Melody queen

Melody queen

Anil Kumar Vijayan (

6 November 2011

Bollywood singer Shreya Ghoshal showers Dubai with her lilting tunes at a Festival City concert

ON THURSDAY EVENING there was just one name on the lips of the UAE’s music lovers from the Indian sub-continent: Shreya Ghoshal, the Indian singing sensation and winner of four National Awards in a career of less than a decade. She was the highlight of Sangeet Ki Barsaat (Musical Rain), hosted by Rafi Mathira at Festival City in Dubai.

A versatile singer, Ghoshal is known throughout India for her hit Hindi film songs, but she is equally well-known for her near-perfect rendering of songs in regional films, which include Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, her native Bengali and Marathi. So, as expected, the crowd that trooped in enthusiastically was a microcosm of the Indian subcontinent itself, with some Emiratis as well in the front row.

Singer Shivprasad Mallaya set the mood for the musical evening. And when the glamorous young singer finally appeared on stage, she looked every bit the singing diva that she is.

Without losing much time, she made up for her fans’ long wait with a series of hit songs for the next 45 minutes. In addition to hit Bollywood numbers from Singam, Dabangg and My Name is Khan, there was popular Malayalam number from Anwar and the her first major hit in Tamil – Munbe va en anbe va – composed by A.R. Rahman. Her rendering of a semi-classical number with a lot of intricate dynamics floored the audience, which burst into a thundering spontaneous applause.

Comperes Nyla and Mithun from radio station Hit 96.7 told the audience that Shreya had complained of a bad throat in the morning, but there was no trace of it in her singing as she seemed to draw energy from her exuberant audience.

Totally down-to-earth, Shreya’s greatest quality seems to be her humility and excellent audience interaction. Children, women and men of all ages responded eagerly to her invitation to sing along with her, visibly enjoying every bit of it and they were frequently praised by the singer for their musical efforts. The second half was full of peppy numbers and Mallaya joined her for the duets.

When the show ended past midnight, the audience still hadn’t had enough of Shreya’s incredible music.

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