Reported By: Janak Pandit

 

What a show today!! At this rate, the Gems are not going to stay Hidden for long!!

 

We had yet another great presentation and experience in Parsippany today at the birthday party for Samir Shah. There was an audience of about 60, all tuned to each and every one of the 16 songs presented by four members of our group – Upen, Mahendra, Rajesh & Janak. And the audience was engaged, teased, quizzed and simply entertained by an extempore emcee performance by Sandeep. The audience, all mature age Gujus who enjoyed the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s songs, often song along, danced along in at least 3 songs, and cheered us with generous applause.

 

We had a debut presentation from Upen with 2 songs. Congratulations Upen!! I ventured into new territory with 3 different songs thereby increasing by repertoire (taaliyaa!!!). Rajesh and Mahendra held the sway in this 1:15 minute show with 5 and 6 songs respectively. After our show, there was a brief slide presentation on Samir and family, followed by an enthusiastic rendition from Mahendra of “Bar Bar Din Ye Aaye, Bar Bar Din Ye Gaye, Tum Jiyo Hazaro Sal” and the entire group chorused in.

 

As usual, Mahendra graciously provided the entire sound system, Rajesh assisted Mahendra in ably operating and DJing the show, and Rajesh provided the ride to the troop.

 

The show was unique in many ways:

 

Like our big fund raisers, this private party was in the afternoon. It is rare to find a Saturday party in the afternoon. In classical music circles, such a show would be especially attractive for the afternoon and mid-day raags, such as Saarang, Gaud Saarang, Bhimpalasi, Multani, etc.

 

The hostess, Manjri Shah, decided to serve her guest a heavy appetizer, and postponed the lunch till after the show in honor of the Gems, which was a touching gesture. We had politely declined to dine before the show, which prompted her gesture.

 

This was, by far, the most extempore show we have attempted or done!! With this show, we have set a precedent! This show was put together in just 5 days. And we did not even rehearse, audition or meet for preparations. The final list of songs was never finalized, and was changed even during the show!! Kudos to Rajesh and Mahendra for having enough songs ready and prepared to be able to plug and play whatever, whenever, wherever!! And all this without missing a stride!! And keeping up with these changes was our emcee, Sandeep! Great job, folks!!!

 

Hidden Gems shiny satin banner, gifted by Upen (thank you), was inaugurated, unfurled, displayed and proclaimed our group identity to one and all. It showed us well. The show has been well documented for posterity and for the viewing pleasures of all Gems by our designated video-grapher, photographer and multi-talented, Rajeshree.