"Memories Of An Evening With Abhijeet" by Vidyu


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Hi friends,

It's with pleasure I share this experience with u all..

Two months ago when I got this call from Mr. Raja Govindarajan (popularly known as Kansas Raja) that he'd like to have me sing with Abhijeet on his show in Kansas City on the 4th of July, I was SO surprsied, I couldn't even say a yes! Though I have been part of a band and sung on stage several times it was all years ago. But the encouragement I received from RajaG , my family and some close friends was enough for me to say yes and mentally prepare myself for it. Incidentally, the whole thing got confirmed on the 27th of May when we had the Taranaa GTG at our place :) At that time July 4th seemed so far away! Though at the back of my mind I was under tremendous pressure, days went by and I kept hoping to get a word from the organisors about what I was expected to sing. When I didn't, I emailed and asked..but unfortunatley, all I knew was to be prepared with 10 of my top favorite solos and 10 top Abhijeet duets! Not that I'd get to sing all of them!!! but atleast I had a choice to make ...or Abhijeet had a choice to pick from !!!! :)

So every chance I got, I'd log into 'musicindiaonline' and 'raaga' and listen to songs by Abhijeet and get myself acquainted with his style..the energy in his songs and also learn the duets! During this span, I discovered some beautiful songs I'd heard but never paid attention to. Many at times, I end up listening to songs I already know or like and never get myself to listen to songs I haven't heard before! Actually, this link on the Forum someone has started introducing new songs to members is quite a help.. I keep looking up and checking out the new songs!

Coming back to the event...Kansas City..I'd never been there before..first time to the mid-west! Couldn't help but notice while landing how dry the place seemed compared to greener Virginia :) Felt so good to know we had someone waiting to receive us at the airport! As planned, after a wonderful Bengali lunch,(we were hosted by a wonderful Bengali family) we went to the auditorium. On the way, I was informed that the musicians were already in but Abhijeet's flight was delayed because of bad weather in Houston and he would not arrive till later the same evening. And, all that kept working on my mind was "so.. rehearsal??? what am I going to sing??? " No amount of worrying helped as the musicians had NO clue as to what was going to be performed the next evening! They were waiting for 'O'bhijeet to arrive!!! So, after the stage was set up with the band, all that happened was the mics were tested! My voice was checked out on the sound system and all the adjustements were made and I was shown the mic I was going to use! (Hey, I had my own mic for the evening!!!! ;) ) If u r wondering if I got to rehearse my solos.. No..I did not get to sing...just 2 lines of Dil ne kaha chupke se and 2 lines of kaisi paheli zindagani with the band...Now at this point in time, I didn't even know if Abhijeet would approve of these 2 songs!!! :) Well..we left the White Hall (that was the name of the auditorium) and later that evening met up at a dinner at the President of the Organisation's lovely home. They had close to about 50 invitees including Abhijeet and his band that came with him from Calcutta.

Abhijeet finally did arrive at 8 pm and I was pleasantly surprised to find him all smiles and easy to talk to tho' he did have the aura of a VIP from Bollywood! After the introductions and photo sessions, (gosh..i felt kind of strange getting all that attention!) and dinner, I chatted him up (he is sooo humourous he had all of us in splits!) but all the time kept anticipating the song list. Finally, he made it very brief..said I'd have to open the evening with one solo, then after the half time, one more solo and then 1 duet. I was so relieved to know that atleast now I knew what to prepare for! The songs he said I should sing were "Dil ne kaha chupke se", "Bhaage re mann" and the duet was "Tumhe jo maine dekha" (I love that duet by the way..great energy!)

July 4th arrived and I couldn't wait for 3 pm when the show was to start. It did start at sharp 3 with the National Anthem of both the countries.. followed by Karaoke singing by 3 students from the University of Kansas. The Abhijeet show finally started at 3.30. Since I was already there with him for about an hour before the show, I got to talk to him a lot and he really made me feel very comfortable saying I should relax and not worry about singing..just enjoy what I am doing...little tips that did make a huge difference. Despite all this, I was extremely tense because I had to perform on stage with absolutley no rehearsal!!!

