2 June 2001, Saturday. Hyderabad receives its first downpour of the season. And
that means a traffic jam at every stage, transformers bursting like balloons,
petrol bunks inoperative and all the highways, especially the Karimnagar highway,
being witnesses to some skidding lorries, tumbling bikes and as few corpses too.
But on the same highway, virtually unaffected by the downpour, was an event showcasing
some budding 'talent'. Broadcast as a 'blend of rock, pop and bhangda', here was
a group of five girls from Punjab quite originally called Girlz. The broadcast
seemed to have worked fine. There was a huge crowd.
Since this was a live concert, you would have expected the crowd standing and cheering the performers with zest, even if they were some unoriginal, no-album-wonders. But here we had everybody sitting on chairs and engaged more in gastronomic pursuits. If they turned up in such hordes for the event, then why such apathy? This reason was that this show was organized by Citibank for free, exclusively for its credit card holders. That was the reason for the turnout. Most of these folks had come here as an outing, and not expecting any great music.
And they happened to be right too. The only thing that these ladies seemed to know apart from shouting 'I love you, Hyderabad!' was how to dance. They certainly did a good job out of that.
As for the music, it was basically lip-synching to the songs of their album 'Jiyo Aur Jeene Do' that they claimed was a nation-wide hit. Dear girlz, Patiala, Bhatinda and Kapurthala are not the nation. Please have some concern for geography, if not for music.
When they offered to sing 'rock', we shuddered that they'd attempt some Zeppelin, Doors or GnR. They thankfully didn't. The rock was Na Na Na Re from Mrutyudaata. There wouldn't have been any rock fans in that crowd who wouldn't have collapsed laughing.
Then we had two other 'famous' singers; Mohini, famous because she has sung the line Paparappa in the Nescafe ad, and Bobby, famous because he was in the chorus for some Govinda songs. Apparently both of them have released their respective albums called 'Jhumle' and 'Tere Liye', and were appealing to the audiences to buy them.
Mohini was shouting 'Solavan Salsa' (which happens to be one of the songs in her album) throughout her performance as if that were the greatest slogan since Archimedes shouted Eureka. Bobby, we must say, has a good voice, but his inane mannerisms and music overshadowed that. And as all this continued till 1am, you wondered when we Hyderabadis would develop that eclectic taste for music and concerts, and when we would realize that anything free is not worthy of being grabbed at. We really hope that it'll happen soon.
And a request to these wannabe bands. If you really love Hyderabad as you have been shouting throughout your show, stay away from the stages on our city. Both you and we need some time to mature.