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HTKGAF 2018: Performers, actors set Mumbai stage on fire

Mumbai’s pristine white Asiatic Library was lit up by pink halogen lights, the ground in front of it packed with people of all ages

mumbai Updated: Feb 10, 2018 22:56 IST
Krutika Behrawala
Krutika Behrawala
Hindustan Times
HTKGAF 2018,Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival,Benny Dayal
Benny Dayal performs at the Asiatic Library on Saturday.(Pratik Chorge/HT)

A sea of smartphone flashlights popped against the backdrop of the Asiatic Library on Saturday evening, as Benny Dayal crooned ‘Tu hi toh meri dost hai’ on the steps of the iconic institution.

The pristine white structure was lit up by pink halogen lights, the ground in front of it packed with people of all ages — all eagerly waiting the singer-songwriter’s performance, presented by Bajaj Electricals on Saturday at the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

Dayal performed with his electro-funk band, Funktuation, which flew down from Chennai to accompany him as he belted out popular favourites like ‘Kaise mujhe tum’ and ‘Enna sonna’, and then moved on to foot-thumping party numbers like ‘Daaru desi’, ‘Nashe si chadh gayi’ and ‘Badtameez dil’ — which received the loudest applause.

“It’s an honour to be part of the festival’s heritage,” said Dayal.

The same high levels of energy and enthusiasm had greeted Shefali Alvares at her performance here an hour earlier.

The Bollywood playback and jazz singer rocked the stage with her hit songs, including ‘O Gujariya’ and ‘Ek main aur ekk tu’, as well as covers of Bollywood and English songs such as Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, Coldplay’s ‘Fix you’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’.

“It was amazing how she maintained her pitch, and Billie Jean was a great flashback,” said Raju Chowdhry, 47, a software architect from Chembur.

In between the two performances, the crowds were regaled by the stars of the film Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety — Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Singh.

“I love this location. Being from Jai Hind College, I would take a walk through this lane every day,” says Bharucha, who also accepted the challenge to repeat her film’s title thrice as a tongue twister.

“While the festival has focused on Bollywood music in its performances, this year, the idea was to showcase the modern Bollywood sound. It’s epitomised by artistes like Benny Dayal and Shefali Alvares,” said section co-curator Naveen Deshpande. “Benny’s music has influences of funk and rock while Shefali brings her sensibilities of jazz music to film songs.”

First Published: Feb 10, 2018 22:56 IST