The queue for Amit Trivedi’s concert snaked all the way around Horniman Circle on Sunday, the last day of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, as thousands of eager fans lined up to get into the venue.
For most, it was too late to find a spot on the library’s steps, but once the concert began, Trivedi’s music — and the deafening bellows of over 6,000 fans singing along — could be heard for miles.
One of those fans was Fort resident Gayatri Palan, 35, who was there with her husband. “Trivedi’s music is the kind of thing that makes you happy instantly,” she said, grinning.
The Pepe Jeans Zindagi Jodey Dilon Ko concert by Amit Trivedi, which capped the nine-day festival, began with the crowd chanting his name for 15 minutes before the composer and singer took the stage. They then broke into a roar as he sang his first number of the night, Nayan Tarse from the film Dev.D.
Dressed for drama in a black blazer and white T-shirt, Trivedi had the crowd captivated, dancing, clapping and cheering them into frenzy. He moved from song to song, using conversation to hint at which one was coming next. Gesturing to the edges of the throng, he said, “Khud hi hai kinare (They are themselves the edges),” a hint to a performance of Kinare, a song from Bollywood movie Queen, which the crowd picked up on quickly.
“The great thing about Amit is what a fantastic performer he is,” said Arpana Gvalani, curator of the Pepe Jeans music section of the Kala Ghoda festival. “He gets the crowd going with his energy. His contemporary compositions are wonderful to sing along to. It was a really unique performance, given the backdrop of the library steps.”
Halfway through his performance, Trivedi discussed what needs to change in India. “Ten Modis and ten Kejriwals won’t be able to change our country unless we change from within,” he said. “We might be free from the Moghuls and the British, but we are not yet azad [free] from the constraints of our own minds.” That led into a performance of Aazaadiyan, from the movie Udaan.
The audience was enthralled. “I have all his recordings, and this is the seventh concert of his I have been to,” said a breathless Baksh Kirtane, 19, a college student who describes himself as a ‘super-fan’ of Trivedi.
Eventually, Trivedi and his back-up singers took a seat on the steps. “Now, we will be the audience and you will shall be the singers,” he said, holding out his mike. As the opening chords began, the 6,000-strong audience sang all of Iktara, from Wake Up Sid, with the professional singers clapping along.
The finale was a rousing rendition of Emotional Atyachar from Dev.D, which had thousands jumping to the beat on the Asiatic Library steps.
“This performance was special because of the backdrop,” said Kirtane. “Everyone was having so much fun on the steps.”