June 01, 2009


Rahman's concert in Pune

Over a long period of time, as your memories fade and only the prominent ones remain stuck adamantly. But even these memories are mostly remembered in a single evening. Last evening was one such evening. It was Rahman performing live in Pune for the first time. There were enough event management problems, which I am sure, nobody will care to remember after few years. I see many finding themselves at loss of words to describe how great the show was. But I am simply underwhelmed by the show. I liked the show in parts, but I wasn't elated while walking out few minutes before the end.

Well, there were enough good singers with some marquee names like Hariharan performing there. Of course, that is apart from the man himself, who sang beautifully and vividly. Yet, listening entire Delhi 6 album, with liberal sprinkling of Ghajini, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Slumdog Millionaire is not enough for it to etch in my heart. I am not sure which tastes he meant to cater by missing out on Lagaan, Dil Se (only the title song was performed by the man himself), Swades, Rang De Basanti, Yuva, or even Yuvvraj. He sang two beautiful sufi qawwalis - Khwaja (Jodhaa Akbar) and Maula (Delhi 6), but then he missed out my personal favourite Piya Haji Ali (Fiza) which arguably is one his best composition. Overall, the mood of the programme was fast-paced with little room for sombre music. But then what about Chhaiyya Chhaiyya which has achieved a level of popularity no other song has touched in last decade? Or was it the case that Sukhwinder Singh, Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik were not available?

There was another thing which bothered me a lot. It was not a music programme but an entertainment show. With all the fancy stage, lots of painstaking lighting arrangement, dozens of dancers occupying the stage, it was palpable that the show was more for the pleasures of eyes than ears. That made it look like a filmfare award ceremony gone wrong as there were no Katrina Kaifs dancing on the stage. I would have been so much happier to if the performance was sans all the glamour and glitz. I guess, I fall into a minority (or a small cult) which demands such things from music.

Nevertheless, my love for Rahman's music has not diminished a bit.


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