Bangalore Habba over the years has become a landmark event in the Bangalore calendar. I have seen the quality of it go up over the last 3 years at least and like everyone else I also look forward to it Last evening I went to Bangalore Habba 2006 for the Sufi music, having no clue who else is performing. But there was quite a lineup of events and items.
To being with there was a fashion show by Peter England, presenting their various lines for various occasions, which was followed by a beautiful and enchanting Bridal collection by Hemant Trivedi. There was a promotion of an upcoming movie by Arjun Rampal and his stunning wife Mehar, with usual acts like calling common girls, dancing with them, kissing them and giving away your personal stuff, distributing CDs and telling how this is the best movie you will ever see in your lifetime.
Then came the most awaited part of the evening for the crowd, a performance by Malaika Arora Khan. Her being a judge in ‘Nach Balliye’ had probably raised the expectation from her as a dancer. She was the most disappointing part of the evening. She can not dance, has no confidence on stage, but had loads of confidence to wear the kind of costume that she wore. She had some 7-8 dancers along with her, who kept the stage alive and kept her covered enough for people not to notice her discomfort for dancing. More than half the time dance was nothing but rest of the group lifting Malaika and rolling, twisting and turning her, and rest half she was busy making poses with one or more members of her crew, inspired by Khajuraho. May be I am being too critical, but to borrow her own words ‘ she was very Thanda’ , had no energy, no synergy with the rest of the people on stage. The aura that she creates on TV, was not at all there. You almost feel whatever she is, probably owes it to her cameramen. All that I could find matching with the image of Malaika was her confidence to carry almost next to nothing clothes on stage.
Then came the event that I had gone for, Sufi singing by Kailash Kher. I just fell in love with the guy, simple plain singing, no funny looking dancers around him, no fancy clothes, pure plain original honest singing. All I can say about his voice is ‘Kya dum hai Aawaz mein’ . There is certain simplicity and honesty in the person that shows in his singing. It is rare that you see simple souls in today’s time and age. And couple it with the soulful songs that he sings and you have magic and mystery flowing all around you. If you hear it in closed surroundings, I am sure this is good enough to take you into a meditative state and feel that eternal bliss. You feel the Ishq for that ultimate existence. Kailash, I have become your fan.
Nandini and Padmini, thank you for bringing such beautiful evenings to Bangalore, and running with Bangalore Habba year after year.