The venue was the same; so was the man. What was different was the music he played.Six years after his debut in India, The Unity of Light concert — A.R. Rahman returned to Salt Lake Stadium this evening with hip-hop, funk, jazz and praise for the city that “best appreciates”his music.
“In Los Angeles, when somebody asked me which audience appreciates your music the best’, I could only think of you. The same place, six years back… the love that you gave me is unbelievable and it is still fresh in my memory,” Rahman said. “If I have to hug each one of you,it would take me two years but I would still love to do that,” hesmiled.
Local flavour was not found wanting in the three-hour show, Jai Ho — A.R. Rahman Live in Concert, presented by the Liver Foundation of West Bengal. Javed Ali sang lines from Jodi Tor Daak Shuney Keu Na Aashey which Rahman had used in Shyam Benegal’s Bose: The Forgotten Hero.
Usha Uthup, Rahman’s “best singer from this city”, took the stage to sing two duets with the composer — Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na and then
Mustafa Mustafa. Rahman emerged from under the stage with the anthemic chants of Jaage Hain from Guru on his lips.
His concert outfits were sober as always — a white full-sleeve shirt and a black T-shirt. His most glamorous attire was a red sherwani. But there was less restraint. Rahman broke into an impromptu jig on stage. Gone was the shy man behind the keyboard.
Moments earlier, Rahman had said: “As I get older, I see other points of view…. Things I wouldn’t have noticed before. If music wakes you up, makes you think, heals you, the music is working. And then, a thought put in action in a positive way is a blessed thought.”
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