Tuesday, 25 April 2017 00:00

Bollywood playback singer Arijit Singh performed in front of a packed house at the Sears Centre Arena with the Symphony Orchestra in Chicago on Friday, April 14, 2017—and it was truly a magical night.

The concert began at 8:30 p.m. with a roar from the audience, and in return, Arijit Singh said, “This is the gratitude I want to show. Thank you, Chicago!” The singer has sung songs of different genres, though his romantic ballads are the most popular. Clad in a white shirt and a tailored Nehru jacket, he took his audience into a romantic experience. His devotion to his songs is evident as he leaves gaps in the songs, encouraging the audience and his fans to sing along.

Singh proved that you can stand in one spot for three hours strapped with a guitar, and create absolute magic. His magic is contagious, which could be seen when the audience graced one of his popular romantic melodies, "Raabta," with "stars" (as mentioned by the singer himself).

Not only did he sing; he also played the piano as well as the guitar, and got the audience dancing to his tunes. Some of the songs he sang were "Gerua," the title track from the film Fitoor, "Samjhawan," "Tum Hi Ho," Channa Mereya," "Zaalima," "Muskurane Ki Wajah," "Soch Na Sake," "Agar Tum Saath Ho," "Janam Janam," "Raabta" and "Aae Dil Hai Mushkil." The audience screamed, and the cheering became louder with each song.

He took a 10-minute break, after which he sang mellower songs but kept the audience completely engaged with his energy and his mellifluous voice.

He saved his best for last, when he sang "Yaaron Dosti Badi Hi Haseen Hai," "Kabira," and "Acha Chalta Hu Duwaon Mein Yaad Rakhna," and got the audience grooving and craving for more. He and his band made you believe that romantic fairytale endings will never go out of style.

I would say that he gave me and his other fans enough memories on the night that will last a lifetime!


Friday, 10 February 2017 00:00

It's been a long time since I picked up an instrument to play, but I recently bought a ukulele. I guess I feel like I needed a little heartfelt creativity in my life, and nothing touches on this as well as playing your own music.

When I was young, I had lessons in various instruments, but nothing stuck. I wasn't driven enough to practice and get good at it. I always thought of myself as more of a singer and didn't want to be bothered with playing while I sang. Even as I collected more and more instruments, my passion was always singing.

My main lessons when I was young were in violin, piano, and guitar, so why did I choose the ukulele? I wanted something that was easy to play, very portable, and that I can play while singing. After some research, I came up with the ukulele, the autoharp, and the one-string dulcimer for instruments that fit the criteria. After listening to music from all three, I decided on the uke, as I thought the other two sounded a bit too exotic.

So, here I am, learning to play with free lessons online. I am doing this for myself. It keeps my hands busy, my brain occupied, and I feel a sense of calm when I play.

So, why do I have this yearning to pick up an instrument and learn to play again? I think it is the longing for self-expression that comes straight from my heart, and I've found nothing better for this than playing and singing. My ukulele is like a little paddle for the canoe that brings me to where I want to go in life, balancing, splashing, and playing as I go.