The girl band rocks

Prakriti, Akriti and Sukriti Kakar at The Music Academy PHOTO: K. PICHUMANI  

The slate-grey sky and an overcast afternoon opened up to a heavy downpour — of music — at the final act of this year’s The Hindu November Fest.

You seem to feel a bit let down, though, when an evening of cabaret numbers from Hindi cinema starts off on a sluggish note. But, that was just momentary. The three-sister band, Akriti, Sukriti and Prakriti Kakar, after a few warm-up songs, struck back with rocking ditties from an era when Madhubala, Helen, Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi sent hearts fluttering with their sensuous moves.

Akriti, the eldest, clad in a shimmering, figure-hugging gown, established an instant bond with both the hipsters and the elderly through familiar songs, high on recall value. She reprised with ease the flirtatious voice of the queen crooner Asha Bhonsle, who, she said, can make every emotion and composition her own. “Ashaji is the high-priestess of versatility, while Pancham (R.D. Burman) was the czar of cabaret,” she said, with a 100-watt smile.

Akriti also explained the nuances of the cabaret genre, and how lyricists and composers of yesteryear never let it border on vulgarity. “Cabaret has given way to item numbers, which are often packed with double entendre and sleazy choreography,” she rued.

The cheerful singer switched between English and Hindi to narrate anecdotes that came as interesting preludes to the songs. The show began at Howrah Bridge (‘Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu’) and moved on to joyous comforting melodies such as ‘Aao Huzoor Tumko’, ‘Yeh Hai Reshmi Zulfon’, ‘Aa Jaane Jaan’, ‘Raat Akeli Hai’, ‘Jab Chaye Mera Jadoo’ and ‘Ó Haseena Zulfonwali’.

Soon, she transformed the sedate audience into a rollicking one. Piercing whistles, loud cheers, thunderous claps and fierce waving of hands egged the showgirl to perform much beyond the stipulated time. And, in all this, the orchestra (Cajetan D Souza, Anit Hadkar, Ankeet Bham, Satyajit Jamsandekar and Roysten Lopes) played a stellar role, recreating the foot-stomping beats, striking guitar riffs and lilting tunes. Together, they set the mood flawlessly, whipping up warm memories of the flower power era, of flapping bell bottoms, and riotously-coloured floral shirts.

It was a night of high-octane notes as R.D. Burman’s ‘Dum Maro Dum’, ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ and ‘Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja’ boomed through the hall.

Prakriti and Sukriti didn’t fail in their roles, but couldn’t keep pace with the way Akriti’s voice peaked and plumbed.

For the finale, the three came together for pulsating medleys. And left the audience humming ‘Raat Baaki, Baat Baaki’.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 12:18:49 AM |

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