Event ‘Tribute to Pancham Da' was a celebration and rediscovery of Hindi movie melody and magic

Nobody comes to an R. D. Burman tribute nite with a blank slate. They come with whirling memories and melodies in the mind. Remember all the good songs, discuss with pals their favourites, get into arguments, hum some of the songs and go on a nostalgia trip.And so it was on Sunday night on the third day of The Hindu Friday Review November Fest 2011 at the Ravindra Bharathi. As Karthik sat on a bar stool and let himself go with Kuch na kaho, kuch bhi na kaho from Pancham Da's last movie 1942 A Love Story , the audience got into the mood of listening to a range of compositions by RDB a.k.a. Pancham Da.

If the first song was all melody and mood, Karthik swung to Bachchna ai haseeno and had the audience singing, swinging, humming and tapping their feet.

Once Karthik created the mood in the company of Bennet and Band, Gopal Rao, Gayatri Asokan and Kalyani Nair joined him on the stage for a vintage journey into the world of RDB's compositions.

It was a world of hummable melody blended with nostalgia as the four singers recreated the magic of Yeh dosti from Sholay and countless other songs.

“While making the song list we wanted to play the best songs of R.D. Burman and we ended up with over 50 songs. This is a whittled down list. It is so difficult to leave out his songs and select favourites,” said Karthik in the middle of the concert.

If Kalyani did full justice to one of RDB's composition with its semi-classical roots in Raga Gurjari Tod: Beeti na bitaye raina , then Karthik took RDB's composition (inspired by Demis Roussos) to a different level as he touched all the notes of groovy Mehbooba, mehbooba from Sholay.

The group let the orchestra take over with a medley of RDB's compositions and Bennet on his guitar would strum the song and the audience would jam with their voices.

Then Karthik's group lowered the tempo by singing the first few lines of popular compositions beginning with Is mod se jatey hai and ending with Raat kali ek with ambient support of the keyboard bars struck by Williams. As the evening progressed, the singers and the brilliant orchestral support struck a chord with the audience and it almost appeared like a karaoke night with everyone singing along with the singers. The orchestral support was superb with Bennet on guitar, Williams on keys, Daya on drums and Josy on bass.

The 100-odd minutes just disappeared in a trice and only the memories and melodies were refreshed on a well-spent Sunday evening.

SERISH NANISETTI

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