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Yaahooo! Shammi Kapoor lives on ...

By Viren Mayani
January 2012
Yaahooo! Shammi Kapoor lives on ... Performers: Rekha Radhakrishnan, Udai Singh, Rajen Raval, Amit Dave, Lakshmi Rao, and Shyam Gupta.
(Photo: Anjeli Singh)

The indomitable spirit of ‘the Elvis of India’ came alive at Yaahooo, a music program held in memory of Bollywood’s ‘Greatest Dancing Hero’ and the icon of the Kapoor clan—the late Shammi Kapoor, who passed away on August 14, 2011 from renal failure, cheerful and brave to the end. His romantic and comic playboy character in films was beloved for being charming, energizing, and great fun. The program also raised funds for Georgia Legal Services Program, Inc., a nonprofit agency of the State Bar of Georgia, to provide legal services to low income Georgians.

Atlanta’s attorney Udai Singh coupled with a few equally gifted and passionate performers set the Berkmar High School stage in Lilburn on fire. Crisp audio and scintillating LED lights managed by AV expert Sandeep Savla matched the karaoke soundtracks booming through a reasonably packed auditorium. The simple stage decor consisted of framed posters of Shammi’s classic films laid out with draped fabric, all provided by Unique Art at Global Mall.

The singing cohorts, Udai Singh, Amit Dave, Rajen Raval, Rekha Radhakrishnan, Shyam Gupta, and Laxmi Rao belted out the choicest solo and duet songs from the treasure chest of Shammi Kapoor’s dancing library. Most songs were happy, foot-tapping numbers, keeping the engaged crowd clapping and dancing in front of and on stage.

The first half included hit songs: “aasman se yaya frishta,” “subhanallah hai haseen chera hai,” “*aaj kaal tere mere pyaar,” “dil deke dekho,” “tareef karoon kya,” “kabhi hamne nahin socha tha,” “bade hain dil ke kale,” “dekho ab to,” “yoon to hamane lakh haseen,” “*Jawaniya ye mast mast,” “hum aur tum aur ye saama,” “mujhe kitna pyaar hai,” and “aaja aaja mein hoon payaar tera”—with Udai Singh changing hair styles and attire to mimic the character of Shammi in the movies. For a couple of songs before intermission, including “aaja aaja,” he donned a glittering bright red suit with radiantly white sun glasses and a flashy bow tie, quite a combination of sight, sound, and song!

Intermission lengthened as people enjoyed the included hot snacks of samosa-chole with chutney and masala chai catered by Paresh Munshi. Then the second half continued with “*diwana hua badal,” “mein chaali mein chaali,” “o haseena zulfoanwali,” “jaane bahaar husn tera,” “jab mohabbat jawan hoti,” “tu bemisaal hai taareef kya karoon,” “din sara guzara tere angina,” “duniya waalaon se door,” “dil tera diwana,” “badan pe sitare lapete huye,” “*baar baar dekho,” “yahoo,” “govinda alla re alla,” and the grand finale had the entire group singing “savere waali gaadi se.”

Everyone was invited to clap, dance, and have fun. The songs were truly reminiscent of this legend, unparalleled in Indian cinema. The combination of Mohammad Rafi and Shammi Kapoor will live on forever for Indians around the world.


Website Bonus Features

Another Lakshmi Rao, Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao of New England, has an article with interesting comments on the songs below, as well as others.

*Videos of some songs mentioned in the report above:
Aaj ke tere mere” (1968) from Brahmachari

Jawaniyan ye mast mast,” (1957) from Tumsa Nahin Dekha

Deewana Hua Badal” (1964) –with Sharmila Tagore & Shammi Kapoor, from Kashmir Ki Kali

Baar Baar Dekho” (1962) from China Town

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