Unity of Light Concert: Unbelievable and
you were to pick some of the most talented individuals India has
ever produced, then you ought to pick this bundle of talent, with
you were to name a few personalities who have done India proud
within and sometimes way beyond their creative capabilities, then
you ought to mention this phenomenon who needs neither swords
nor ammunition to conquer and captivate us.
you were to ever speak about Indian music then you definitely
should be talking at length about this music genius.
that's Allah Rakha Rahman folks. Till date I have just
felt his magic but on the 30th of March 2003, I saw this great
musician cast his enriching spell on about 5000 people in Dallas,
Texas. Rahman's Unity of Light concert was indeed a union of serenity,
tranquility and harmony performing a catharsis of souls in such
I read somewhere, is an exaggeration. If that is so, is being
godly just an imagination? What would you call somebody who is
not only great but also godly? I would call him AR Rahman. Yes,
that's what he is. Not only, is he a great musician but also a
'God' in his own sorts. Rahman's music is like a law of nature
- a thing one cannot question, alter or implore.
me, I started off writing this article just to share my experience
of being an active, enthusiastic audience of Rahman's concert.
But so far, I did exaggerate a little, didn't I? Well, I did make
my point and reasons in doing so ;-). Hence no qualms!
the fear of sounding clichéd, I can say the concert was
unbelievable and unforgettable. Very few things in life are either
unbelievable or unforgettable. But watching Rahman perform live,
was both unbelievable and unforgettable at the same time. I say
so because each and every moment of the three hour long concert
was an experience in itself. Each moment passing by, was not only
spent devouring the soothing music, but also was spent in cherishing
and assimilating the moment passed by and waiting for the coming
moment. While excitement & enjoyment were the expected outcomes
and fun & frolic the inherent elements, moments of sheer pleasure
& absolute bliss were the added incentives of this concert.
show started off with our very own SPB singing a popular and an
instrumentally delightful number Oruvan Oruvan (Okade
Okkadu) [Muthu] indirectly talking about the one and
only Rahman. With such a perfect start, the maestro (who by the
way truly deserves this honor after Ilayaraja) took us on a soul-stirring,
mind-blowing ride with the voices of -
Balasubramanyam (who was singing his share of songs -Roja
Janeman [Roja], Anjali Anjali [Duet]
- in Telugu, Tamil and where applicable in Hindi),
(who sang the soulful Tu Hi Re [Bombay] and passionate
Hai Rama [Rangeela]),
Mahadevan (who literally stole the show with an awesome
rendition of O Humdum [Saathiya], Hamma Hamma
[Bombay] and Ghanan Ghanan [Lagaan]),
Narayan (who took off with Ee Ajnabi [Dil Se]
followed by his songs from Lagaan),
Singh (who again was in his elements making the audience
sway to his Chaiyya Chaiyya number [Dil Se]),
Nigam (who added a touch of romance with Satrangi Re
[Dil Se], Saathiya [Saathiya] and patriotism
with Mera Rang De [The Legend of Bhagat Singh]),
singer Karthik who sang O Humdum and Chupke
Se [Saathiya] and was a part of the chorus for many
Sargam (who stole our hearts with Chupke se/Snehithuda
[Saahitya] and also singing some songs from Lagaan),
Iyer (this paakhi paakhi pardesi girl sang Kahi
Aag Lage [Taal] and many other songs with a sweet
Das (who sang the Shakalaka Baby from Bombay Dreams),
Poornima (who did the alaap in Anjali Anjali [Duet]).
all the singers displayed their prowess under the able guidance
of the King of Indian music, his crew, which included the best
of the best like Shivamani (drummer), Naveen (flute)
and others on the guitar, violins etc. did exhibit their talents
to the fullest amidst thunderous applause.
people waited for the maestro to enthrall them with his voice,
Rahman took off with Dil Se Re (which was sung straight
from the heart), Sona (accompanied by Sukhwindra and taken
from Bombay Dreams) and Vellai Pookal (a number
from Kannathil Muthamital/Amrutha), which he sang for 'peace'.
Needless to say, all his songs got a rousing reception.
concert, apart from including popular numbers from films like
Roja, Dil Se, Bombay, Saathiya, Lagaan, Taal, Rangeela
etc., also had instrumentals like the theme from Bombay. Some
songs from Rahman-Webber's musical Bombay Dreams, which
hits the Broadway sometime next year, were also premiered.
show concluded with Rahman's rendition of Maa Tujhe Salaam
[from his album Vandemataram] followed by our National
am sure all those of you who have attended the concert in your
respective cities agree with what I wrote here. For all the others,
I urge you to be a part of this show, where the musical magician
in Rahman, tricks and treats us with his pieces of art.
here to read other articles by Sreya Sunil.