You gotta give it to Ogilvy for their never-say-going-going-gone attitude. I mean, look at everything the Great Mall has going for it - a start a month after September 11th, a venue that's 15 kilometers from the middle of town, disappointed crowds, bad press, striking stall-owners… the works. And yet they are gung-ho on Mission Resurrect. Quotations would be proud of them.
Yup, folks, we're talking of the sudden shindigs that have been arranged as part of the Great Mall of Hyderabad experience. And what better way of doing it than going the filmi and the indipop way. Jumpstarting the live shows scene were our very own desi answer to the Carpenters, the Musu Musu Hasi boy and the "Ma"mma's girl (sorry, couldn't resist that!), the bhaiyya-behena duo of Shaan and Saagarika, back in Hyderabad after a hiatus of 6 whole months. And here's the whole thing from the top.
For starters, there were the singers from Mumbai, Petula and Rahul. Their warm-up act before the siblings came on generated something that's close to enthu from the young crowd, what with the numbers like Brazil, Piya Tu and the Mamma Mia remix getting the testosterone levels of the frontbenchers soaring high. You could beg to differ that it was the troupe of gyrating dancers gratuitously thrown in that had more to do with the testosterone bit, and we'll dutifully put that down as option B. There was also a faceless compeer, whose accent made you feel so sorry for him he was born in India.
Now on to the main course. After being informed that S & S were the "prince and princess" of Indian pop, we finally had the real show on, with Saagarika entering. She set off to a rather emotional start, with her ode to her mother, Maa. After that rather poignant moment, the tears that Saagarika drew from the audience were many - thanks to the way she butchered lyrics of songs, and the way she took, ahem, liberties with the notes.
Up next, Shaan, easily the show-stealer, romped at his romantic best with "Woh Pehli Baar". He has a very likeable stage presence, and rolls of easy, endearing lines like "Zyada dance nahin kar sakta, par try kar rahan hoon"! It's alright Shaan, your great voice more than makes up for it.
After that, bro and sis took turns in presenting their popular numbers and some Bollywood hits. The usual suspects put in an appearance - their combo pop hits like Disco Deewane, Fifty Fifty and Toofaani Raat. Shaan, who now has quite a filmi repertoire thanks to his foray into Bollywood, did his popular numbers like Musu Musu Haasi, Koi Kahe and Woh Ladki (from Dil Chahta Hai).
Except for one section of the crowd, most of the Hyderabadis were pretty much passive. Which prompted Shaan to say, "Kya hua Hyderabad, dum nahin hai kya?" Oh well, we know it isn't the greatest of feelings to not have people applaud you, but then it wasn't like it was Ozzy Osbourne up there. Maybe someday it will be. Maybe someday Shaan will show that kind of creativity. Maybe someday Ozzy will be here. Maybe someday we'll have God in our living rooms.
When the two S's asked the clamoring crowd for one request, guess what our people came up with? "Do ghoonth mujhe bhi pilaade sharaabi!" Hyderabadis sure can come up with some strange 'uns!
The duo also sang a nonstop medley of popular Bollywood numbers like Kambakht Ishq, Kemche, Rabba Rabba, Mehboob Mere et al, to a little bit of crowd-boogieing. While Shaan managed to go ahead full steam, Saagarika leaves a lot to be desired. A word of advice, lady - you would do well to know your lyrics (actually, same goes for dear bro, too) and your tunes. That thing with a capital P called Practice might help on that front.
The show ended with Shaan's wildly popular "Tanha Dil", and their leitmotif song, the Qawwali remix "Q Funk". The night ended rather early, at 11:00 pm. All in all, an entertaining one and a half hours - the music was catchy, the celebs were entertaining, the sound system was jhakaas, and the mood sorta upbeat. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.