By Surekha Vijh
WASHINGTON: Mohit Chauhan and Mamta Sharma, the duo of Bollywood singers, created magic on the stage this week as they rocked the audience in the heart of the nation’s capital, blasting the latest hits from Hindi films and filling the atmosphere with music.
The leading playback singers performed to a full house at the historic Warner Theatre on Pennsylvania Avenue near Capitol Hill.
“I can’t wait to hear him,” Anila Shah gasped before the show began.“I’m here because I have heard he is a big craze in India,” said Ravi Mittal.
Chauhan began the show and gave a versatile concert singing Bollywood hits, folk songs, rockers and love songs. He sang, played guitar and harmonica, backed by drums, two guitars, keyboards, flute and two back ground singers.
As the announcer introduced the singers, the audience shouted “Mohit, Mohit”. Wearing a grey suit and matching cap, Mohit started with his popular numbers from the hit Hindi movie, Ranbir Kapoor starrer “Rockstar” then gave people a taste of other his hit songs.
Mohit, who had his first brush with success with the song “Dooba Dooba“ from the Silk Route band’s album Boondein, sang “Khoon Chala“ and “Masakali“ from the films Rang De Basanti and Delhi-6, “Tum Se Hi“ from the film Jab We Met, “Tu Ne Jo Na Kaha,“ and “Ye Dooriyan“ from Love Aaj Kal, and “Pehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai“ from Kaminey.
Mohit, whose career in Bollywood started when he sang for AR Rahman in the film “Rang De Basanti,” went on to get the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer for “Masakali“
Born in the hills of Himachal Pradesh and with a master’s degree in geology, Mohit called himself, “a geologist turned singer.” He captured the audience with his gifted mellifluous intense voice, creating romantic ballads, the audience swaying with his magical voice. He also took the people on to a hill journey, singing a traditional song from his home state, Himachal Pardesh, “Chmba,” and popular Punjabi folk song, “Jugani.”
“He is so good,” said Jasmine Sharif.
The female singer of the masses, Mamta Sharma, came next. She sang in her different modulated voices, entertaining the audience with hit songs like “Munni Badnaam Hui” from the movie Dabang, The song was a super hit, fetching her several awards and nominations, including a Filmfare award for Best Playback Singer.
Mamta sang “Chamki Jawaani” from the movie “Yamla Pagla Dewana,” and “Anarkali Disco Chali” from movie “Houseful.” She also sang other hits from Bol Bachchan and Rowdy Rathore. Mamta, who can sing in eleven languages, also gave a taste of some old melodies of 1950s. A few dancers danced while she sang.
Creating ‘hungama’ where ever they performed, Mohit and Mamta ended their whirlwind American tour in DC, heading off to Wembley in the United Kingdom for the next leg of their tour.