News & Reviews

DI Amateur Night: a pageant of talent Author:Amit Ukil   Posted On:2024-03-27


Thank the powers that be there weren’t any judges for this event last Friday! They would have been flummoxed over whom to place first, second or third. The event in question was the DI Amateur Night, where members and their dependents, no matter what their age, had a chance to display their respective talents, be it in singing, reciting, playing instruments, dancing, or even gymnastics and yoga!

The flairs flowed freely, with singing breaking out of bathrooms, dancing from drawing rooms and playing musical instruments from guest rooms (where practising usually takes place) of homes. Not one of the 30-odd participants flinched or faltered as each one performed their respective numbers. Confidence sure did couple talent that evening. One would have expected participants, especially the younger ones who are yet to rely on mobile phones or cog sheets, to stumble while trying to recall the next line. It would have been quite natural and accepted by the audience.

But surprisingly, and with due kudos to all, it just didn’t happen! One after the other, the hidden singers, musicians, dancers, poets, and a gymnast responded as their names were called out, going to the platform and revealing their talent almost as flawless as professionals. Mitali Sinha began the evening with the dance Namaskar, based on Ananda Shankar's music and choreographed by Tanusree Shankar, that welcomed the gathering to the event. Then followed the young – as old as six – and the slightly older – as young as sixty plus.  

Vivana Mehta, Hridyansh Baid, Devyansh Kothari, Amit Gope, Annanya Kasera, Sierra Hyrapiet, Aria Ireland, Kaine Kennedy and Eli Michael D’Souza were among the young singers, who either sang solo without musical accompaniment or while playing a guitar or keyboards. The littlest performer, Vania Malhotra, displayed hula hoopm skills and recited poetry.  Sierra’s duet with Vivana (Vanilla Ice Baby) was cute, while Suhana Choudhury sang Perfect – almost as perfect as Ed Sheeran did a few days preceding in Mumbai! Skyla Hyrapiet’s rendering of In the Stars was heard with rapt attention as the audience gauged whether talent had passed on from dad. Judging from the applause she received, it apparently had.

Suddenly, drums and cymbals rent the air in the Indoors@DI ‘auditorium’. But who was playing? Craning one’s neck, one could just see little Kairra Gupta, her small frame hidden behind the set as she skilfully wielded the sticks and played the bass drum, creating a rhythm that had everyone rocking. Earlier on, Devyansh Shah played drums to a "drumless track" from Coldplay.  A unique instrument that was played that evening was the ukulele by Ari Rafael D’Souza, who rendered his version of Yellow by Coldplay. And a word for the lone gymnast, Ariyanah Mehta: cartwheels, twirls and headstands in sync with music showed the variety of DI talent. Musicians included Farhaan, Urvish Misra and Aamaira Gupta on piano, Devyansh Kothari on guitar, and Akshita Maitra on Classical Guitar.  

The adults proved melodious too. Pallob Banerjee’s singing of Kishore Kumar hit Ek Ajnabi Haseena se even ended with tuneful whistling. An effervescent and youthful Raju Raman quipped the 'amateur' evening had actually begun with his song, with all preceding him being pros. He sang from memory a Daliah Lavi number that proved he had talent here too. Wilson Andrews played the guitar while singing a Gospel composition.   

Singing, dancing, gymnastics, guitar, piano, drums and oh, poems! Ishanvi Maitra recited two of her own compositions – Rain and Few of my favourite things, both well-worded and evocative. The finale song was by Debolina Sinha, who dedicated her version of Taylor Swift’s Long Live as an “ode to DI and its members”.   

The talent show was ably compered by Christabel D’Gama and Rayed Faiyaz, who had the patient task of calling each participant one by one and giving a brief description of what was to happen. The token chocolate handed to each one, though, was not enough recognition of the budding artists hidden in the DI family. The applause at the end of each performance, however, made up for that.    

A free-wheeling, “no holds barred” karaoke, where members in the audience came up and sang, followed, bringing a truly musical end to a truly home-grown event. “We should have more such evenings,” was a common refrain among those present.  

 View the photos of the event here.

PS: A member in the audience was caught scribbling on a piece of paper. Another talent, this is what the scribbles did render:

Through the ages at our  Dwitio Bari 

There is this place on Earth,

No matter what age we are,

We can always call our second home and hearth.

Be they babes in their parents’ arms

Or toddlers running around with all their charms

Teenagers too on their way to becoming grown-up

Pass these portals without much hiccup.

And as young yuppies if they are in town

Gather here to relax without even a frown.

Senior executives, traders, and the gentried professional

Do find time to meet and discuss nothing obsessional.

Then, with retirement comes the compulsion

To grab a game or a drink with very little repulsion.

Senior citizens and elderly too, walking stick in hand,

Find the place a welcome outing, much better than the Strand.

Indeed the Dalhousie Institute is the venue to be

So much so, it is our  Dwitio Bari