" 'Nitin-Mukul presents Swar hey diwaaNe'. The music album is ready. We plan to launch it on 12th Feb. I really want you to be there....anchoring the show! Boss...you have seen our journey from the very beginning....so you have to be there!"
Mukul literally forces (Should I say emotionally blackmails? :)) me to accept the long-distance invite. He is in Liverpool , I am in Sharjah, Nitin (and the function) is in Pune!
So on 11th Feb, after winding up my evening OPD I take the midnight flight to Mumbai, land there at 4 in the morning, go to my sister's place, grab a couple of hours of sleep, come to Sion circle to join the MSMT members going to Pune for the function.
To tell you in short...MSMT...Mile Sur Mera Tumhara is a Whatsapp group of medical doctors who are simply crazy about music. A brain-child of the ever-enthusiastic Dr. Vijay Athalye, this group does nothing but discusses and dissects music of all kinds. It was here that Nitin's flair for poetry and Mukul's musical mastery got rekindled after a two decade-long hibernation and 'Swar Hey DiwaaNe' was conceived!
Mumbai-Pune journey is supposed to give me an opportunity to get a refreshing nap but the continuous chatter and banter between Prashant, Vijay, Anita and Shashank makes sure that I am kept wide awake and participate in the animated conversation.
We reach Pune at 2-30 pm. Sitting in Nitin's drawing room I and Anita (Patel) quickly decide how to go about the anchoring of the show. We have not diacussed anything in detail about the show yet! I leave the serious, meticulous part to her, promising that I would be just having fun on stage.
Pune's Tilak smarak mandir is a historic venue where stalwarts of Marathi culture have performed over the years. Looking at the photos on the wall, I feel so proud.
The theater fills up with friends,well-wishers and perfect strangers. The celebrities trickle in and take their seats. Mukul and Asmita (Dixit) arrive just before the deadline...they have come after finishing one more recording...for the next album!
The show begins. Anita's superb beginning captures everyone's attention. I do the followup act and call up the two main creators on the stage. My job is to make them relive their musical journey from Sion's LTM Medical College's Kabutarkhana and CS room to the recording studio with leading singers such as Sanjeev Abhyankar, Ranjana Joglekar, Swapnil Bandodkar and Bela Shende. In no time we start chatting just as if we are doing that on the hostel campus!
The song clips are played in between. The artistes- Ranjana and Asmita sing live tracks. The audience keeps applauding. The chief guests-composers Saleel Kulkarni and Nilesh Mohrir speak beautifully after unveiling the album. Bhavin Jhankaria, Nitin's mother, Mukul's brother and father-in-law express their feelings about the musical duo. But the crackerjack performance is Dr. Mahadeo Bhide going ballistic with his unique brand of humor. Everyone is in splits! A dance performance brings the curtains down.
The show is over. The audience members keep congratulating us. It feels nice. To be part of your best friends' success and to bask in the reflected glory!