TOI has started “Times Pune Festival” featuring a number of cultural programs as in live performance by various artists [Shankar Mahadevan, Wadali Brothers, Hariharan, Shivani Kashyap,Pandit Jasraj,Pentagram], plays [Wedding Album,Tumhari Amrita], cooking classes in various upscale hotels & many other fun activities from 17th-25th Jan,09. Yesterday, my room-mates & I went to the live performance of Shankar Mahadevan at SSPMS ground & returned completely satiated.
I had already taken the passes from the TOI office as soon as they had come out…the good news was that they were free :). The concert was from 7pm onwards & I was debating how early we [Raghav & me…Anuj & Hemant had classes & were supposed to arrive as soon they were free] should leave so as too have a good view & not have to wait too long for the concert to start. So we left at 6.30pm & were there by 6.50pm [No way was the concert going to start at 7….here everything runs on Indian Standard Time!!].
Reaching there was the easy part…getting all the way in on the bike, to the parking was frustrating. Traffic police was trying hard to keep the two way traffic moving in the one-lane-wide road. Adding to my nerves was the fact that the line to the entrance gate was over a kilometer long & no I am not exaggerating[checked my milometer!]. After navigating through absolute chaos, swearing at the guy in the red santro [he got out in the middle of the road & said isse aage nahi jayenge!! Wanted to thump him on the head :(], managing not to fall into the big khaddas & not skidding out of control on the loose gravel that was sprinkled about I finally managed to find a place & park.
Thankfully there were multiple entrances to the ground & we got in pretty quick once we were in que [though not before trying to barge our way in, in true hindustani fashion! :)…the security guards were alert though & told us that there was a que]. Inside I was dismayed to see that the place seemed to be half full already, but it turned out that a portion was barricaded for VIP’s…yup the front rows. The concert had not started yet [as predicted :)] & we started to scout for a good position to get a proper view. Being below the national average in height most of the ppl were taller than us…one of the rare times I cursed my luck for being short [I curse my luck a lot but not for my height :)…there are worse things out there!!].There were ample number of screens in the ground, but agar screen par hi dekhna tha toh could have downloaded the whole show on the net, live show ka maza toh stage se hi milega!. Kismat se I found a little mound…it was high enough[a couple of inches ]so that we could just see over the tops of the ppl infront of us. We could only have seen something if we were right next to the barricade, or a little higher. Since the barricade was already teetering with the weight of the ppl on it, we decided to stay on the mound. Again, thankfully, the VIP’s were seated, so we only had a couple of heads to look over. Throughout the jumping/jostling I never gave up my “perch”.
The concert started at 7.20, beginning with a couple of dance performances by the Asterix group, building the anticipation. Finally Shankar made his way on stage…sendind the crowd into a tizzy. He opened with the title track of “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom” [with us jhooming along ]& followed it up with “Dil Chahta Hai”[The audience sang 25% of the song!]. Kudos to Shankar on his performance & his skills as an entertainer. He constantly roped in the audience, encouraging them to match him, joking around, always taking asking for more enthusiasm,dedicating”Pretty Woman” from “Kal Ho Na Ho” to all the pretty women of pune…*applaudes*. He unleashed his whole arsenal of tricks, manipulating the music, touching extraordinary crescendos, switched from bollywood to classical effortlessly & at one time engaging the audience in a musical duel, making us want more.
The audience response probably spurred him on & we were not complaining!! We sang till we were hoarse, & the singing became more of yelling, danced till our legs became numb & ucchal uchaal kar bhoochal le aai!!
Along with him there were other singers/budding artists who also gave a fantastic performances.Akriti sang “Johnny Gaddar” and “Sajna Pe Vaari Vaari” from “Honeymoon Travels”. The dancing troupe that shook a leg [& a lot more!!] to his rhythmic voice was inthralling, with precise co-ordination producing beautiful dance forms. There were 3 other artists from various talent hunt shows also shared the stage with Shankar & were quite entertaining.
(Credit for embedded pics:Aparna Subramanian)
Nearing the end, “Aaj Ki Raat” was sung by Akriti, Anusha and Mahadevan.The concert concluded, fittingly, with him performing “Breathless”…& we were exactly that:Breathless
Songs that made the audience go wild
-Don: He asked the audience to sing the line “mujko pechcaan lo…” & we responded with gusto!
-“Mitwa” “from Kabhi Alvida Na”: We were to sing the Mitwa in the chorus. Though barely in tune, we stepped up to the challenge!
-“Ma” from “Taare Zameen Par”: Emotions ran high in this tearjerker..
-“Kajrare”: Almost everybody was up on their feet dancing!
-“Pichle Saat Dino mein”:Everybody became a rockstar in this track…
At first tried I to record vids of the performance, but like a fool having a forgotten my camera at home, all we had were our cell phones. The distance & the darkness prohibited any good photography/Videography. In the end I made a sound recording of some of the songs.
Here they are:
- “Mast Kalandar & music sync.mp3“>Challenging the musicians & peforming “Mast Kalandar” from “Heyy baby”
- “party tonight.mp3“>”Where’s the party tonight” from “KANK”
- “Kajarare.mp3“>”Kajrare” from Bunty & Bubli
- “Pichle Saat Dinon Mein.mp3“>”Pichle Saat Dinon Mein” from “Rock On”
The pictures are not something to brag about, but ab photo kheeche hain toh dikhainge kyon nahi?!
if the above link does not work try this:Photos
The concert lasted for 3 hrs…though we were standing the whole time, the music never let us feel tired. Kood Kood kar paseene mein bheeg gai they, par khoob maza aaya. Once the concert was over, then bhook & pyaas hit us…hard. The last meal we had eaten was at 2pm, so we went to JM & had dinner at Shiv Sagar[ Thoda zyada hi kha liya ;)]
Reached home at 12, completely beat, but as I had said before, fully satiated.
We are probably going to Hariharan’s performance on the 24th.
Till later ✌