Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bandra Fort and Shubha Mudgal

Last week, I attended a Shubha Mudgal concert at the Bandra Fort. Bandra Fort is located ahead of the Sea Rock hotel at Bandra Bandstand. It is one of the better-maintained forts in Bombay though it has got destroyed over the ages. The fort was called ‘Castella de Aguada’ which could mean a fort by the water. The Portuguese built it in 1640 as a watchtower for the mainland (Salsette), which overlooked the Mahim Island and the Arabian Sea. Look up Bombay Addict’s blog with some good pictures here about his trip to Bandra fort. The fort has some high palm (tadgola) trees with a few of the arches and walls still intact.

The venue was just right with the sea as the backdrop for Shubha Mudgal and her group ‘Koshish’. This was not a pure classical concert but a fusion one with Merlin D’Souza on the keyboards/piano, Aneesh Pradhan on the tabla, Sudhir Nayak on the harmonium, Murad Ali on the sarangi, Benoni Soans on the drums and Brennon Deffer on the bass guitar.

They started the concert with a ‘tarana’ with Shubha Mudgal singing a poem composed by Dharni Das. After singing a composition based on a Gulzar poem, she enthralled the audience with a very powerful ‘Bol’ based on Faiz Ahmed Faiz's ‘s poem ‘Bol Ke Lab Aazaad Hain Tere’. Then, of course were some indi-pop numbers from the album, Ab Ke Sawaan like my favorites 'Seekho Na, Naino Ki Bhasha Piya' and 'Dere Dere'. A section of the audience went berserk when she started singing the very popular title track 'Ab Ke Sawaan'. The performance ended with the audience, which was packed to full capacity screaming encore after she sang 'Dholna' from the album 'Pyar Ke Geet'.
I am glad that I went for the concert not only because it was my favorite singer but also because of the venue. If you are in Bandra, do go and stray around at the Bandra Fort and experience a slice of Bombay’s history.


Bombay Addict said...

Abodh - thanks so much for linking me !

Also envy you ! I had passes for that event and chose to go for "Fanaa" about mistakes of all-time !

Bandra Fort really looks much better now, thanks to the Band Stand Residents Assoc. Unfortunately the view from the Fort, at least on southside, is finished thanks to the Bandra Worli Sealink. But still, its a great place.

Abodh said...

Bombay Addict : You should have chosen Shubha Mudgal over Fanaa. Yes, you are right the view is marred but as the stage was located on the west , it was beautiful looking at the sea as a backdrop.