Usha Uthup turned Rabindra Sarobar (opposite Menoka cinema) into a party pad on Sunday evening, churning out one hit number after another for Live In Lakes. Greeted with loud applause as she took the makeshift stage under the trees, Usha started with I Believe In Music, slipping in the line, âI believe in Live In Lakesâ. âLet us revive this magical placeâ¦ it is so romantic,â said Usha, unstoppable when it came to crowd interaction. âLadies and gentlemen, for 45 years I have been singing. And I feel so proud and privileged to be here. I thought all of you would clap when you heard me say, â45 yearsâ.... Iâm still around, still in a sari, a couple of kilos extra here and there, but nicer looking. Otherwise everything is the same,â smiled the Darling singer, breaking into crowd faves like Skyfall, Stand By Me, I Just Called To Say I Love You. Dum maaro dum and Senorita even saw fans young and not-so-young getting up and matching steps to the beats. âThis crowd is so beautiful,â said Usha to over 1,000 people. âIâm your teacher, will you be my students?â she asked, launching into Kolaveri di, as the Lakes drowned in a deafening roar.
Usha invited tabla exponent Subhen Chatterjee on stage for some impromptu jamming.
âI grew up in the Lake area but never did I imagine that I would get to listen to Usha didi live here and perform with her. What a mind-blowing performer she is,â said Chatterjee.
âWe chose to end the season for our flagship Sunday evening event with Usha and Fakira â one representing the enduring appeal of the city and the other the new face of Calcutta,â said Mudar Patherya,co-organiser, Live In Lakes, a citizensâ initiative backed by the Calcutta Improvement Trust to breathe life into Rabindra Sarobar way beyond morning-walk hours.
The Live In Lakes wave saw the ladies, with hands up in the air, going âha-ha-ha-haâ and then clapping in rhythm to the song Duniya mein logon ko. Cellphone lights and (below) torches pierced the darkness as Usha ended her one-hour-plus set with â what else but â Kolkata Kolkata. Text: Arindam Chatterjee; Pictures: Pabitra Das
Text: Arindam Chatterjee; Pictures: Pabitra Das