Over fifteen years of performing and somehow, we have never had the chance to sing in Shillong though the invitations have been coming. In 2011 we were so close to performing in Shillong but it just didn't work out and then in 2012, we got invited to play at the Simsang Festival in Williamnagar from December 12-14, 2012. The timing was right and everything just fell into place. Williamnagar used to be called Simsanggre as it is a riverine town built along the Simsang River, the lifeline of the people of the East Garo Hills. The festival which used to be called the Winter Fest was recently rechristened as the Simsang Festival comprising of the Simsang open beat contest, carnival and sales, food and wine fest, fashion show and Miss Simsang Beauty pageant.
So Meghalaya was happening and Shillong eventually. And oh boy! Were we excited? So we drove out via Guwahati and reached Williamnagar early and just in time for breakfast having left Guwahati in a rush to avoid an impending bandh. After a well earned nap, we partook lunch comprising of traditional garo style pork and an assortment of mouthwatering items. Post lunch was rehearsal time and by late evening, we ventured out to the venue and enjoyed the sights and well, did a little bit of shopping. We discovered delightful treasures and trinkets among the many goods on offer while enjoying the round up of the bands for the Simsang Beat Contest. Music, a huge crowd, numerous stalls of goodies. Heaven!!!!
Dr. Sandipan helping us bargain :D
At soundcheck. Brrrh! Cold! Hello! Hello! Mike testing...!!!
The day and time for our performance came soon enough. We were taking the evening's music forward along with the Miss Simsang 2012 Beauty Pageant where fourteen beauties vied for the title on that supercharged December evening. We began with E Zhalilü and progressed to Cepho Celho with a little technical glitch rendering our guitarist soundless and off the stage. Next followed O Rhosi and to our delight, the 10,000 plus crowd joined in and carried our song through while we made our Rhosi moves in Keds Krome's exclusively snazzy outfits.
O Rhosi!
Following the Rhosi was our rendition of Lady Gaga and Glee's Poker face. As the lights washed over us, the girls sashayed on to the next round of their proceedings. Kuvelü soon resurfaces with her version of 'Tu Jaane Na' which rippled through the crowds who sang along.
Next came our ABBA Medley which was well received and we finally signed off with 'Thank you for the music'.
In between, we got a chance to meet lovely little girls and the young but very smart contestants. We were also honoured to be called on stage to give away the subtitle prizes to the beaming and very deserving contestants. 
All smiles with the Princess Simsang Winner!

And while the judges were busy deciding on the winner, we took the stage for our final set for the evening. This time, by special request, an assortment of Christmas carols and we happily obliged.
It was super exciting and dreamlike to have a 10,000 plus strong crowd for an audience and to have them sing along with you. Amazing! 

We wish you a Merry Christmas! Williamnagar Mitela!!!!
The beauties of the evening taking the victory walk. Miss Simsang 2012. Alva Winnona Marak.
And finally, the judges had their winners. The girls, their crowns and sashes and we, our applause. So we bade goodnight and adieu to the massive gathering and headed back to more Garo delicacies for dinner and interacting with wellwishers who had come all the way from Tura to meet us. And then it was time to pack our bags and head back home for our own Christmas preparations and more carol sessions. But the Williamnagar experience will be hard to forget. Our biggest audience so far and the warm roar still reverberates in our hearts and ears. Mitela!
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1 comments:

Jay
at: 4 March 2013 at 12:58 said...

Awesome!!!!!