KATHMANDU, Nov 30: Last Friday evening, The Corner Bar of Hotel Radisson went back to the time of 1960s with the classic hits of prominent singer Deep Shrestha. After quite sometime, singer Deep Shrestha came up in a Live Unplugged solo concert where he not only sang his evergreen numbers but also shared the untold stories behind the songs that he presented in the evening.
The event which was scheduled to begin at 7 in the evening started one and half hours late. However, the whole waiting got compensated after Shrestha started playing harmonium with his musical band backing him up in guitar, tabla and electronic drum pad. The musical evening got better with prominent guitarist Jyoti Ghimire playing the lead guitar.
Despite Shrestha saying not to expect much from him during the concert, he did create magic through his voice in all the eighteen numbers he presented before the two dozen people inside the cozy setting of The Corner Bar.
“I’ve selected the numbers carefully. I believe with these numbers, the ‘customers’ here tonight will not have to request for any more,” he said and started the night with Samjhi Base Timilai Afno Bhani, the song that was released during 1970s.
The second song Jhirma Unine was a fresh offering from Shrestha’s upcoming album “Drishti.” Written by lyricist Rajendra Thapa, the song indeed was powerful enough to make the mood of the evening going. Shrestha became nostalgic during the third song Sunideu Sano Chhandako Katha, his favorite, he says.
Shrestha’s fourth presentation Ma Patharko Devata Hoina finally made people familiar. This is the song that introduced Deep Shrestha as a singer in 1968. While many were requesting for Ma Ta Door Dekhi Aaye, Shrestha preferred to sing Kaha Bata Lyaau Sapanako Desh which disappointed many until he followed up with one of his all-time popular Kati Kamjor Rahecha Bhagya.
Though Shrestha already had made it clear that he wouldn’t be entertaining personal requests, he could not help it when one from the audience pleaded repeatedly to sing at least a few lines of Shrestha’s Kasle Rakhyo Pahilo Prastab. Needless to say, all joined in the lines together in Ma Ta Door Dekhi Aaye and the show stealer number became Bhantheen Meri Unii. Oo Yatri was another treat to listen to. The musical arrangements, specially the sound effects from the electronic drum pad created magic in the atmosphere in Har Raat Sapanima.
As the event was coming close to the end, Sailibari Chiyabarima added more energy in people with some even moving their hands and toes to the beats of the tabla. In the meantime, Deep Shrestha was in a complete different mood for this song reminded him of the wonderful moments of his life that he spent in the tea farm in Dharan.
Though Shrestha was singing flawlessly one after the other, his face however did not look comfortable and there were moments when his expressions said that he was feeling disrespected. Perhaps, he finally came out and appealed to people in the audience to put off their cigarettes. With all the windowpanes shut, the atmosphere inside The Corner Bar was filled with the thick layers of smokes emitted from the cigarettes. Even after appealing thrice, many in the audience did not bother to listen to him.
Because the distance between the front seats and the stage was not more than 20 meters, it was obvious to see Shrestha feeling uncomfortable while singing. Maybe that was why he decided to end the concert abruptly after he sang Biteka Kurale. But the audiences who were in partying mood with their cocktails did not let him close his harmonium before singing a last song for them.
He was left with no other option than to sing Mero Ankhama Har Din. As he was closing his harmonium after the performance, one from the audience went straight to the microphone and requested Shrestha’s better half Sophia Shrestha to sing a duet with Deep Shrestha. Though the approach looked wrong in the beginning, this however concluded the evening romantically with the Shrestha couple singing Mutuko Dhoka Kholirakhchhu Aunchhau Ki Aundainau.
“Please, no more songs now,” Shrestha requested politely and thus the event concluded.