Bangla performs at SAARC festival | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 04, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 04, 2007

Bangla performs at SAARC festival

Anusheh Anadil of Bangla and Bilal Maqsood of Strings

If the idea was to draw South Asian Regional Cooperation (SAARC) out of diplomatic boardrooms and take it to the people, then the coming together here of bands ranging from heavy metal to electronic from eight countries of the region was an instant and big hit.
Bangla, leading fusion band of Bangladesh, was one of the bands which perked up hundreds of people who assembly in the chilly evenings from November 30 to December 2 at the beautiful Central Park in Delhi's famous Connaught Place.
Performing folk songs written by Lalon and Ghisauddin Shain, Bangla drew an enthusiastic response from the audience which swayed to their numbers. What added to the people's delight was when Amir of Indian Ocean band joined the fusion for a couple of numbers.
“There are no boundaries for music and it has the power to bring the world together”, said Bangla's lead singer Anusheh Anadil.
Loud applause greeted all the bands, which performed a wide range of folk and contemporary songs in Bhutanese, Bengali, Pushto, Persian and Hindi and other languages of SAARC countries.
Pakistani group 'Strings”, already popular in India, brought the audience on its feet when its singers treated the audience to songs like “Duur”, “Na jaane kyun” and “Chhaye and chhaye”.
The Aryan, the band from war-ravaged Afghanistan, mesmerized the audience, making one forget they come from a country whose rich music tradition was stifled by years of Taliban rule.
The four-year-old Afghan band, which faces severe constraints like lack of adequate infrastructure for practice and experiment, was delighted with the festival organised by Sehr, an NGO, Indian External Affairs Ministry and Indian Council For Cultural Relations because it provided the group with a platform to perform abroad, said its lead vocalist Mehdyar.
In all, 14 bands from all the eight SAARC countries took part in the three-day festival organized to disseminate the message of peace and brotherhood.
“It is a great initiative and platform for people-to-people contact. Nobody can stop us if we come together as one”, said Bilal, a singer of 'Strings'.
Another great attraction of the festival was the presence of MTV veejay Nikhil Chinappa who was the compere.
As the festival closed on the night of December 2, the notes of all the band groups continued to echo long after it ended for they belted out the songs from the soul of SAARC.

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