Trust a Kailash Kher gig in Delhi University to be jampacked. So much that when the singer and his band, Kailasa, performed at Nexus — the annual fest of Sri Venkateswara College — on Saturday, students who couldn’t get inside, swayed to his melodious voice from outside the college. “I had come especially for Kailash Kher. I am his biggest fan and college management didn’t let me in, par kya hi farak padta hai. Mujhe to abhi bhi mazza aa raha hai,” said Anjali Salhotra, a student who could not get inside.
It’s this kind of energy that Kher loves about DU. He says it made him forget how badly he wanted to pee on reaching the venue, and he headed straight for the stage without wasting time. “Mujhe washroom jaana tha, par gazab ka crowd dekha... itni uttejna (excitement)... maine kaha stage pe chalte hain, ab seedha paseena hi aayega (I had to pee, but on seeing the excited crowd, I thought I’ll sweat it out on the stage instead),” he said.
The band had flown to Delhi after preforming in Coimbatore on Shivaratri, the previous night. “We didn’t get a chance to freshen up. Bas soundcheck kiya and we started performing,” said Kher, who sang his popular songs Teri Deewani, Allah Ke Bande and Joban Chalke.
The singer thanked college administration and the audience for one of the best receptions and also kept encouraging them to join in as he was singing. “Bahot hi gazab ka crowh hai aaj. We’re enjoying our performance a lot,” said Kher, who invited a few students to join him on stage.
Always keen to perform for Delhiites, the singer said: “They reciprocate the energy on the stage. Bade dilwalon ke liye humesha bade dil se perform karna chahiye! (One must perform from the heart for the warm-hearted).
Mention the youth’s inclination towards songs with a flirtatious and sleazy appeal, and Kher disagrees: “Log maante hai ki youth ko bass behudi cheeze pasand hai, but mera experience ye nahi manta. Youth samajhdar hai (They’re wise). Mere aur Kailasa ke fans duniya bhar mein hai, par sabse zyada colleges se hain. The youth enjoys songs with good lyrics that motivate them.”
He feels that music acts as a release, a break for the students in these competitive times. “Music ek zariya hai khush rehne ka. Bechaare paagal ho jaate hai kaam kar kar ke (I’m sure they go crazy studying a lot). Students ko aajkal classroom mein waise hi bahot gyaan milta hai. Log kehte hai ki students sunte nahi hai. Yaar kitna sunengey? Agar kuch sunaana hi hai unhe to who sunaao jisse sukoon mile. I’m glad my music makes them feel calm. Music recharges your brain and spirit.”
What is it that Kher loved about DU students besides their energy? That they knew almost all the lyrics of his songs and were enthusiastic enough to join in. “Mera song Teri Deewani to aadha crowd ne hi gaya, aur wahi mere baaki gaano ke saath bhi hua (They sang half of my song, Teri Deewani). I was laughing even when I sang Allah ke Bande and the crowd took over. Beech beech mein they went a bit off scale, but they were so good,” he said.