They were prosperous. They were the 'developed' people, a cozy microcosm of our
Republic. Then, on a day when the Republic was celebrating its birth, their gods
failed them. In a few seconds, symbols of prosperity became rubble. The earthquake
that hit the state of Gujarat acted as a very crude leveler, leaving thousands,
the prince and the pauper alike, homeless. And with colossal loss to property,
annihilation of families and a lot more to the tragedy, reconstructing Gujarat
and bringing normalcy to the state requires funds to the tune of millions of rupees.
The good old art of music has come to the aid of the victims over these months
in the form of charity concerts featuring the wannabe stars on the pop horizon.
Back home, the buck was taken up by the Country Club International, Medchal, who
have always been the frontrunners in raising funds for such crises.
So, cashing in on the spirit of the summer among the youth of the city and giving
them a chance to cool down (or get heated up, whatever the case maybe) by shaking
a leg to some pulsating music, the club organized a musical extravaganza at its
venue. A battery of seven wannabes from the Indipop world had gathered to enthrall
the teeming audience.
One of the problems with getting wannabes for an intended grand show and then
trying to project the show as grand is that the wannabes need to be depicted as
superstars. And then your normal music lover lands up expecting the world, doesn't
get it since if these ones were capable of delivering it then they wouldn't be
here, and then post-decisional dissonance lingers on. And when your reviewer happens
to be one of these in the crowd, this is what the review would read like.
The crowd, which started as a trickle, soon crescendoed (we are talking music,
man) to one of nearly uncontrollable size jiving to 100,000 watts of music. And
the cash registers were ringing, too.
The event began with DJ Avi at his console setting the mood with his fast numbers.
For a wannabe, he did his mixing well and never got mixed up. Most importantly,
he was successful in drawing the crowd to the dance floor. Smitha, the only pop
sensation from our Telugu talli, maintained the tempo with her numbers,
Hai Rabba and Shakalaka.
Rithika (a lady seen a few months ago on the music channels harping about her
thesis on Rabindra Sangeet) then made her try at keeping the crowd grooving to
her popular numbers (as in her popular numbers). Shail, another new kid on the
block and one who has become more for famous for his video rather than for his
album, crooned his song 'Kaha Hai Tu'. The general opinion seemed to suggest that
the video was better.
But the 'stars' of the evening (we are living in a relative world, and that is
a relative word) were Piyush Soni and Anaida. Piyush (of the incomprehensible
'Chokra' fame, which was shot at some monastery in Sikkim amidst perplexed monks)
summoned some children from the crowd on stage, much to their fright and to their
parents' thrill, and started crooning 'Chokra'. Fortunately for him, the folks
were not in a bad mood.
It was finally the turn of a performer who the audience actually and unanimously
knew. So, by default, she was the star of the show. Anaida, 'the princess of pop',
'the oova oova girl', 'the gal-who-received-a death-threat-from-Mehnaz' girl (add
some more sobriquets if you like), did not disappoint the crowd, and belted her
'Oova Oova' and 'Oonchi Oonchi' without much ado.
As the crowd began turning in to a trickle again, Anaida and Mohini Singh (we
share the ??, but she seemed a very talented singer) had a few numbers that were
the finale to the show. The songs were complemented by some dance sequences by
Toby and his troupe from Mumbai, who did a rather good job of it.
Calling the show star-studded would be taking your imagination a bit too far and
doing the actual stars' (yes, we have them) egos some real harm. But if the purpose
of the event and the turnout are the benchmarks for its success, the show deserves
its stars all right.