Ravindra Bharathi came alive with two hours of pure melody by Monsorate Brothers for The Hindu Friday Review November Fest.

At 7.25 p.m. the seats were empty, but within five minutes Ravindra Bharathi was packed to full capacity as the opening event of ‘The Hindu Friday Review November Fest’ unfolded with the Monsorate Brothers on stage, exactly on time.

As the Monsorate Brothers did an instrumental mash-up of some of the best Kishore Kumar melodies, the auditorium reverberated to thunderous applause, whistles and cheers. This gave the performers a fair idea of what to expect from the crowd.

“I was told people in Hyderabad are clued into their music and have a sharp ear. We are glad to be playing to such a wonderful crowd who will only settle for the best,” Ronnie Monsorate told the excited audience.

Without wasting any time, they began playing and just as they were beginning with the opening music, the crowd clapped and called out, Pal pal dil ke paas. As the piece progressed and the band along with the singer took us on a Blackmail trail, one had only to close the eyes to picturise young Dharmendra singing to a coy Rakhee.

The crowd swayed and tapped their feet and some hummed along. Dedicating the evening to late Kishore Kumar, the Monsorate Brothers revealed that during one of his recording sessions with them, the late playback singer had commented, “I wish I was as dedicated and disciplined a musician as you all are. I will always repent that I cannot play many instruments.”

The showmanship of the band was also evident in its unique connect with the crowd. Encouraging the claps and whistles of appreciation, they also introduced individual members of the band who were in turn warmly applauded by the audience.

Each time the trumpet and the saxophone rendered their pieces, it gave goosebumps as if to say Dil yeh kehta hai along with the singers.

The band had three singers who each had their own style of rendering Kishore Kumar’s hits and made everyone fall in love as they sang Pyar manga hai tumhi se. Singers Ananya Bhowmick and Kiran Shembekar ‘taught English’ to the audience as they sang C-A-T cat, cat maane billi.

The evening flowed on with the singers belting out one song after another, interspersed with instrumentals. The audience had several requests, and the band obliged as they played Zindagi ke safar mein, O Hansini, Kitne bhi tu kar le sitam.

One of the singers, an opthalmologistby profession, announced free eye treatment for correct guesses of the songs to be sung but soon called it off as he joked, “at this rate I would go out of business”.

The band saved the best, peppy numbers for the end. If Julie I love you from Juliemade an elderly couple sing to each other in one corner, the next moment the son was clapping and singing to Bachna aeo haseeno. Then came the hilarious number Ek chatur naar which was picturised on Kishore Kumar and Sunil Dutt in Padosan Ek chatur naar’.

The evening reached its peak with Gaata rahein mera dil . The romantic duets also included the head bobbing Ek main aur ek tu. Can an evening dedicated to Kishoreda come to an end without the signature ‘yodelling’? Haal Kaisa hai janab ka they asked and the crowd couldn’t contain their happiness.

When it was finally time to bid goodbye, the Sholay theme pleased the audience. The finale Om Shanti Om…had all the singers coming together to sing in unison and a few elderly gentlemen from the audience joining them on stage.

And as everyone walked out, the band’s Aane wala pal jane wala hai had the audience sighing over the end of a beautiful evening.