I opened the show with Dil ne kaha chupke se from 1942 Love Story and though I was a little nervous, it turned out good enough for Abhijeet to put me on a spot and he asked me to sing 2 more! So, right there on stage, I had to decide with the band what we knew in common and I continued with Kaisi Paheli and Jadoo hai Nashaa hai... I felt very satisfied and extremely happy when Abhijeet appreciated me..and even mentioned it on stage! After my 3rd song, he took over the stage and all I can say is he was such a BLAST!!!! unbelievable stage presence and showmanship and fantastic singing! The first half got over even before we all realised!

During the 1/2 hour break, I was fortunate to get a chance to sing "Aur Kya" (one of his best duet with Alka Yagnik) with him. His keyboardist played the piano and we sang it...and the good thing is, he gave me tips on how to end the landing notes and how to stress on words and how not to.....how to emote...and this I think is the most memorable experience for me..Though he said we were going to perform this on stage, due to time constraint, it did not happen..but I am thrilled I got to sing the whole song with him back stage :)

Though I was to sing Bhaage re Mann, it was decided that the second half was going to be old songs (!!!) and I ended up singing "O Sajna barkha bahaar" The best compliment I received was when after the song the MC came up on stage and announced that Abhijeet had a special request for me to continue the show with another solo.. I was so overwhelmed that my mind went blank...didn't know what to sing next!!! and I was not even carrying my list! I heard the musicians suggest a few songs and I heard myself saying OK to Aao Huzoor!

He ended up singing some beautiful Kishoreda songs like Chingaari, Kuch to log kahenge, and Diye Jalten hain..Surprised us with some Salilda/Mukesh numbers like 'kahin door jab din dhal jaayen" and then even surprised me by calling me on stage for a least expected duet "Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein", "Tumhe jo maine dekha" was the second duet I sang with him and he ended the show with Ole Ole..Unfortunatley, all I have to share with u all are some pictures that were taken as Abhijeet made it very clear that he would allow no audio/video recording of his show!  :(

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This was one fantastic experience for me and I am still not over it yet! :) I have to thank Srikanth and RajaG big time for giving me this opportunity! Thankyou so very much both of u for giving me a chance to do this! Hey, by the way, thanks all of u who called and sent me messages wishing me luck and reminders on how to keep drinking warm water :) thanks for ur thoughtfulness... and Surinder, I still cannot believe u actually flew all the way to Kansas City from Virginia to cheer me on!!! Thankyou soooo very much! It was a great feeling to have a friend sitting right in front amidst the unknown audience in an unknown place!

- Vidyu


Comments

Just got my login today to taranaa tarang. So here is my first comment !! Thanx for sharing your experience with all of us :) The pics are gr8 too. Only wish was we could hear the live recordings too but i guess bollywood stars do not let u record anything :( Hope u get to do more shows with the stars. You deserve it. How about writing an article with some 'live show' tips for all of us. I am sure you can share some tips with all of us (even the tips from Abhijeet!):) Will be looking forward to it. Cheers - Soumitra


Vidyu, Congratulations on gaining an experience of a life time. Just reading about it made my blood flow faster. I am really glad that you had this chance. You truly deserved it. Azam


Congrats Vidyu!

Wow, I loved your narration of the event and all the excitement, nervousness, no-preparation or anticipations of which songs! etc. Wow, you got the first hand experience of a live show! Very very valuable! I didn't realize that you went through all these and didn't get a chance to talk to you in detail on sat.!

Please share your valuable tips and all that you learnt out of your normal way! That will be very valuable to us all. Indeed we have been with a star who is now emerging from "the making"!!! Keep it up and make us all proud!  ;D

Next time I will not forget to get your autograph!!!  ;)

Tremendously enjoyed your singing over the weekend as ever!

Keep singing and way to go!!!  ::)

Anoop  :D

P.S. In your narration of the event, the link to photos was empty and I am eagerly waiting to see the pictures!  :)

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