Courtesy Samyuktha Kannan, II Year M.A. Programme.
An enthu few from insti who managed to book tickets and take the 2 and a half hour bus ride to MARG Swarnabhoomi for A R Rahman’s flagship Jai Ho concert on the Sunday before Quiz 2, had quite a night. And a long one at that. But for the ‘Rahmaniacs’ and film lovers who endured the wait, hunger and exhaustion [quite an inhospitable location it was], the passionate and lengthy performance was well worth the trouble.
A sea of some 25,000 odd adoring fans from in and around Chennai assembled in the middle of nowhere to greet his return to his hometown after the Slumdog glory. Rahman responded to the sentiment by belting out hit after hit from 7 pm, an hour later than the scheduled start, till about 12 midnight. Songs from Roja, Delhi 6, Dil Se and Sivaji opened the playlist and the mood was evidently risen at the very beginning. If you could see anything of the small and simple stage, or managed to jump over your enclosure and occupy the front seats, you would have seen Tanvi Shah, Shweta Pandit, Rashid Ali, Neeti Mohan, Hariharan, Sadhna Sargam lending some strong support to Rahman. BlaaZe brandishing a very ‘yo’ staff [blinged and pimped and all that] did the rapping in style. But the man himself was on stage most of the time, save for the some popular ones – ‘Ringa ringa ringa’, ‘Maiya maiya’, ‘Chandralekha’, ‘Kabhi kabhi’ and ‘Taxi’.
A piano was brought out for the rendition of our Saarang’s ‘Mausam’ and ‘Escape’ generating smiles and good memories on the faces of insti machas. A Sufi music segment with songs like ‘Khwaja’ stretched our patience a bit. Conveniently Jai Ho was saved for the very end, and we persevered. He eventually concluded the concert with tam favourites ‘Humma humma’ and ‘Mustafa mustafa’ and an emotional ‘Jai Ho’, ‘Vande Mataram’ ending. Save for some strange speeches, bad audio and video, it was Rahman all the way. The largely tam crowd waving Indian flags were a bit disappointed about the dominance on hindi songs on the tour. But we liked it. And next time Saarang ticket coords are organising ticket sales for something, we think you must go. It will make a good trip.