An Enchanting Evening at Upma’s Dedicated To Music

Upma Shah (right) with Omkar Dave.     Photo: Navin Mediwala

Upma Shah (right) with Omkar Dave. Photo: Navin Mediwala

SUGAR LAND: At the beautiful home of Mukulesh and Upma Shah, it was again dedication to artistry of local artists and a night to remember! The venue was the same, the excitements and fervor were the same but the artists, this time, were different. Remember Mauli Dave? The glamour girl who is an Indian singer, actor, dancer, and television host? She was a finalist on Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007? Well, this time it was the source of her success who performed, none other than the family of Mauli!

Her family – mom Dipti, dad Hemant  and brother Omkar are just as talented. Dipti, a natural born artist who runs a Bharatnatyam school in Clear Lake, has been active in singing and dancing right from her school years; and her unique voice gives a special feeling to songs.

By profession, Omkar is an orthopedic surgeon in his last year of residency in sports medicine in Jackson, Mississippi. He has learned Hindustani classical vocal and the tabla, the bharatnatyam (he completed his Arangetram) and did a minor in western music for his undergraduate degree. He also plays the table, mrudangam and violin and is a composer and a musician. He has produced a CD of bhajans – Prabhu Taare Pagathiye – in Gujarati and Hindi for which he composed and did the musical arrangement. Has also created music for another CD – Flashback to Rafi – of Rafi songs by his father and sister Mauli.

Hemant is a well known singer in the Houston area. He has Hindustani classical music background, and has been singing since his childhood, represented his college in youth festivals, performed at many musical and Raas/Garba programs and has two CDs – Prabhu Taare Pagathiye and Flashback to Rafi – to his credit.

  The Daves performed at Upma Shah’s home on Sunday, August 25 and mesmerized the audience with ghazals, songs and bhajans from a bygone era. Hemant has emulated the late playback legends Mohammed Rafi and Mukesh so beautifully that it brought back sweet memories of the golden era of the 50s and 60s to the audience. Dipti also sang some songs and accompanied him.

The most unusual performer was Omkar, who is widely known as “Mauli’s brother”. He was born in Ahmedabad, Gujarat but came to the US with his parents, but then later went back to Ahmedabad, only to come back again to the US to pursue a professional career in medicine. Omkar sang a unique blend of Gujarati and Hindi songs and took the crowd by storm. He sang several songs written and composed by Avinash Vyas including, Ame Amadavadi and  Madi Taru Kanku Kharyu. This tall, young, handsome and talented young man surely broke the hearts of many “aunties” when he announced that he is married!

The artists were accompanied by on the table and electric piano  by Jayendra and Amarish Prabhukots, a father and son team who have always risen to the occasion to play backup musicians. What makes it even more special is that young Amerish was playing Bollywood songs which were popular long before he was born!