Covid-19 Janta Curfew: Sonu Nigam's emotional virtual concert from Dubai

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Dubai - An emotional one-hour online concert in support of Indian PM Modi's call for curfew amid Covid-19 outbreak.

By Michael Gomes

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Published: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 10:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 9:35 AM

While it poured cats and dogs outdoors, Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam, dressed in an immaculate white and beige outfit, sat in a cosy, warm studio in Dubai, to present an intimate and an emotional one-hour online concert in support of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a 'Janata Curfew' on Sunday.
Accompanied by Adeel on the piano and Russian violinist Anna, Nigam delivered a medley of unplugged songs that tugged at your heartstrings.
"Is it 8 over there (in India). Is it 6.30pm in Dubai?" asked Nigam, as he took to the microphone ahead of time. "We have to be punctual,"  the singer told his team.
Nigam opened the show saying that this was the first streaming concert in his career. "I'm doing this concert live from Dubai. While you watch from the comfort of your living rooms,  give it up for my band members Anna and Adeel," said the singer as he launched into a medley of songs that began with classics like the sombre Chhookar Mere Man Ko sung by Kishore Kumar from the Amitabh Bachchan starrer Yaarana and the soulful Kahi Door Jab Din Dhal Jaye by Mukesh from the Rajesh Khanna blockbuster Anand.
The Kal Ho Naa Ho hitmaker then moved on to pay tribute to The Nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshkar. "Lataji knows how much I love this song of hers. That's why I'm singing it here today," said the singer as he broke into a flawless rendition of Lag Jaa Gale, Lata's iconic song from the '60s.
Nigam then changed the mood and moved on to songs by Kishore Kumar and Mohd. Rafi.

"I think Amit Kumar (Kishore Kumar' son) is watching this live streaming right now and Kishore Da is watching it (from above)," the singer said as he rendered the '70s hit Raat Kali Ek Khwab Mein composed brilliantly by R.D. Burman.
The streaming session was casual and conversational, as Nigam often broke off to chat with viewers while delivering songs that were reworked and had to be cut short to fit the concert's time frame. Nigam, of course, took artistic liberty as added his distinctive touch and feel to the classics, often improvising the melodies to make them sound more appealing.
"I hope you are all receiving this streaming properly. Are you clapping for me from your living rooms? I can't feel the vibes from you as yet from here," Nigam asked.
The singer, who is popular for his romantic ballads, then broke off into another classic medley featuring Rafi's hits like Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho and Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh Par interspersed with a narrative on how he was inspired by Rafi from a young age. "I grew up listening to his (Rafi's) songs. Thanks to my father for introducing me to Rafiji's songs and thanks to my mum who is listening to me right now from up there in heaven."
During the concert, Nigam also accepted online requests from fans. "Keep smiling guys. The virus may have locked you guys in your houses, but take full advantage of this (and listen to the concert)," he urged viewers, before he brought on his son, Neevan, on camera for a wonderful Hindi-English rendition of the hit track, A Whole New World, from the Disney movie Aladdin. Nigam and Neevan went through the composition seamlessly with Nigam singing the Hindi parts while his son sang the English lines. Nigam had lent his voice in the dubbed version of the animated movie and the song was titled Sapno Ka Jahan.
The singer was clearly overcome by emotions after singing the track with his son and it took him some time to compose himself and get back into the groove. "Sorry I got carried away... because my son was singing with me," he said. No doubt anyone would after hearing Neevan's mellifluous voice.
Nigam also got a tad philosophical during the broadcast saying, "Everyone likes to be remembered for something when they are gone from this planet. Scientists would like to be remembered for their inventions, writers for their books, but when I pass away, I would like to be remembered for a song. Kal Ho Naa Ho should be playing in the background the day I'm gone and people should remember me for that."

"The world is a very nice place. But we make it small due to our thoughts. We make things so complicated. We have problems with people, their names, jobs, among many other issues. We should get rid of hatred and animosity and learn to live together. I hope you get what I'm trying to say," he added.
Nigam ended the streaming concert with a touching rendition of his hit Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin from the movie Agneepath. He thanked his fans and the staff at the studio for making this concert happen.

"Thank you very much for watching. It has been a very emotional concert for me. I never thought that I would be able to pull off a show without the physical presence of the audience. There were a lot of requests for songs, but due to time constraints, I could not fulfil their wishes. I am truly overwhelmed with this concert," Nigam concluded as he introduced the staff working behind-the-scenes.

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