'Special' tribute to 100 years of Bollywood music

Filmi evening

A rendition of Hum honge kamyab and Saare jahan se accha probably never sounded as sweet. A team of special children from the ‘National Association for the Blind’ opened the programme ‘Bollywood Melodies by Visually Challenged Artistes’ at India Habitat Centre recently.

This programme was organised by cultural group ‘Impresario India’ on the occasion of ‘100 years of Indian Cinema.’         

Many well-known visually challenged artistes like Lady Shri Ram College professor and singer Dr. Priti Prakash Prajapati, violin teacher Santaram Sharma and popular vocalist Anuj Saxena participated in the event. Bijan Mukherjee, president, Impresario India, expressed, “In our series of programmes on ‘100 years of Indian Cinema,’ we thought why not make our event even more special by inviting special artistes. We have some very fine singers among us who are visually challenged. In fact, one of the best music directors Bollywood has seen- Ravindra Jain was blind. We must encourage these artistes and create new platforms for them to showcase their talent.” AIR and Doordarshan artiste- violinist Santaram Sharma initiated the evening with a tribute to belated actor Rajesh Khanna. He played the evergreen song Zindagi kaisi hai paheli from Anand (1971), and followed it up with Ek pyaar ka dariya hai from Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1963).

Dr. Priti Prakash Prajapati, who is a trained Hindi classical singer and also sings Thumri, Geet and Ghazal occasionally, took the evening forward. She began with the mystic Aayega aane wala from Mahal (1949). It was written by J Nakshab, tuned by Khemchand Prakash and sung by the legend Lata Mangeshkar. Mere mehboob tujhe and Rahe na rahe hum from the film Mamata (1963), came next. While the former was penned by Shakeel Badayuni and composed by Naushad, the latter was essayed by Majrooh Sultanpuri and tuned by Roshan.

Lastly came 19 year old visually challenged singer Anuj Saxena, a student of Delhi University, who has won many reality singing shows on television. He enthralled the audience with golden songs like Aaj ki raat dil ki salami leja (Ram Sham of 1967), Dil ka soona saaz (Ek Naari Do Roop of 1973) and finally Mere sapno ki rani (Aradhana of 1969)- another tribute to Rajesh Khanna.

With a standing ovation and hearty appreciation from the audience, the artistes expressed, “Talent exists everywhere- among the normal crowd as well as special people. The society just needs to open their eyes to them.”

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