On the evening of April 14, Karachi waited anxiously for one of India’s hippest folk bands, Kailasa, comprising Paresh Kamath (lead guitar), Naresh Kamath (bass guitar), Kurt Peters (drums), Sankit Nayek (percussions), Jose Gomes (violin, acoustic guitar, saxophone), Samir Chiplunkar (keyboards), Tapas Roy (mandolin, saz) and Kailash Kher on lead vocals to entertain them. And while the concert might have started late, for everyone present, it was a pleasure to hear the band belt out a night of heavy beats and melodic harmonies with a singer whose voice just would not quit.
Without taking anything away from the band and its reputation for great music, it was the singer who most people had come to hear; dimunitive in size and high on vocal prowess, Kailash Kher is like Indian music’s Sachin Tendulkar, a little master of soul.
With a voice that rang out on the night as if it had been mastered in a studio, Kailash Kher kept the audience enthralled with Jogi, Aao ji, Mein to Tere Pyar Mein, Deewani, Tu Kya Jaane, Allah ke Bande, Chak De and Sayyan.
Gushing with delight at performing in Pakistan the singer peppered his performance with mini speeches about how he felt the muhabbat from everyone he met in Pakistan. To quote the singer, “I just can’t believe it—I’m in Pakistan. It’s such a beautiful place with such lovely people. I was overwhelmed by the welcome I got. My best moment was when I crossed the Wagah border to kuch minutes ke liye laga ki I’m in my desh.”
What he said became especially endearing because of the way he spoke, in English that could rival Saeed Ajmal for its flow.
Many of the singer’s comments turned into quotes by the end of the night including, “Karachi is very hot and happening place, yeah!” and “We have travelled so much the last few days, we don’t even know which time zone Karachi is in.” After inviting a number of girls to come and dance on stage with him, which drew rapturous applause from the audience, he remarked how “guys always have a soft spot in their hearts for girls, right?” The line could be heard being repeated by many in the audience after the concert.
After the concert Kailash took to Twitter to voice his appreciation for the concert, “The Lahore show was cancelled unfortunately. But Karachi was Rocking One.” When asked if he would consider coming back to Pakistan to perform, he said, “I always wished to perform in Pakistan and so (do) other artists. But now that I am in Karachi , I feel like I am at my own home and people are so loving. I am very happy and my band Kailasa is very happy, and once we go to India I will tell everyone about the love and gesture I have got from the people.”
To complete the thought, the lead guitarist from the band chipped in, saying, “It’s music that brings the message of love between the two countries and we are happy to be here to open up the doors once again for Indian artists to come and perform.”—Shayan Shakeel