Wednesday, March 14, 2007

'Kajra re' enamours US Air Force Band
The Bollywood hit 'Kajra re' will take on an American flavour when US Air Force Band belts it out here later this week at a Military Tattoo being conducted as part of the ongoing platinum jubilee celebrations of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The show which will open to the public on Saturday will also feature air force bands from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand, as also of the IAF, the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. The bands will perform indoors the next day for an invited audience that will include Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

"The US Air Force Band was fascinated when it heard 'Kajra re' and asked us for the score. They have promised to stick to the original but they are bound to give their own distinctive touch," an IAF officer said.

'Kajra re', a popular number from the 2005 hit Bunty Aur Babli, featured superstar Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek and the latter's fiancée Aishwarya Rai.

A tattoo is essentially a stylised open-air concert that militaries stage worldwide and at which equal emphasis is given to music, choreography and ceremonial uniforms. By far the best known of these is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo that is now in its 57th year.

India has its own version of the tattoo - the Beating Retreat ceremony here Jan 29 that concludes the annual Republic Day celebrations.

The term military tattoo dates from the 17th century when the British Army was fighting in the Low Countries (Belgium and The Netherlands). Drummers from the garrison were sent out into the towns each evening with a cry for innkeepers: "Doe den tap toe (Turn off the taps)".

"The programme has been stylised as per the international format and will be performed in two segments," Air Marshal J.N. Burma, the IAF's air officer-in-charge administration, told reporters.

The first segment will begin at 4 p.m. at the Amar Jawan Jyoti Memorial to the Unknown Soldier at India Gate. The bands will perform martial tunes and march around the memorial for 12 minutes each.

They will reassemble at the same venue at 6 p.m. and each band will perform popular tunes, as also some jazz and rock numbers, for 15 minutes each.

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