Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sing A Song

It really takes me a lot of convincing to attend a Kathak (traditional Indian dance) performance. Even when a Jamnabai friend lands up in USA for 5 days to perform at Newarks NJPAC, I am still not convinced. Even if she is Prachee Shah, from "Saas bhi kabhie Bahu" & "Koshish" & "Piyaa kaa Ghar" etc. fame, I am not convinced. The fact that she is performing with Sherya Ghosal singing some oldies does not convince me either. When Ajay says its not Kathak, but a dhamaal dance plus its his house-warming and we'll have good Indian food, I am convinced.

The weekend of 22nd Oct, I was in NJ, watching a Shreya Ghosal concert. The story goes back to this. Prachee was in the same class as moi in Jamnabai + Mithibai. More so, I was a complete brat in school and used to snatch her hairband (for that matter, any girls hairband) and toss it in the gents loo (I know, I know!). I continued tossing hairbands while she went ahead and became an actress and amazing classical dancer.

Back in India I have attended some of her shows (actually she is been kind enough to call me, being aware of the fact that I keep mocking her). Everytime I am in India, we surely meet up. Altho I am the brat she still hates, and she is the Prachee I mock all day round, we do manage to enjoy each others company for a few hours. And the tradition continued in USA. This time round, I had amazing company (Read: Kallu, Priya, Tandon, Kathy and Ani). It was a charity show of Share and Care organization. Since it was all Hindi nite, you could only find desis around. Since it was in New Jersey, all Indians were Gujjus. It started off with some old chap dishing out a speech which he could not read in proper English.

Kallu said: "Why doesnt he speak in Hindi? Why does he have to speak in English?"

I said: "Why does he have to speak at all?"

The show started with this chap called Ayub Patel belting out a couple of songs. I dont think he was all that great. Not so bad that I dozed off (but thats me), but not all that great. Next was a local hero called Parthiv Goyal. Just when I thought things are gonna get worse, he turned out to be the big surprise of the night. The dude was simply amazing. He doesnt do play back, just stage shows. And I think he got the biggest applause of the night. If you guys ever get to hear him, do so. He is all energy and amazing voice.

And then Shreya walked in. Sweet girl with an amazing voice for her age and she had everyone mesmerized. Altho the song selection I feel could have been better (specially when she picked songs sung by Lata & Asha, but I am no pro to decide that), but nevertheless I was awake and impressed. Next, exit Shreya, enter Prachi. And she started dancing to this medley of old hindi songs.... till.... the CD started skipping and she had to exit half way. This is when I stood up and screamed, "Prachee, I didnt do anything to that CD. It wasnt me!"

She started off again after the interval and finished her act. Good stuff. Then we had the singers back on stage for the finishing touch. Show done, Tandon did some hi-fi talk and got us till the backstage door, where we were stopped by a threatening Gujju uncle.

"We are here to meet Prachee", said Tandon.

"Oh yeah, she is expecting you", Uncle said.

"Uhh... really? Lets leave", said I. So everyone forcefully pulled me onto backstage.... and there we saw Prachee, storming towards me, CD in hand. I knew what was coming.....

But it was cool catching up with her. Then the Gujju Uncle said we join everyone backstage for dinner. Yeah! Free food! Worth the money! This is when Prachee intoduced us all to Shreya and rest of the crew. "Shreya, this is Apoorva, he is insignificant, lemme introduce you to the others" (ok, she didnt say that but she would have loved to)

Anyways, Medha had been blabbing a lot about Shreya being her best bud, so I actually mustered up the courage to ask her, "Do you know a Medha?"

I get a confused look.

Uh-Oh... this could end up being embarassing. "Medha Sengupta?"

More confused look.

Me thinking... okie, this is last try, and then I kill Medha!

"Medha Sengupta from Singapore"

Still confused look. Actually, a look which was changing to the "What a weirdo" look

By this time Prachee was giving me the "Is that your new pickup line?" angry look and all my friends were looking at me with a "What the hell is he doing?" look.

I was about to say, "Shreya, I was just testing you... such a person doesnt exist" and run out of the door when Shreya says, "Yeah of course!!!"


Shreya: "I know her so well. We are like damn close"

Me: "Cool. She said that too. I was wondering if she is pulling a fast one on me, I am glad I did trust her on this. She said a big Hi to ya BTW"

Shreya: "How do you know her?"

