September 21, 2017

Music for soul in Pink City

Indian Ocean and Mame Khan spellbind all with their performances at Jaipur by Nite.





There’s a reason Indian Ocean songs would not be played at dance parties, weddings or at DJs – they have a meaning. Their songs take you to a level where you understand them and not just hear. Their compositions are the ones that give you goosebumps. Perhaps why they rightly complement the classy, royal and select setting of City Palace, Jaipur, and vice verse. 
The second day of Jaipur by Nite couldn’t have had a better finish than Indian Ocean belting out their soulful fusion of folk, classical, rock... The women’s car rally on September 9 kicked off the fifth edition of the event. The second day, September 15, was dedicated to quenching your soul and tastebuds.
If Indian Ocean, preceded by Mame Khan, took care of the soul, the food stalls from across the city didn’t let down the appetite. The colourfully-lit and looking all the more royal in the night, the City Palace, with a bunch of kalbeliya dancers and performers around Mubarak Mahal, had set up the stage for the musical fulfilment at Sarvatobhadra Chowk. With Jaipur Princess Diya Kumari and Maharaja Padmanabh Singh being the brand ambassadors of the event, there was enough glitterati in presence. As Rahul Ram, the founding member of Indian Ocean, and Nikhil Rao stirred up their strings, Tuheen Chakraborty and Amit Kilam slowly adding the beats, you waited impatiently for Himanshu Joshi to add words to the melody and the mood the others had started.  
Be it Mann kasturi jag dasturi baat hui na puri re or their tribute to the Narmada river Maa rewa tharo paani nirmal khal khal behto jaye re their tunes and lyrics just stay with you. And when they sang Kabirdas, you just wondered if life was actually so simple or we just forgot about the simplicity.
Theirs is not that meaningless cacophony that maybe makes you dance for a minute or two but doesn’t go beyond that. Even if it was Tandanu, a Kannada lullaby that Rahul Ram knew since childhood, a word of which you would not understand if you are from Hindi heartland, like me, the sheer energy of the song was enough to lift your spirits up. Their rendition of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Akhiyan udeek diyan made everyone sway.
The Pakistani legend seemed to be the flavour of the evening as earlier Mame Khan also paid tribute to the singer with Saanu ik pal chaen na aawe. The Manganiyar singer from Rajasthan, known globally for his folk and sufi renditions, had actually set the mood for the evening by starting the musical night with his version of Kesariya baalam aoo ni padhaaro mhare des. Mame Khan and his troupe with sindhi shehnai, kartaal, presented all the flavours of Rajasthan at Jaipur by Nite. 
His Aave re hitchki from Mirzya by Gulzar, the folk version of famous Nimbudaa nimbudaa that was adapted for Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam, and Dama dam mast qalandar just made the Friday night a perfect one for everyone there. 
So, make sure you keep September 15-16 reserved for this one-of-a-kind night tourism event in Jaipur next year. There’s another post coming soon telling you all about the food and the third day of the event.
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