Kannada crooner Anuradha logs in to drive away lockdown blues

Bengaluru, April 12 : Acclaimed Kannada playback singer Anuradha Bhat went live on social media for Bengaluru Ganesha Utsava's (BGU) virtual concert recently to lift the spirits of Covid-19 lockdown-stricken city denizens and drive away the blues. "It was a Facebook live event. I went into Bengaluru Ganesha Utsava's page and went live from there with the help of my laptop," Bhat told IANS. Bengaluru Ganesha Utsava, organised by Shree Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha, has been celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi festival for the past 57 years, regularly putting up 11-day long cultural shows to entertain the devotees, roping in famous artistes. But this time the Utsava took the digital route to virtually entertain its audience, considering the boredom people are confronting amid the lockdown confinement. This is year they came up with a virtual concert because of the lockdown. For the past five to six days, one or the other artiste is coming live on the Utsava's Facebook page and doing a concert or stand-up comedy. "BGU requested me if I will do a virtual concert," said Bhat. The famous singer agreed to BGU's request and crooned for free on Friday evening for two hours, garnering 15,000 views for her virtual show. As many as 46,600 people follow BGU's Facebook page. "This the first time I came live on any social media platform," quipped Bhat. Donning a blue dress, she opened her virtual show with a devotional song glorifying Lord Krishna. Not just singing, Bhat and other artistes also sent out social messages to the people, urging them not to violate the lockdown, maintain social distancing and break the Covid-19 chain. "We also thanked all the doctors, nurses and other workers who are helping the community in these hard times," she said. With no other accompanying instrument, Bhat did find a lot of difference in her virtual performance. In comparison with a regular concert in normal times, she said it was a different experience altogether as she missed her band and the on-stage feeling. "When we sing live on the stage, it is a different feeling. We have echo, revert and we sound better. Though this is a dry voice, I think as long as people are enjoying the virtual concert, it is fine," Bhat said. Many people who digitally connected to her concert requested for old Kannada hits, popular Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam and Tamil songs. "Thank you so much for the entertainment in this situation Anuradha. This is from our entire family. We are watching on big screen. Made our day with your beautiful voice," commented one listener. Encouraged by the positive vibes, Bhat did another virtual concert for Red FM Kannada on Saturday. "I sang as many songs as I could and the concert went on for two hours," said Bhat. On Saturday evening, Mimicry Dayanand interacted and entertained the virtual crowd with his comedy. Other artistes BGU has lined up till April 16 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. include Ajay Warriar, Praveen Godkhindi, Ananya Bhat, Krishne Gowda and Ankita Kundu. /IANS


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