The musical program Hits of Rishi Kapoor with Rishi Kapoor on 23rd April was a memorable show indeed. It featured many tremendous singers like Suresh Wadekar, Amit Kumar, Hon’ble Minister Babul Suprio, Javed Ali and others. Rishi Kapoor throughout the evening regaled the audience with anecdotes about the trivia and history behind many of these songs. Neetu Singh was present too.
The organisers were Happy Lucky Entertainment/Sanjay Mahale. I came to know that they have made a name for themself in the last decade by hosting several splendid shows with unique concepts. The Rishi Kapoor show was one such and featured 65 musicians, including some who had performed the original music in the movies.. The comperes Kavya Sharma and Anurag Pandey were very good.
Overall it was a memorable show which was as follows;
After a song by P Ganesh and Shailaja, the Hon’ble Minister Babul Suprio took over with 2 splendid songs, O Hansini(solo) and Khullam Khulla(with Shailaja). His singing was flawless and he kept the audience in peels of laughter with his witty remarks. He said that instead of taking time from politics, rather when he has time from singing he does his political work. He told the audience that if PM gets to know that he is in a musical show then the PM should be told that he was campaigning for BJP as two of the songs chosen by him had the word “Kamal” in it. Later when Rishi Kapoor joined the audience Babul sang O Hansini again and said that he had done some politics, by not singing it when “once more” demand was made as he wanted to do the once more in presence of Rishi. When Rishi and Neetu were on stage and audience demanded a dance Babul in the audience spontaneously snatched a mike and sang “ek mein aur ek tu” and Rishi and Neetu danced to it, which was a high point of the evening.
Babul was very witty throughout. He requested the audience, “don’t clap before my song, as no politician does good work if claps are given before performance”. He sang “Chehra hai ya Chaand khila hai” and “Sochenge tumhe pyar kare ke nahin” and said it was memorable to sing Rishi’s immortal song in front of him. Rishi informed the audience that both the songs sung by Babul were award winning, one for Kishore Kumar and one for Kumar Sanu.
Babul told the audience two memories of his about Rishi. 1-He saw Bobby as a school student of Don Bosco, Calcutta and had told his Mom that he was going to see some other movie 2-When he left his job with Standard Chartered Bank to try his luck as a singing career his 1st song was for Rishi Kapoor way back in 1992 in a musical show for which he had been paid a princely sum of Rs 250/- and it was for Sochenge tumhe song only.
The next celebrity singer was Javed Ali and he sang Dar de Dil, Poocho Naa Yaar and Parda hai Parda. His technical skill was obvious and he could sing the most difficult notes with ease. He also sang a Sargam trilogy with a young lady singer and all 3 songs were superb, koyal Boli,Parbat se us paar and Daffli vale were brilliantly done.
Rishi Kapoor brought the house down by saying that when daffli vaali was told to him he was not happy and later the song became super hit. Same was with 2 other hit songs including Parbat se us paar and Om Shanti Om and hence Neetu Singh always used to say that if Rishi doesn’t like a song of his, its bound to be super hit.
Rishi Kapoor informed the audience that 23rd april was death anniversary of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and the evening should be dedicated to him. Javed Ali showcased his talent by spontaneously singing the difficult “yaad piya ki aaye”, for which there was a standing ovation.
The star of the evening was definitely Amit Kumar, even though so many stalwarts were there. He was introduced to the audience as living legend and lived up to his introduction. His entry was awesome with the mindblowing number “Ek Haseena Thhi”. Audience shouted Once More and He said laughingly and jokingly “Once More nahin ho sakta hai”, looking at the Organiser Sanjay and indicating that more payment is required for singing “Once More”.
Amit Ji informed the audience that he has sung for Rishi Kapoor in 4 movies and enjoyed working with him. He sang “Ek Mein aur Ek tu” and brought the audience down with his singing and spontaneous dance movements as well. His rendering of the song “Kahin na jaa aaj kahin mat jaa” reminded the audience of his illustrious dad, Kishore Dada. Amit Kumar’s singing “yeh vaada raha” title song (with Shailaja) was one of the high points of the evening as well,
The audience enjoyed a brief conversation between Amit and Rishi with Amit saying that he was an admirer of his talent and enjoyed all his movies from Bobby onwards and recently he saw Kapoor and Sons and wept on seeing a movie after a long long time.
The evening ended with Amit Kumar singing Om Shanti Om and really bringing the house down. All the celebrity singers joined him on stage and the entire audience sang and danced with him which was probably not seen before in such programs.
Suresh Wadekar showed why his voice is rated the best by many. Mere jaagne se pehle-mein der karta nahin, der ho jaati hai, Bhanvre ne Khilaya and Mein hoon Prem Rogi were superb. The 1st two songs were duets with Bela Salukhe who i thought was the only weak point of the evening. In his solo song Suresh Wadekar was mindblowing.
He was known as the voice of Rishi Kapoor. Pleasant surprise to hear him after years as this talented singer is not seen for more than 20 years now. He sang Main Shayar to nahin, Hoga tumse pyaara koun and Na Mangoo sona chandi (With P Ganesh).
Rishi Kapoor informed the audience that when Main Shayar to nahin was shot, he asked Raj Kapoor and LP ( Laxmikant Pyarelal) who the dance director was and they said you have to do your own dance movements, He was stunned but had to do it. He said that if audience checks on you tube they can know how and why his movements were jerky and this was the reason, however it was a learning for him and it helped him a lot.
His 2 songs were a pleasant surprise and very power packed. Dil lena khel ke dildaar ka and Chandni, o meri chandni. He also sang his own song from sahibaan which was very nostalgic and appreciated.
Rishi Kapoor informed the audience that he played a romantic hero for 25 years from 1973-74 to 1998-99 and acted in around 125 movies and every movie had 3 to 4 hit songs. He regretted that nowadays such songs were not being made and he said that it is wrong to say that audience does not want as he could see from the audience of 2500 plus that they want these old songs only. When asked by the anchor to name his favourite movies or songs he politely declined saying like all fingers are dear and same to him, so also his movies. Since dil lena khel hai was by the immortal RD Burman, Rishi spoke about him and said that best youthful work of RD was with Rishi.
The audience wanted to hear Rishi sing. He said that he was an actor and it was his profession to lip sync. Still he sang “Mein shayyar to nahin” and the audience was pleasantly surprised to hear him singing in tune with the music without missing a beat. He said that the biggest contributor to his career were Directors, Music directors and heroines.
As mentioned earlier, the evening ended with all celebrity singers joining Amit Kumar in singing and dancing to Om Shanti Om. A memorable evening. Music is life.