On November 1, AR Rahman will take to the stage at Bhavan’s College to perform chart toppers from his latest film album, Rockstar.
Accompanying the Oscar-winning composer on his first film promotional gig will be Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, director Imtiaz Ali, percussion guru Shivamani, musician Ranjit Barot, playback singer and Ranbir’s ‘voice’ Mohit Chauhan, the original qawwals of Kun Faaya Kun… and his band.
The event is being organised by Deepak Gattani of Rapport, who coordinates all Rahman’s concerts, with choreography by Ashley Lobo. A set has been designed on the college grounds to resemble a cross with a hydraulic lift and ramp.
The Mumbai concert will be followed by two galas in Dubai and London. “We’re planning a concert for peace in Kashmir too, either before or after the film’s release on November 11. The logistics are being worked out, permission has been applied for and we’re hopeful,” says Ranbir.
Rockstar was filmed in the Valley and the actor admits he was apprehensive before the shoot, given the exaggerated media reporting. “But the people were so welcoming, the food, culture and place is so amazing that I finally understood why my grandfather (Shammi Kapoor, who was his grandfather Raj Kapoor’s younger brother) had loved Kashmir so much,” he smiles.
Shammi was Bollywood’s brand ambassador for the state and after his death; his ashes were immersed in the Dal Lake.
Ranbir remembers that despite being confined to a wheelchair and having to undergo dialysis thrice a week, he was like an energetic boy. “A day before the shoot, he called to confess that he was nervous and worried about forgetting his lines. I reassured him that everything would be fine,” Ranbir reminisces, admitting that only after he had put the phone down did it strike him that a legend had been taking advice from a newcomer.
The older Kapoor had passed on his ‘rockstar’ title to him while he was alive, but Ranbir says it’s too big a compliment for him. “Shammi Kapoor was and will remain the original rockstar. And it’s prophetic that his last film is titled Rockstar,” says the star as he prepares for his first live concert.