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Mona Daarrling: One Of Its Kind

Tahir Ali

(This article is sponsored by Masala Art)

"Shola jo bhadke dil mera dhadke" song from the movie 'Albela' beautifully rendered by Jolly Bhatia and Meenakshi as the two Priyas', Priti, Purbi, Shikha and Tina - the 'Dancing Divas of Boston' - brought down the house with their dazzling performance. That was the opening dance item of the show "Mona Daarrling". The Musical event was a brainchild of Bollywood dance teacher Shikha Bajpai. "This idea took one year in the making. Costumes were designed and ordered". The idea still needed a good director and a script writer, and that pointed to no other than Siraj Khan, who has a track record of producing and directing a string of successful musical events in Massachusetts for over a decade now. With Meena Sundaram and Jawed Wahid handling the sound track and sound engineering, the event was destined to be a resounding hit.

For the rest of the evening the people were musically glued to their seats. Never a dull moment as they say. The next number sung by Shubra "Pyar karne wale jeetein shaan se" that revealed Gauri Chandna's stage talent, along with her mcee capability as she kept the audience engaged between performances. The dancing Divas once again kept the audience enthralled with one performance after another, dancing to the songs "Karle pyar karle ke din hein yehi" beautifully sung by Meena, and "jawani janeman haseen dilruba" by Nayanika. There were also single acts performed by each dancer on songs like "Gulabi ankhen" sung by Pankaj Shah acted out by Sonal. "Babujee dheere/ dil ko hazar bar" by Sonal and Vandana and Shubra's solo on "Jhoom jhoom ke jaam choomke". Shikha apparently was not sure what she got herself into as she acted out on the song: "Dayya ye mein kahan aa Phansi" rendered by Meenakshi.

Besides the song and dance there were two add-on, that took the event to a different level. Jolly Bhatia played the role of the famous villain Ajit, known for his suave mannerisms, crisp and humorous dialogues. Bhatia's performance was nothing short of phenomenal, Hats off to him. He was so great that even Ajit himself would have been proud to see him in action. Farooq Ansari mentioned in the introduction that Ajit was never a success as a hero, but became more famous when he took the roles of villain. The jokes were hilarious and the entire cast and crew were playing multiple roles in the concert. Siraj himself played multiple roles, acting, song introductions and wearing four costumes in all. Talking about role reversal, Siraj Khan who dressed up as OP Nayyar, the famous musical composer and director, introduced Shikha not only as the dancing diva but also as a singer and she proved it as well when she sang "Kaisi paheli hai ye kaisi".

The song Darling /Senorita, introduced the 7th dancing diva:Shilpa. The 'magnificent seven' danced away into the wee hours of the night and no one seemed to be in a rush to leave either. Shikha also gave an applauding solo performance on the song "Rangeela re" - She was later joined by Sije , a Chinese diva, and both performed the love triangle on "Tumko pia dil diya itne naaz se" sung by Nayanika and Rageshree. Jolly Bhatia kept requesting Gauri Chandna to stop ignoring him in his melodious voice singing, "Thoda ruk jayegi to tera kia jaega"

The Dancing divas were back on the stage as Meena and Pankaj sang, "Piya tu ab to aaja" - and then performing on a Medley of old and new combination of songs. The performance of Sije as a belly dancer really came as a big pleasant surprise. Albeit for some skin showing as is expected in belly dancing, the performance can be characterized as naughty but decent. I could see a few parents trying very hard in distracting their young ones, yet keeping their eyes on the stage.

The event was one of its kind. There has been no event even close to it. Guari Chandna handled the stage brilliantly. She kept the momentum going and filled in the gaps whenever needed. The combination between Siraj and his singing troupe, Great acting by Jolly a/k/a Ajit, Pankaj as Robert, Hassan as Michael, Siraj as the Shaikh AlFaeda, Vendana as Julie, Nayanika as Lilly and Farooq Ansari as the Russian agent, Seema Arora played Mona Darling, and performances by Shikha and the dancing Divas - all were prize winning performances.

(Photo Credit: Manoj Panicker )

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