Me: "Aaaaaaahhh..... Aaaahhhhh.... She reads my blog and I read her blog Lets just say I know her... from like somewhere, somehow, someway"

Shreya: uhh... (even more confused look... and even more what a weirdo look).

Prachee: Its okay. He always knows girls someway, somehow, somewhere.

Me: Yeah, its best to ignore me (Prachi has mastered that)

Just then this person walks in and Prachee says, "Oh, meet him. This is Daljit uncle, the one who produced this show and got us here etc."

Me: (Shaking hands) Daljit, just to let you know, I too sing very well.

(got another "he is weird" look from Shreya and Prachee)

Dal: You have to sing like Shreya.

This is when my friend Kallu jumps in

"He can sing like Shreya and dance like Prachee"

So we kept harassing him to sign me up for a record deal till he called security and threw me out. OK, just kidding, but there is lots more, with a few pics. This post is getting too long for comfort (and am sure half of you have fallen flat on your keyboards by now). For those of you who survived, I'll put up a Part-II with some interesting Gujju conversation (I know, long time since I did some bashing) and pics.


Blogger Medha.. said...


And you thought i was bluffing?!? Gggrrr.... IDIOT!!!!

October 26, 2005 4:55 AM  
Blogger Medha.. said...

BTW..this post was not too long. As a matter of fact, it was the best one ever! My name appeared like 5 times in the post!!! :p

And also it proves the filmi connection i was SO "proud" of! :p

October 26, 2005 5:00 AM  
Blogger Anita Pillai said...

"snatch their hair bands and toss it in the gents loo"!!!! ..Apoorva Joshi u redefine the meaning of "A PAIN IN THE A$$"!

Honestly I am surprised that no one has bothered to give a supari in ur name till now!

October 26, 2005 7:52 AM  
Blogger iyer education said...

i was so conditioned to read about cooking on your blog that i thought this post was about songs that you sing while you were cooking... but then the post turned out to be quite a surprise :)

on a serious note, shreya goshal has a very sweet voice and i like it... and how does prachee shah look? if good then i will do some networking in mumbai :)

October 26, 2005 8:08 AM  
Blogger IdeaSmith said...

Ah...half of this post is what you claim happened and the other half is what you wish happened. You have a rich inner life, Apoorva.

October 26, 2005 8:37 AM  
Blogger Demi Goddezz said...

Apoo:Touche Touche ..Jus coz its Shreya and coz she sang one of my fav songs..hehe

October 26, 2005 10:44 AM  
Blogger Mayank said...

OMG... u went to NJPAC... and walked out without having all the 'my daughter is all set to be married' uncles coming and striking a random conversation with you?

Getting to the core of ur post... who can blame shreya from taking so much time in coming to acceptance with the fact that she was 'close' to Medha.. after knowing her as much as poor shreya knows, anyone would think a zillion times :P
But kudoz to you for badgering it out of her ... or else this post might have been longer in your quest to unravel the bollywood connection.
Well lets also face it ... u did use "Do you know Medha?" as a pickup line... coz u seriously wanted to make conversation with a singing icon, who according to your plan, would sing to you while u made more salmon tikkas. ingenious .. i must say!!

October 26, 2005 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apoo ....Man you HAVE TO get into these strange situations dont ya??
SUDHAREGA NAHIN TU...:-)well im really glad you do that..cuz that makes up a bunch of reaallllly funny memories..:-)
By the way ...did you really get up and scream "prachee i didnt do anything to that cd"??


October 26, 2005 8:05 PM  
Blogger APOO said...

Medha: yeah. Ok Fine. U go one up!

Anita: Yeah, the supari part. They should be alive for doing so naa? U still wanna marry me?

Iyer: ToI once called her an "Aishwarya Rai look-alike" Heh!
Here, you figure. And you dont need to do any networking. Main hoon naa?

Smithy: Yeah yeah... now lemme figure out what happened and what I wish had happened.

Winny: Hmmm.. one more Shreya fan!

Mayank: True. Pretty brave of Shreya to admit she knew Medha. Kudos to her.

Paulsie: I finally make you comment too! yay!! No, I didnt shout that out, but when I met her backstage thats the first thing I said to her. :)

October 26, 2005 8:44 PM  

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