Bula Bollywood! Kaho Naa… Rahman Hai Bollywood-loving Fijian Australians would be glad to know that A.R. Rahman, the king of Bollywood music, will be performing in Australia in two spectacular shows – one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. The shows are being promoted by CHARINDAA (Charities through Indian Arts in Australia). It will have a cast of more than 50 singers, musicians and dancers in a typical Indian style extravaganza filled with color, rhythm and tempo. Apart from Rahman himself, this show will feature many artists who are famous in their own right in India. Musicians like Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan, Sivamani, Sadhana Sargam, Chitra and Kailash Kher who regularly draw audiences in the thousands will be a part of this tour. One of the organizers of the A.R. Rahman tour, A. V. Mohan said, “A.R. Rahman is the biggest name in Bollywood music today. Our aim is to present in Australia the best that Indian art can offer. Our aim is also to work with notable charities in Australia and India. A.R. Rahman is the ideal artist to assist us in achieving these dual aims, given his altruistic intentions, which are well known and well-documented”. Indeed, A.R. Rahman is involved in charities like the „Save the Children‟ project. He recently took up the position of United Nations Ambassador for the fight against Tuberculosis. While we know that this will be a concert with a lot of energy, dance and dazzle, to also know that the proceeds will help a noble cause, makes it doubly satisfying. Mohan Krishnamoorthy, another organizer adds, “To have all this fun is great. To know that we will collect funds for UDAYAN – a notable children‟s charity in Kolkata, India – that came into our collective consciousness as a result of the work of Australian cricketer Steve Waugh, is even better!” This is going to be a big night of celebration. Malathi, a CHARINDAA volunteer adds, “We wanted to present the biggest show in Australia ever; a great night of celebration and music, Indian style. And that is precisely what we have in store for fans of Bollywood and Indian music”. Fiji and Bollywood go a long way… from Hindi movie picturisations on pristine islands, including the title song of the blockbuster Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai – where the lovely Ameesha and heartthrob Hrithik romped on the virgin sands of a jewel of an island adrift in the Fijian seas – to election promises, when a leader offered Bollywood style song and dance election rallies and promised to attract more Indian movies to be filmed on Fijian locations. Hindi movies play to packed audiences in cinemas on the islands and Bollywood style shows are very popular in Fiji, among the recent ones included a Shah Rukh Khan show. Bollywood movies and music are popular among the Fijian diaspora, as among the Indians abroad. A.R. Rahman is, however, the biggest name in Bollywood music. His inspirational, inimitable and infectious songs have won him nationwide praise in India and overseas. His music crosses national and international boundaries. One can find in his music, a blend of the classical and the modern. One can also find in his music Western classical, Arabic and Chinese musical influences. His songs transcend language, religion and musical backgrounds to reach all segments of audiences. His, can be considered the truly national sound of India today. He knows the pulse of the public better than any other composer in India today. Despite being credited with having given a new sound, rhythm, tempo and dimension to Indian popular music, he wears none of the trimmings of being a superstar. He comes across as incredibly humble, modest and unassuming. He is reported to have said, “Music speaks, statements do not”. After a very long wait, the “Qantas A.R. Rahman 3rd Dimension Tour of Australia, 2005” comes to Australia. Thayu, one of the CHARINDAA volunteers, adds, “This tour will be an influential and shaping event on the landscape of Indian Arts promotions in Australia. Australians will be able to see what USA, London, Malaysia, Dubai and other countries have seen in the past. Australian audiences can experience the drama, the dancing and the music that are an integral part of any A.R. Rahman show. Expect to see a lot of color, dancing and expect to hear beautiful music”. CHARINDAA is a new Indian-Australian non-profit organization that organizes concerts with the aim of collecting funds for important charitable causes. Anita, a CHARINDAA team member says, “All of our profits are destined for important charities. That is the primary force that binds all the CHARINDAA volunteers. Why us? It even binds Steve Waugh, the former captain of the Australian cricket team. Steve Waugh, the Chief Patron of UDAYAN, is a proud supporter of this concert”. The concerts are at 7pm, Saturday 10 September 2005 at the Rod Laver Arena (Melbourne) and on at 7pm, Saturday 17 September 2005 at the Sydney SuperDome (Sydney). For more information on tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au or www.charindaa.org. This is going to be a sell-out concert, so get your tickets early.