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Friday Review » Music

Updated: June 18, 2012 19:23 IST

Tune in to yesterday

CHITRA SWAMINATHAN
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Anil Bajpai Photo: Deepak Shankar
The Hindu Anil Bajpai Photo: Deepak Shankar

Another edition of ‘Gaata Rahe Mera Dil' turned back the musical clock in Asha Parekh's presence

It was a cinematic moment but one to cherish for the lovers of Hindi film music in Chennai as Anil Bajpai sang ‘Teri Aankhon Ke Siva' to Bollywood's yesteryear ‘jubilee queen' (most of her films celebrated silver or golden jubilees at the box office) Asha Parekh at the ‘Gaata Rahe Mera Dil' show on Saturday evening. The actor responded coyly like she did on the screen when Sunil Dutt eulogised the beauty of her eyes in the 1969 movie Chirag. Anil's unmistakable imitation of this anguished, emotion-ridden Mohammed Rafi song may have been flattering for Asha but she definitely didn't seem to mind it.

The elegant actor draped in a shimmering silk sari was felicitated at the show organised by the Divine Mother Society to raise funds for its many social causes. Responding to delightful cheers and a standing ovation from the crowd, Asha said, “I am happy I became an actor instead of a doctor, which was my childhood dream. Imagine missing out on so much love and warmth in life!”

“It has been wonderful knowing so many lovely human beings and talented people. Shammi Kapoor was a favourite, of course. We did many good films together. I liked Dev Anand's irrepressible energy and passion for cinema. Among heroines, many beautiful faces graced the screen. We all had our share of work and never stepped on each others' toes,” she reminisced.

Movies continue to be made and songs still rule film scripts, yet the charm of old tunes and the aura of yesteryear stars linger.

The show captured the romance of that era through the many duets and solos of Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle. Anil came up with a few not-often-heard Rafi numbers such as ‘Jaag dil-e-diwana'. The other singers Vinod Seshadri, Sangeetha and Naga Chandrika sincerely recreated the flavours of the original without resorting to gimmickry. The orchestra added to their efforts by retaining the melodic thrust of the compositions. The highlight was the saxophone artiste Nayan Shah, a disciple of the legendary Manohari Singh, who played a 99-year-old saxophone gifted by his guru. This sax's appeal stretches from Satta Bazaar in 1959 to Veer Zaara in 2004. No wonder, Shah loves to blow his own trumpet!

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