The moment the legendary Bollywood playback singer, Sonu Nigam, came on stage singing this soulful song “Shukrallah….Hamdulillah…. Shukrallah Wal-Hamdulillah….”, the whole crowd in the jam-packed tent installed at the Safir Hotel, Al Fintas, on the starry night of Friday, 1st May, jumped up from their seats, squealing, clapping and blowing whistles with delight. They were welcoming Sonu Nigam – their adored singer and one of the greatest Bollywood singers of all time who has captured the hearts of millions around the world with his mesmerizing voice, not to mention his magnetic charm and charisma, and that ‘wicked’ wit of his!
Once again in Kuwait, Sonu Nigam was in our part of the world for the ‘Shukran Ya Kuwait – Tribute to a Great Country; Sonu Nigam Live in Concert Show’, a magnificent musical extravaganza. Sonu, in his truly excellent and versatile vocals, enthralled the audience which was growing ever so excited as he took them through a three hour musical journey comprising of both slow and melodious songs and then those foot-tapping, heart-thumping numbers, like, “Takaluf Chodiye”, “Meri Mannat Tu”, “Mere Haath Mein Tera Haath Ho”, “Sooraj Hua Maddham”, “Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte”, “Tujhe Laage Na Nazariya” “Just Chill Chill”, to name a few.
The Sonu Nigam Live in Concert Show was initiated and organized by the ‘Apna Bharat Society’, a non-political and non-profitable Indian organization and M3 evetns based in Kuwait, involved in organizing various events in the areas of sports, arts and culture. The Indian cultural scene is extremely active in Kuwait, and Apna Bharat Society is just one of the many societies of Indian origin in Kuwait that regularly organize events centered on Indian music, art, culture and sporting competitions, with a focus on high quality entertainment catering to the Indian community in Kuwait.
The Indian Youth Society is another popular cultural society which has organized many entertaining events for the Indians living in Kuwait, like, for example, musical performance by the famous Bollywood playback singer, Udit Natayan, and the relatively recent and high-profile, ‘Kapil Sharma Show’ where the famous and ever so talented Indian comedian, Kapil Sharma, who gained worldwide popularity with his hit show, ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’, was invited to Kuwait to enthrall the jam-packed audience with his rib-tickling jokes and anecdotes!
The Delhi People Cultural Society is another popular society which organizes cultural events surrounding the North-Indian festivals, like Diwali and Lohri, on a grand scale. For example the ‘Diwali Mela’ or the ‘Lohri Nite’ which are held at the sprawling grounds of the Messilah Beach Resort, in the typical style of these festivals – Diwali, with stalls selling traditional handicrafts, apparel and street food followed by traditional songs and dances and then the fireworks show for the grand-finale. And Lohri, with lighting of the huge ‘Lohri fire’ around which people sing folk-songs and dance to the beating dhol (drum).
Even companies like Al Mulla International Exchange Company KSCC, in an effort to express gratitude to their loyal customers, regularly bring for them a plethora of shows, ranging from those scintillating musical concerts and ghazal evenings to the entertaining theatre plays and stage shows. Apart from offering a high level of entertainment, the variety of programs that these cultural societies and companies like Al Mulla Exchange bring from time to time, help the Indian community to stay in touch with the cultural scene in their country and be rooted to their culture, customs and traditions. “These organizations are doing a wonderful job! Inviting all these famous Bollywood and ghazal singers and legendary artists like Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Paresh Rawal and have them perform right in front of us, makes us stay connected to the entertainment circuit in India.” says Mr. Arora, an Indian working in a Kuwaiti construction company.
“Celebrating festivals like Diwali in such a big way here gives us the feel and flavor of Diwali like it is celebrated in India – with such excitement and hungama (pomp and show)! It makes us happy in knowing that we aren’t missing much back home…” remarks Mrs. Sharma, a housewife. These cultural extravaganzas, especially the musical events, have gained so much popularity that even people of other nationalities, as well as the Kuwaiti citizens attend them in large numbers. The Indian cultural scene is evergrowing and flourishing, with the cultural societies and companies like Al Mulla Exchange working round the clock to bring enjoyable events for the Indian community here, in Kuwait. The curtains keep rising and falling….and the show goes on.
By Shireen Passi Chopra