Oh la la, Shreya!…Indian singer thrills thousands in “super duper” show
Shreya Ghoshal’s hit song “Teri Meri Prem Kahani” depicts lovers struggling to define their love story, but for the thousands of Guyanese fans who turned out for her show Sunday evening, there was no definition needed. It was clear and simple, they were in love.
Why, she was their “fantasy” as well.
On landing in Guyana, she called the country “gorgeous” and “heavenly,” and after the show, she tweeted that it was “super duper.” Indeed it was.
Once she stepped on the stage at the National Stadium, there was no hesitation by the fans in confirming their love for an artiste who has been a constant feature in their homes since she lent her voice to Aishwarya Rai for the film, Devdas, in 2002.
Remarkably, Ghoshal, at just 16 years old then, won the Filmfare Award (India’s equivalent of the Oscars) for Best Female Playback singer, for the song “Dola Re Dola” in the film.
Since then, she has sung for some of the best names in Hindi cinema, and once it’s Bollywood, Guyana connects, from the Corentyne Coast to the Essequibo Coast.
Over the past decade, Ghoshal’s sojourn into Bollywood has produced some of the best collaborations with music producers and writers, and picked up award after award, catapulting her into a league of her own.
Shortly before getting on stage, with blow dryer to her hair, she pondered about what to wear. In the end, she stepped on stage with what the ladies called “jeggins,” a midriff top and jacket. It was simple, but not understated, still managing to maintain her reputation as a woman of elegance.
That was all the styling that was needed. Opening with “Teri Meri Prem Kahani” from the recent Salman Khan/Kareen Kapoor blockbuster, Bodyguard, Ghoshal charmed the audience from the beginning.
What followed were songs that showed her versatility as a singer, and the near perfection with which she undertakes her craft. At points it’s as if she rides off in haste to the precipice, without plunging over (Dola Re Dola) and at other times, you can feel the gentle breeze of a comforting whisper tingling at the back of your neck, moving across your face, enveloping you with a certain gentleness and warmth that is always to be longed for, as she does in Tere Meri Prem Kahani and Jadu Hai Nasha Hai, though the latter borders on the seductive.
Whether it is her skill in Indian classical music, dabbling in soulful melodies that she has come to perfect, or just having fun with the saucy item numbers of Hindi cinema, Ghoshal has come of age.
Bringing along a dancing troupe added to the magic of her voice, especially for songs like “Oh la la,” from The Dirty Picture, “Zoobi Doobi” from 3 Idiots and “Mashala Mashala” from Ek Tha Tiger.
Ghoshal brought along with her singers Prithvi Gandharv and Jeffrey Iqbal, both of whom ably added to what was a spectacular event.
Among those at the concert were President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee, along with Reepu Daman Persaud, President of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, which put on the show.
The Sabha deserves credit for an event that was smoothly executed, and we could hear no one complain about anything.
Before her final song, Mere Dholna Sun, from Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Ghoshal performed a medley of songs from Indian’s melody queen Lata Mageshkar, from whom she draws inspiration.
Among the favourites was Lag Ja Gale, lip-synched by Sadhana in the 1964 film Woh Kaun Thi. We would want to think that the audience agreed with the lyrics and joined in the chorus.
Indeed, the fans embraced Ghoshal as if they would never have such a beautiful night with her again, but her parting words, “See you soon!” told everyone that we might just see her again here, and by that time, she would have climbed higher on the ladder of success. (Neil Marks)