How Do I Love You? in Hindi Verses and Song by International Hindi Association

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: Nothing touches the Desi mind and heart more than the mesmerizing sounds of music and song and the tantalizing smells and taste of spicy food. Both were available in ample quantities last Friday evening, February 16 as the International Hindi Association celebrated Valentine’s Day, never mind it was two days past the actual day! Cupid’s arrows were busily marking their spots, with IHA directors handing out little sequined red hearts to all the over 100 people who attended the event at the Elite Banquet Hall on Hwy. 6 near Voss.

Mahalakshmi Krishnan of ShreeKrithi School of Music, with three other singers from her school, Anil Sadana, Aparna Ranganathan and Abhinav Venkataraman

The IHA folks very smartly asked all to get their dinner at 7 pm, rather than after the performance, as is usually the norm to force guests to linger on and not leave early, so as not to interfere with the singers. And this was one of the rare times when the food was not overly spiced or salty, and the gajjar ka halwa was not super sweet, which was best suited to the palates of the mostly older crowd.

And the music suited the older guests too, as they were serenaded by melodious songs from Bollywood movies of yesteryear, songs, as one person said “that have melody, harmony and meaning that I can relate to”! With Darshak Thakkar of KrishnaSounds handling the sound system, the performers went through a 90-minute session that had everyone humming along and snapping their fingers. The performance were brought together by Mahalakshmi
Krishnan of ShreeKrithi School of Music, with three other singers from her school, which has transitioned as an outcome of COVID, from a storefront to online on Zoom.

With Mahalakshmi opening the night with three sweet numbers, Anil Sadana, (a chemical engineer by profession) joined in with solos and duets with her and another student, Aparna Ranganathan (software engineer by profession). The stage was then taken over by Abhinav Venkataraman (a special needs young man) who sang two Hindi songs in his strong delivery.

The IHA Board with the singers.

All the energy onstage prompted a young man – Nilesh – from the audience to ask to sing a couple of numbers, without the benefit of the karaoke music. His rendition of “Hum Lut Gaye” with a long wail had the audience give him a long applause! A perfect number to end the evening!

Mahalakshmi Krishnan is a Houston based singer, composer, recording artist, actress and performer. Trained extensively in Indian Classical music, she is the Founder and CEO of ShreeKrithi Schoolof Music which provides an enriched learning environment to help countless students get ahead in the field of music. She has a Masters in Economics and an MBA from Chicago. Mahalakshmi is a rooted Indian musician with a big heart for philanthropy and social work.