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Cry Fundraiser - A Mastani Shaam

Maddie Phadke

(This article is sponsored by Masala Art)

The CRY fundraiser organized by CRY Boston & RangManch ‘Yeh Shaam Mastani‘ rekindled the magic of the legend Kishore Kumar on Sept 8th, 2012. It celebrated the life of the legend on his 25th death anniversary.

The evening proved to be a very ‘Mastani Shaam’ indeed! The Keefe Tech Auditorium was filled to capacity (480 persons) with KK fans wanting to hear their favorite songs. The event started at 6:15 pm with a short AV of Kishore Kumar, which captured all aspects of his life. The first song of the evening was ‘ Yeh Shaam Mastani’ by Parag Joshi.  The first half of the evening was a mix of the 1950s charm (Jhumroo, Mana Janab Ne, Paanch Rupaiya) and the beauty of the 1970s (Is Mod Se Jaate Hain, Aanewala Pal, Wada Karo).  The quality of the music was very high- musicians & the singers were flawless.

This was followed by a segment of fast songs hosted by the dynamic & energetic host committee duo- Ranjani Saigal & Eshani Shah. They entertained everyone with their witty banter and had everyone on up on their feet, dancing to ‘Ye Jawani Hai Diwani, Khaike Paan Banaraswala & Dekha Na Hai Re’!

This segment set the stage on fire!! A false fire alarm went off during this segment & the auditorium was evacuated. This prompted an early dinner break by the organizers. The food was by Chinese Mirch and was served by the super-efficient CRY volunteers. They also had a pre-event snack stall & also ‘Kulfi’ for dessert.

The second half of the event started with the CRY America presentation. Shefali Sunderlal, the CEO of CRY America, spoke passionately about the CRY America & its mission.  In 10 years CRY America has impacted the lives of 411,359 children across 2,254 slums & villages.  And it aims to impact an additional 100,000 lives by 2012.

Dr Manju Sheth, the Guest of Honor who is an advocate of women’s & children’s rights, gave an inspiring talk about the importance of charity. Quoting Nelson Mandela, she said “There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children’.

A Rajesh Khanna tribute was next. A Rajesh Khanna AV was followed by Mr Harish Dang’s moving eulogy to Rajesh Khanna. He quoted the famous line immortalized by Rajesh Khanna, from the movie Anand. The segment consisted of Rajesh Khanna hits like – Chingari koi Badke, Mere Sapno Ki Rani & a medley of Rajesh Khanna songs.

One of the highlights of this event was Parag Joshi’s “Aake Seedhi Lagi’. He sang both the female & the male lead in this duet! And to everyone’s utter delight, he was dressed half like a woman & half like a man.

Many more Kishoreda hits were a part of the amazing tribute event- Mere Naina, Haal Kaisa, Chala Jaata Hoon, Aap Ki Ankhon Mein, Jaane Jaan to name a few.

The amazingly talented male-singers of YSM were- Parag Joshi, Raghu Saranathan & Jayant Bhawalkar. They each brought a different flavor of Kishoreda. Shraddha Agrawal & Meena Sundaram’s mellifluous voices completed the duets. One of the unique aspects of this event was the live band- all the songs were performed to a live orchestra! The superstars of this event were the outstanding musicians- Nikhil Pendharkar, Manish Kurup, Shridhar Ganapuram, Nate Jakes, Bharat Lagu & Sujeet Phanse. The guest singer, Mohan Subramaniam brought back memories of Rajesh Khanna in Amar Prem.

The MCs of the evening- Preetesh Shrivastava, Jharna Madan & Durgesh Vaidya added magic to the evening with their charm & wit. They had the audience in splits with their jokes & mimicry!

Preetesh& Jharna effortlessly pulled off a brilliant set-up, when they seemingly called a member of the audience on the stage to sing a Kishore number. It was one of their singers, Jayant Bhawalkar, who sang ‘Jhumroo’!! They even had a little competition segment- they split the crowd into two teams & had them sing “haal Kaisa Hai Janb Ka’. It was a great way for the audience to get involved & they loved it!

Dev Anand, Ashok Kumar, Iftekar, Amitabh Bachan & Saif Ali became a part of YSM due to Durgesh Vaidya’s hilarious mimicry! His mimicry skits kept the audience wanting more!

And bringing this music to the audience was Mr Jawed Wahid. And the lights were by Sujit Potdar

All good things must come to an end & so did the ‘Yeh Shaam Mastani’ evening. Months of hardwork & perseverance of all the participants was evident. The singers, musicians, MCs, host-committee, the organizers- RangManch (Madhavi Phadke & Vaishali Sabnis), the CRY Boston team- they all came together to make this a super successful, sold-out event! It was a wonderful event for a wonderful cause.

‘Chalte Chalte, mere ye geet yaad rakhana, kabhi alvida na kehena, abhi alvida na kehana…’

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