Bandish Bandits - Once More
Bandish Bandits - Once More7 mins 371 7 mins 371
11-11-2020 Favourite Web Series - Bandish Bandits
Prologue - Radhe Rathod is a classical music prodigy and the heir apparent to the Rathod Gharana of Jodhpur, which runs a Hindustani Classical Music school. At the helm of the Rathod Gharana is Panditji RadeMohan Rathod, who holds the title of the Sangeet Samrat of Jodhpur. Panditji is a disciplinarian who is now aged and has problems with his hearing.
Tamanna Sharma is an up and coming Pop Singer, to whose song Radhe adds a classical twist which makes their debut song an instantaneous hit. They name themselves Bandish Bandits and become a youth icon. Differences soon rip them apart and Tamanna makes her way to New York to study music, while Radhe is left behind to take care of his family and the Rathod Gharana. The story now continues….
Radhe sat on the terrace of his home, gazing up at the Fort. A year had passed since Tamanna had walked away from Bandish Bandits and from him. He had loved her deeply and the feelings were reciprocated, but it seemed that the world had intruded upon their bliss. He had tried to get in contact with her through facebook and other social media, but she had not responded. It was high time now, he decided, that she came back and realised what a powerful couple they made together. All he had to do was convince her. Easier said than done, he mused.
The other problem that plagued him was Panditji’s estranged son, Digvijay who ran the Bikaneri Gharana and provided stiff competition to this household. The previous year, Radhe had defeated him to win the title of the new Sangeet Samrat, but it did not seem to deter Digvijay in his attempts to weaken the Rathod Gharana. Radhe contemplated on both the problems and a germ of an idea began to form in his mind. He waited for his best friend Kabir to come. Kabir was an organizer and a friend par excellence and just the person Radhe needed on his team to make his plan a success.
Once Kabir was settled and sipping from a cup of tea, Radhe related his plan. He wanted to organise a grand musical event that showcased Hindustani Classical Music for the discriminating listener and also Pop music to attract the youth. For the first part, he wanted Digvijay Rathod to be the chief guest. He would ensure that Digvijay would be hard-pressed to refuse, as the concert would be held under the aegis of the Rajaji of the Jodhpur Royal Family. This would show people that the two Gharana’s were united and weaken any plan that Digvijay would hatch against them. Panditji, Radhe and the students from their music school would perform for the first part of the concert.
For the second part, Radhe would request his music producer, Arghya to arrange a Pop music band who could perform. The draw of the evening was to be the last event of the concert. Radhe wanted to advertise that Bandish Bandits would be back, but with a new avatar and hint that a new girl would replace Tamanna. The last event would be the inauguration of the new Bandish Bandits. Radhe had no other girl lined up, but he knew that this was the lure that would draw Tamanna back to Jodhpur. She would not be able to bear someone else taking her place in their duo.
Kabir was fully in with the idea and they quickly had a video call with Arghya who was excited to join them. The concert would be held in a month’s time. Apart from organizing the whole event, Radhe also wanted Kabir and Arghya to put subtle pressure on Tamanna, with whom they were in touch. This was a do or die situation and he had to do everything possible to succeed.
The preparations for the concert got underway and was heavily advertised on social media. The Bandish Bandits logo was altered to show Radhe and a shadowy figure of a girl next to him with a question mark on the face. Through this all, Kabir and Arghya told Radhe that Tamanna absolutely refused to listen to them and was resolute in her decision not to return to India. Radhe was confident in his plan and was sure that Tamanna would show up on that day.
The day of the concert finally arrived. The guards at the gate were asked to keep an eye out for a girl who resembled Tamanna. Digvijay, as expected, had agreed to be the chief guest at the event and was seated at one side of Rajaji with Panditji on the other. Panditji performed first after which Radhe cordially invited Digvijay to perform on stage. Radhe extolled Digvijay’s musical brilliance and kept him on such a high pedestal, that Digvijay could do nothing but graciously accept it. Henceforth, no matter what Digvijay did, Radhe would always come out looking the good guy. It looked like the first part of Radhe’s plan had worked beautifully. The students of the Rathod Gharana performed various classical songs which floored the audience and garnered high praise from Rajaji.
After Rajaji, Panditji and Digvijay left, the night began for the youngsters. Soon after, Radhe was informed that a girl who looked like Tamanna had made her way inside the gates and lost herself in the crowds. Radhe could not control his joy. He hoped that Tamanna liked the surprise that he had planned for her. The pop group that Arghya had brought from Mumbai, kept the youngsters on their toes. It was a magical night and soon it was time for the last event of the day.. The Big Reveal of the new Bandish Bandits.
Somewhere in the crowd, Tamanna waited with bated breath. It hurt to see a new girl would take her place but part curiosity and part anger had brought her here. Soon, the lights dimmed and Radhe came on stage. He requested everyone to just keep the flashlights on their mobile devices on. He then pointed to a large screen behind him where a video started playing. Tamanna saw that it was a medley of Radhe’s and her time together as Bandish Bandits. It was funny when Radhe was shown as the Masked Man, and tear jerking when he could not keep his promise and had left her alone on the day of their last concert. Tears poured down her cheeks as she witnessed the video. The whole crowd had grown silent.
Radhe continued, ”I know all of you here are waiting to see the new face of Bandish Bandits, but first I have to say a few words to Tamanna. Tamanna, I know you are here and I want you to be the first one to know….. That NO ONE ELSE can take your place in my heart or in Bandish Bandits. It is only you who can complete us. Only your songs and your voice and your presence that can awaken Bandish Bandits again. And now, you boys and girls, look around and find where my girl is. Find her and shine your lights on her and light up her way as she walks towards me.“
The excited crowd looked around and the girl standing next to Tamanna gasped as she recognised her. Hearing her, the others in the crowd turned and they parted to make a path lit by mobile lights for Tamanna to walk up to the stage. Tears ran unchecked down her cheeks as Tamanna walked slowly up the path and then she ran the rest of the way. She reached the stage and threw herself into Radhe’s arms. The crowd erupted into delighted applause, as they witnessed the reunion of two lovers and also their favourite Pop group, Bandish Bandits.
Radhe wiped away Tamanna’s tears and shushed her when she wanted to say something. He asked the crown to quieten and turned Tamanna towards the screen again. Tamanna’s favourite pop goddess, Queen Eli appeared on the screen and spoke as if directly to Tamanna. “Hey Girl,” she said. “I wanted to perform with Radhe but he said he was toneless without his other half.. And hey, I heard your recordings.. And you are good, girl !! Really, really, good !! And it would be my pleasure to come down to India and perform with such amazing people as yourselves. “
The screen blacked out to the crowd’s resounding cheer and with Tamanna hugging Radhe with a death grip. Life that had looked so dull and lonely as she walked inside the gates suddenly could not be more exciting. Radhe whispered something into Tamanna’s ear and they both walked off the stage.
Within a few minutes, to the crowd's thunderous applause and professional dancers behind them, they together performed their first hit as Bandish Bandits, “Sajan bin aayena, mohe nindiya….”