The Hindi Retro was a memory trip for the audience as Srinivas, Haricharan, Chinmayi and Shweta recreated the magic of golden era of Hindi cinema music

It was a celebration of melody on Sunday evening at the Ravindra Bharathi as four young persons teamed up to recreate some vintage songs from Hindi cinema to bring down the curtains on the Hyderabad edition of The Hindu's Friday Review November Fest.

Srinivas, Haricharan, Chinmayi and Shweta Mohan had the audience humming, singing along and finally dancing as the traversed the breadth of Hindi cinema songs from K.L. Saigal's Mein kya janu kya (1940) to Hum Dono's Abhi na jao (1961) to the qawwali Parda hai parda from Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). Interspersed with some numbers that had classical roots to the improvisations by Kishore Kumar and R.D. Burman, the foursome sang nearly 30 songs from Hindi cinema for over two hours. “The songs we perform are from Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar,” said Srinivas as a preamble for the programme.

Srinivas started the journey with Saigal's evergreen Mein kya janu and warmed up with Tere mere sapney. Backed by a superb orchestral support, where one of the team members even created a version of the sound of sarangi with digital instrument for the song from Pakeezah, it was a trip back in time. Chinmayi, who recently sang the funky Kilimanjaro in the blockbuster Robot, was a revelation as she regaled the audience with Pakeezah's Tharey rahiyo.

“You don't have to have a classical training. You just need to rehearse and you are ready to go,” said Haricharan before he sang the duet from Hum Dono (1961) Abhi na jao which is based on a Hindustani classical raag.

Be it the sedate string of everyday words from Amar Prem Hey kya hua kaisa hua kab hua, to the intricately lyrical Patthar ki haaveli ko, sheeshe ke gharaundon mein, tinakon ke nasheman tak penned by Gulzar for Aandhi (1975) to the mischievous Badan pey sitarey; Srinivas, Haricharan, Chinmayi and Shweta Mohan sang and jived to music from Hindi films when melody was king.

Chinmayi teamed up with Shweta for the funky Kajra mohabatwala from Kismet to create the ephemeral magic of high-timbre Shamshad Begum and playful Asha Bhonsle. The groovy Mera naam chin chin choo, Howrah Bridge (1958) sang by Chinmayi marked the switch from slow melodious numbers to uptempo groovy ones as Srinivas and Haricharan sang Mehbooba mehbooba (Sholay) which had few members from the audience in the aisle dancing with their handkerchiefs in the air.

The trip back in time ended after nearly two and half hours with the audience on its feet for Aja aja mein hu pyaar tera (Teesri Manzil) where one of the members from audience joined the singers on stage and then the whole auditorium was on its feet with hands in the air for Jai jai shiv shankar (Aap ki Kasam).

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