‘It is a mixture of sweet, serene songs, and the fast ones set fire to the evening'

Of course it is house full. It is an R.D. Burman retrospective. Satisfyingly long queues, frantic phone calls requesting tickets and anxious moments before bagging a seat.…

Roads elsewhere in the city look empty, but Kalaiarangam is full for the concluding concert of The Hindu's Friday Review November Fest 2011.

A roar of applause as Karthik breaks into “Kuch na kaho” from 1942 A Love Story, R.D. Burman's last work before he passed away. “Bachna ai haseenon” immediately cranks up the heat, and hearts beat faster with “Saamne yeh kaun aaya”. The crowd laps it up. “Yeh dosti” from Sholay. A surprise as singers Gopal joins in from the audience, and then Gayatri and Kalyani “Dum maro dum…”, “Piya tu aab to aaja” and “Chala jaata hoon” from Mere Jeevan Saathi – a classic combo of R.D. Burman, Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna. “Baahon mein chali aa” allows the heartbeats to slow down a bit, but not for long, as “Aao na gale laga lo na” has feet tapping and hands clapping once again.

The audience goes wild at songs from Teesri Manzil, arguably R.D. Burman at his brilliant best. “Amar Prem” and “Raina beete jaaye” picturised on the gorgeous Sharmila Tagore follows. “Mehbooba mehbooba” from Sholay turns the mood around entirely, with the remarkably curvaceous and flexible Helen and agile Jalal Agha. “Arre oh Samba!” someone shouts from the audience.

The accompanists, ‘Bennet and the Band' deserve a special mention.Aandhibrings back memories of a stunning Suchitra Sen and Sanjeev Kumar as they sing the incredibly romantic “Tere bina zindagi se koi shikhwa to nahin.”Yaadon Ki Baaraat,Parichay,Mere Jeevan Saathi, Aandhi, Amar Prem, Teesri Manzil… The songs just flow. It is Kishore Kumar's “Chingaari koi” shot with the Howrah Bridge as a backdrop on the Hooghly that is being sung by Karthik, Gopal, Gayatri and Kalyani as this goes into print.

Leena Sathyanarayanan from the audience sends an SMS, “It is a mixture of sweet, serene songs, and the fast ones set fire to the evening. It feels nice to be part of the audience.”

Zeb of Zeb and Haniya fame, who was also present in the audience, says, “ I am a die-hard fan of R.D. Burman. It was a priceless trip down memory lane. I felt homesick funnily.”

Haniya adds, “Karthik and his team put up a great show. They are all brilliant musicians as well as great entertainers. And of course, Burman da's tunes always transport me to my happy place.”

RELATED NEWS

Unforgettable PanchamNovember 23, 2011

Celluloid biographiesNovember 24, 2011

Kuch na kaho…November 28, 2011