been hosting many such musical evenings at his residence. He also provides and manages the sound system. Jawed's affinity toward music started early in his life. His all time Bollywood favorite song from the film "Kohinoor" is "Madhuban mein Radhika nache re". This was the opening song that Shrish sang so nicely that it got the most applause that evening. Dr Meena Sundaram's love for Asha Bhosle was quite evident in her singing of her songs. That evening Meena sang her favorite songs of Asha one after another. When Meena is singing she does so from her heart when she is not singing she is tending to ailing hearts of her patients.
Sudha Subbaraman is a versatile singer. She managed to capture the audience with many of her songs, but the last song of the evening, "Dil Cheez kiya" was on the top.
The program was well attended. A total of 27 songs were sung that evening by the four local singers, including a ghazal by guest artste Dr. Pradeep Shukla. Meena Sundaram opened the musical evening with OP Nayar's hit from Howrah Bridge - Aaye Meherbaan.
Other notable renditions that were delivered that evening came from Sudha Subbaraman and Sankar. Pradeep Shukhla really put his heart into Bahadur Shah's ghazal, "Lagta Nahin hai dil mera" from the film Lal Qila. Many lovely duets were offered by Sudha and Sankar, Meena and Sankar, Sudha and Shirish and Meena and Shirish. People also enjoyed songs like; "Aakhon se jo utri hai dil mein" sung by Meena. The song "Deewana hua badal "by Sudha and Sankar got a good nod. Similarly, "O haseena zulfon wali" by Meena and Sankar and "Aaj ki raat mere dil ki salami lele" by Shiris were nicely done.
The singers were accompanied by Mark Thirman on the keyboards and guitar including Ishan Capila also on the guitar. Ishan originally from India played Rock when he was in India, but plays Bollywood in the USA - From Rockwood to Bollywood.
The last song of the evening came from the movie Umrao Jaan, "Dil Cheez kiya Hai" and that brought the spell bounding sugary and spicy evening to completion.
Proceeds from this event were donated to the LearnQuest Academy of Music.
By the way I have a masters in electrical engineer from McGill University.
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