“It is so wonderful to perform in Mumbai,” roared ‘Rockstar’ Farhan Akhtar as the huge crowd that had gathered on the Asiatic Library steps on a cool and breezy Sunday evening, roared back.
“I probably feel the most nervous when I perform in my city,” Farhan told the audience. Farhan’s 90-minute show was the climax of the nine-day Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Festival that ended yesterday.
Akhtar said that coming to Kala Ghoda brought back memories of the time when, as a student, he spent time in that part of the city. “I was meant to be at college,” he said. “Everyone was worried about what I was going to do with my life. The question in my mind was ‘Main aisa kyun hoon’.” And then he sang ‘Main aisa kyun hoon’ from the film Lakshya.
After that song, Farhan read out lines from ‘What is this country that I live in’, a poem he wrote after the Delhi gang rape. “You need to use your collective voice… to make India a better place,” he told the crowd. “Keep on questioning.”
Farhan’s next song was ‘Socha hai’ from Rock On, followed by ‘Khwabon ke parinde’ where Shannon Donald shared the vocals. The show reached its crescendo with ‘Zinda’ and ‘Havan karenge’ from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
Before he rendered the songs, Farhan described his meetings with the country’s legendary athlete, Milkha Singh, on whose life the film is based.
“Meeting him convinced me that the human spirit knows no boundaries. He said, and I quote, ‘Haath ki lakeeron se taqdeer nahi banti’.”
At one point, Farhan descended from the stage and strode through the hysterical crowd. He then played the title track of the film Dil Chahta Hain. “This is the first film that I made and the song brings back memories,” he said. The concert ended with ‘Rock on’, the grunge rock hit from the 2008 film of the same name.
Apart from Shannon on vocals, Sarosh Izyedar played the guitar; Umang Doshi, the keyboard; Dibyajoti Nath, the bass guitar, Darshan Doshi, the drums, Anupam Ghatak, the percussions and Anurag Rao, the guitar.