By Hindustan Times
Day 2 at the Qutub Festival 2011 witnessed the Bollywood stalwart Sonu Nigam in concert at the iconic backdrop of Qutub Minar.
Post announcement his voice reverberated before he appeared from behind the smoke screen. And the 6000-capacity Qutub complex in Mehrauli, which was bursting at the seams, went into a frenzy to see their star perform. Clad in Indo-western attire, black from top to toe the singer subtly merged with his surroundings.
Delhi CM Sheila Dixit graced the event and Nigam acknowledged her presence by saying "I met Sheila Dixit ji for the first time in 2005 in Australia during Commonwealth Games."
The first song he sang was the killer from SRK-Preity-Saif starrer Kal Ho Na Ho.
His voice boomed "Namaste Delhi, feels good to be back home, to play for the home crowd." And the excitement was all too palpable. Nigam's fans were dancing, jiving, clicking away with their cell phones and reacting to each syllable their demi-god uttered.
Next came a popular track from Saif-Kareena starrer Kurbaan.
In the middle of his gig Nigam paid a tribute to music legend Bhupen Hazarika, who passed away on November 5, saying "this is not Hazarikia ji's song but I'm dedicating this to him."
The musical extravaganza, which kicked off on November 4, continues till November 8. Shreya Ghoshal, Sukhwinder and KK will perform in the coming days.
Until last year the Qutub festival showcased Sufi and classical music, but this year, the organizers decided to shake things a bit.
"Keeping in view the response we received on the new format of this music festival last year, this year, we shall be focusing on contemporary music and displaying the performances of some of the best singers in this genre," says Rawel Singh, secretary Punjabi Academy, the organisers of the festival under the aegis of the Department of Art, Culture and Languages.
I for one one felt that Sufi sits better with Qutub in the backdrop, but when Bollywood songs elate throngs by the thousands, somewhere we know that popular demand as elsewhere rules. And organizers know this all too well.