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The seventh edition of ‘Khamoshiyan Gunguna Lagi’ presented by Aarohi Music Academy, led by the renowned teacher and singer Vidya Teke, was a musical extravaganza that regaled the audience the Dorothy Winstone Centre auditorium last Saturday.

This annual event has become a much-anticipated highlight in Auckland’s Hindi film music calendar. This year’s theme paid a heartfelt tribute to the legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra, known for his timeless contributions to Hindi cinema.

One of the standout aspects of this event was the careful song selection. Yash Chopra’s films have given us some of the most iconic and melodious songs in the history of Indian cinema, and the repertoire chosen for the evening showcased the depth and diversity of his musical legacy. From soul-stirring melodies to popular foot-tapping classics, the playlist was a journey through the decades of cinematic brilliance.

Silver-voiced Vidya Teke excelled in her presentations as usual, leading from the front followed by a most competent set of some of Auckland’s most accomplished singers – Arif, Guncha, Gopal Nair, Ankita, Ravi and Pritha, all of whom sang with great passion and elan. A most pleasant surprise of the evening was the exceptional talent displayed by the younger set of singers. It was heartening to witness the relatively newer crop of artistes paying homage to the classics while infusing their unique style and energy into the renditions. Their performances were both refreshing and captivating, proving that the legacy of Hindi cinema’s music is in good hands.

The mastery of Auckland’s best instrumentalists accompanying the singers (Araad, Hemant, Navneel, Diya) added handsomely to the richness of the melodies, making every note resonate. The seamless coordination between the singers and the instrumentalists was a testament to the hard work and dedication put into the preparation.

This year’s edition of the concert was delightfully different from its previous instalments, adding an extra layer of depth to the experience. While the music took centre stage, there was an innovative addition that enriched the event even further – informative visuals in the backdrop that provided the audience with little-known details about legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra.

These visuals enhanced the overall storytelling. As the songs played and the singers performed, the backdrop came alive with a visual journey through Yash Chopra’s illustrious career. It was a treat for both die-hard fans and those less familiar with the filmmaker’s work. The snippets of behind-the-scenes moments, anecdotes, and lesser-known facts about his films provided a context that deepened the connection between the audience and the music.

Aarohi music academy has consistently used the Khamoshiyan Gunguna Lagi platform to raise funds for Paws, an animal shelter that they have been supporting for several years. This endeavour is not just a charitable act; it’s a labour of love for the Teke family. It’s heart-warming to see how music can be used as a catalyst for positive change in the community.

The sound engineering and balance during the event were excellent. Popular emcee Junoo was her lively self, in conducting the proceedings of the memorable evening.

First appeared in the 10 September edition of the Indian Weekender