Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Silky Singer (with a Sari)




The wedding season is just getting started. And calendars for emcees, DJs, caterers and other wedding services getting absolutely choc-a-blocked. 

Was performing at a Malayalee wedding on Sunday and as the guests posed for photographs with the bridal couple, the stage was absolutely ablaze with the colours of the silk saris that the lovely ladies wore. I managed to get a pic with the mother of the bride (a lecturer of mine from college) that's been getting hundreds of likes on my Facebook page - you'll have to go there to see it. 

If I were to ask you whether you've ever seen a singer on stage donning the traditional Indian sari, what would your answer be?

Over the last nearly 50 years, there has been this phenomenal sari-clad woman with a big 'bindi' whose husky alto voice and energy levels has got every single person in the crowd standing and rocking to her sensational tunes. Have you figured this out yet?

There's only one like that - the unimitable Usha Uthup



She celebrated her 69th birthday yesterday. And she's still on the roll.
 
The first time I remember hearing her sing was watching TV at my grandmom's place (Nana's house) while this song played - a mix of One Way Ticket and the Indian adaptation Hari Om Hari.


While we enjoyed watching her sing and dance, there were common links with here that came into conversation. She studied in the same school as most of my aunts (St. Agnes High School aka Clare Road Convent). Also one of her older sisters and my aunt were classmates, and performed together in school performances. In fact, Usha first appeared on the music scene singing as part of the Sami sisters. They performed together a few years ago - check out this montage.


Back in Bollywood, she did an Indian edition of Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger singing the title song of Shaan - Shaan Se.

 
Another facet of her talent is her versatility with languages. She has sung in as many as 13 Indian and 8 Foreign languages. Here's a dose of Tamil - Vegam Vegam Pogum Pogum.


For those still riding in the clouds, this song is right back to reality with things for lovers to enjoy. This song in Konkani has a very Portuguese style entry - Meu Amor (My Love).
 


A few years ago, Indians around the world experienced the 'Kolaveri' virus. It caught Usha Uthup as well who sings it here for India's women sports stars - Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom - Why this Kolaveri Di?

 
She's a real performer. Check out one of her most recent rages - Darling from Saat Khoon Maaf.


Usha tours around India but currently called Kolkata her home. A few months ago, she had the honour of singing a song dedicated to the most famous woman ever of Kolkata - Saint Mother Teresa. You can listen in to not one but two songs on my blog post - Mother Teresa - Model of Mercy.

For songs with a theme, I like this contemplative song from Mark Spoelstra - White Winged Dove.


Did you notice that I hardly posted with the exception of the Shaan theme, all the rest of the videos on this post are live performances. You would have gathered by now, that that's because of the fantastic performer that Usha Uthup is. I'm leaving you with an incredible performance including music, mimicry and more. 

Belated Happy Birthday wishes to  

Usha Uthup


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