Tundikhel on the evening of 30 November bore witness to an affair that the people in attendance are unlikely to forget for a long time to come. Mohit Chauhan was in town and it was a blast!
As soon as one stepped inside the square where the concert was taking place, it felt like one of those music festivals from around the world that we see on YouTube. The faces around me bore the biggest grins. The show was kicked off by Joint Family Internationale who made the audience sway to the rhythm of their reggae. Stellar, to say the least. Next was Nima Rumba. Every time you listen to him, it’s a walk down memory lane. The crowd sang along to every word - from ‘Preeti Basyo’, that was bellowed by the thousands, to ‘Miss Catwalk’, that got the cheers that it deserves. A worthy mention must also go to the Nepal Army Jazz Band who played in between sets and were absolutely wonderful. The concert itself was a charity event organized by the Nepalese Army Wives Association (NAWA) and managed by Premier Events.
As darkness fell, the people eagerly awaited the headliner. Suddenly, the soothing sounds of a flute permeated the grounds. The keyboard kicked in and the guitars strummed leisurely as Mohit Chauhan, with his eyes closed, slowly sang ‘Chiso…Chiso Hawa Ma’. You wouldn’t believe the ovation that he got! The crowd happily sang along as Chauhan thanked the audience for coming and shyly remarked: “It’s great to see so many beautiful people here.” Then the guitarist Krishna (who happens to be from Nepal himself) plucked that effervescent intro to ‘Jo Bhi Main’ from the movie Rockstar. This song had the distinct honour of being sung by everyone around from start to finish. Some were hoisted on their friends’ shoulders, while others put up their phones and sang all the parts with much gusto.
“This is such a romantic place,” was Chauhan’s intro to a number of his serenades like ‘Tum Se Hi’ from Jab We Met, ‘Yeh Dooriyan’ and ‘Kuch Khas’. He further expressed a desire to go to Pokhara on his next visit before breaking out the peppy numbers in ‘Ala Barfi’ and ‘Babaji’. Then came the classic, ‘Dooba Dooba’, another song that the entire crowd knew word for word. His little interactions with the audience between songs were also very enjoyable. He would narrate little stories behind the tunes and one that got a massive applause was when, before ‘Pee Loo’, he asked in Hindi: “On evenings like these, you would love to have a little drink wouldn’t you?” He then backed away with a laugh as the band began the song. Another standout number was ‘Nadaan Parindey’ from Rockstar that had the whole place in raptures.
As the clock started to go north, the end was nigh and everybody could sense it. Then came that infamous guitar intro and keyboard to ‘Sadda Haq’. This got the loudest cheer as most of the youth now had taken off their sweaters and were whirling it over their heads like there was no tomorrow. The performance of ‘Sadda Haq’ was arguably the best of the night and one that the crowd vicariously ate up. After it was done, most people (still finding their voices), started to make their way to the exit only for Chauhan to astonish the audience one more time with ‘Resham Firiri’.
All in all, it was a concert worth experiencing and kudos to the organizers for beefing up the security and making it a smoothly run event. Mohit Chauhan in Nepal definitely left us wanting for more. !