A slice of India cut across cultural barriers as scores of Germans listened to noted Ghazal singer Penaz Masani with rapt attention singing famous numbers of Raj Kapoor and Kishore Kumar at an Indian theme party as part of the ongoing Asian Pacific meet being held in Berlin.
Mera Juta hai Japani and Mein hun Jhum Jhum Jhumroo hardly made any sense to most people yet they were clearly enthralled by the renditions rich with Indian flavour thanks to Tagore Centre of the Indian embassy in Berlin, which had sponsored the programme.
Penaz began the evening with a traditional ghazal, which was followed by famous number filmed on the queen of Indian silver screen Madhubala Aaaye Meherban followed by Mera Juta hai Japani.
To her pleasant surprise and to a small crowd that had been flown to Berlin especially for the festival, quite a few Germans and other nationals settled in this city started singing in a chorus with her.
The response indicated that there are lovers of traditional Indian music in this distant land. "I love Raj Kapoor and I have seen several of his movies including Shri 420, Awara and Mera Naam Joker," says Raby Mermer, an Israeli settled in Germany, who sang the famous number of Raj Kapoor more prominently than the others in the crowd.
Penaz continued the programme with Main hun Jhum Jhum Jhumroo of legendary Kishore Kumar and again the chorus was heard from several corners of the crowd while others, who obviously did not understand it, participated by clapping to the rhythm.