Daler sets the evening afire

  • Daler sets the evening afire

    Sunday, May 25th, 1997

'Bolo Ta Ra Ra' he sang, and the crowd at the BJ Medical College grounds went berserk. Amidst gyrating bodies, thumping feet and 25,000 watts of vibrating music displacing the air, Daler Mehndi, India's latest musical sensation, set the evening on fire on Wednesday. He was performing in the city at the McDowell's Diplomat Full Hangama Show. It was, as Daler himself described in one of his chartbusting numbers, ' Rat Nasheme Mast Sama Hai. Hangama..... Hangama...

What Mehndi and his band of musicians served was a heady of cocktail of Punjabi folk, bhangra, rap and songs from Hindi films: 'Hayo Rabba', Na Na Na Na .. Na Rey', 'Aaakh Mare ladki Aaakh Mare', ' Chualieya Hai Tumne Jo Dil KO', 'Dardi Rab Rab' and even 'Sarpe Topi Hatme Rumal Ho Tera Kaya Kahana. After staging shows at Delhi and Mumbai, McDowell And Diplomat brought the Bhangra Pop King Daler Mehndi to Pune. A one-year contract with Daler, which extends till December, enables McDowell to utilise the singer's services for ten more such evenings of absolute fun, all over the country.

Earlier, speaking to reporters, Mr Hemu Zhaveri of McDowell said Mehndi would be paid a undisclosed sum for his performances. Mr Zhaveri said McDowell is the number one company in India as far as the drinks market is concerned, with sales of four of their products crossing the million mark each. Though he admitted that Diplomat did not really have a strong market in Pune, he denied that these shows were meant to target a prospective clientele.

"We agree that we are focusing on Maharashtra," he admitted. Daler also spoke to presspersons on the occasion. He apologized reaching late as he was feelings a bout under the weather. He credited his success to his father, who was his guru, and his brother.

Daler recollected that the people of Pune had given him a fantastic reception when he last came to the city, and hoped that it would be the same this time as well. When asked whether Bhangra Pop or India Pop was just a passing phase. Mehndi said his brand of music would be around at least for the next decade.

"In that time I hope to donate enough for charity and start something for the people of his country," he said.

He said he preferred to listen to classical music, Punjabi folk music and ghazals. "I have also recorded an album of ghazals in my early days" he said. Mehndi had no qualms singing in shows sponsored by liquor companies. "If they are pouring in money for a good cause, what is the harm?" was his simple reply.