Kashti 28th March 2009


Playback Singer Abhijeet spins musical magic at Marex Media's 10th Year celebrations | View Photo Gallery

[March 28, Mumbai] In line with its annual tradition of organising a musical extravaganza for the Indian shipping industry, Marex Media unveiled the sixth edition of 'Kashti' in the city today. 'Kashti 2009' heralding the beginning of Marex Media's 10th Year celebrations, was particularly earmarked for lovers of Bollywood music. In this veritable carnival of music was Mumbai masti and mega performances by amateur performers from the shipping industry as well as professional musicians from Bollywood. The latter were led by renowned Bollywood singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya who ably commanded a musical troupe to belt out an amazing range of Bollywood songs throughout the show.

'Kashti 2009' was held at the huge, 2700 capacity 'Shanmukhananda Auditorium' at King's Circle, Mumbai. Members of the Indian shipping fraternity began trickling in just before six in the evening and were welcomed by Capt. Kamal Chadha, Managing Director, Marex Media and other Marex colleaues. The invitees gracefully put up with the intense security checks in view of the heightened security risks post 26/11.

Most members of the audience were in their seats by 6.15 p.m. when the programme commenced with the T.S. Chanakya Cadets Band playing patriotic tunes; the drummers, flautists, trumpeters and others were expertly coordinated by the bandmaster. 'Saare Jahan Se Accha' was particularly well played.

The 'main show' began at 6.30 p.m. with a welcome speech delivered by Ms. Bhavna Malode, Advertising Coordinator, Marex Media, who soon made way for Capt. Chadha to initiate the evening's proceedings. Capt. Chadha welcomed all the invitees and made them each feel special in his inimitable style: he declared each member of the audience as the Chief Guest for the day!

Later, Capt. Chadha invited wives of prominent members of the shipping industry to light the inaugural lamp, lauding the important role played by them in the success of their men. The ladies included Mrs. Santosh Chadha, Capt. Chadha's mother, Mrs. Poonam Khuman, Mrs. Smita Passey, Mrs. Shobha Jairam, and Mrs. Bhavna Singh.

The first performance for the evening was by Capt. Pramod Chaudhary who displayed great flair for Bollywood music by singing various songs like 'Dilbar mere kab tak mujhe' from 'Kaalia' and 'Dekha na hai re soccha na' from 'Bombay to Goa' on Karaoke. This performance was followed by an enthusiastic presentation by the children of 'Pragati Kendra'. This initiative by Mrs. Manisha

Halbe, wife of Capt. Shiv Halbe, to help children suffering from autistic disorders by diverting their excessive energies through dancing, was much appreciated by the audience. The troupe, trained by volunteers from 'Victory Art Foundation' headed by ace choreographer Shiamak Davar, danced to two popular songs, 'Golmaal' (title song) and 'Desi Girl' from 'Dostana.'


Industry Veterans honoured with Lifetime Achievement Awards

The next performance was a beautiful rendition of the duet 'Jaane jaan' from the 1970s hit movie 'Jawaani Deewani' by the father and daughter duo of Capt. Rakesh Kumar and Ms. Aarushi Kumar. The performances were preceded by tongue in cheek videos of both the performers displayed on the giant screens on both sides of the auditorium. These screens were used throughout the show to focus on various happenings in the audience and for prerecorded videos of various performers.

The next performance was a unique dance item choreographed on the Oscar winning A.R. Rahman song 'Jai Ho' by Ms. Deepti Mehta, daughter of Capt. D. K. Mehta. Ms. Mehta's nine member team of dancers had painted their faces in the colours of the Indian tricolour to display the pride felt by each Indian at Rahman's unique achievement. The energetic performance was enhanced by the troupe's unique interpretation of the song that exhibited a resurgent India.

The stage was thus set for the entry of the professional orchestra led by Mr. Rajesh Vatsa who played a medley of Abhijeet's prominent songs from Bollywood to create the mood for his entry on to the stage. The much awaited singer's entry was preceded by a melodious solo performance by Ms. Raktimaa that was greatly applauded by the audience.

Abhijeet made his entry in true Bollywood style, accompanied by a troupe of female dancers performing to the title track of the Shahrukh Khan starrer 'Baadshah'. 'Abhijeetda', as he is fondly known, sang with great gusto and peppered his performance with small jigs every now and then. He followed this number by other songs like 'Badi Mushkil hain' and 'Bas itna sa khwab hain' from the Shahrukh starrer 'Yes Boss'. He proceeded to belt out numerous songs interspersed with his own brand of humor and witticisms, alternately mocking at himself and the audience.

In between his singing, Abhijeet reminisced on his own humble beginnings from the town of Kanpur and attributed his success to listening to Bollywood greats like Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi and Mukesh on his 'Murphy radio'!

Abhijeetda enthralled the audience with songs like 'Sunoh na Sunoh na' and 'Tauba tumhare yeh ishaaren' from 'Chalte Chalte', 'Tum Dil Ki Dhadkan' from 'Dhadkan' and 'Vaada Raha Sanam' from 'Khaakee' amongst others.

Abhijeet's troupe had to briefly vacate the stage to accommodate the important function of the declaration of 'Marex Lifetime Achievement Awards' to two veterans from the Indian shipping industry, viz. Capt. Ron Dev Kohli and Capt. Purushottam Shankar Barve. Both the veterans were felicitated by another industry veteran Capt. Indrajit Singh with a trophy, a shawl and a bouquet.

In his acceptance speech, Capt. Barve expressed his gratitude for the great honour of being felicitated by his teacher, Capt. Indrajit Singh, and thanked the industry for all the support he had received during his years within it. On his part, Capt. Kohli expressed his surprise at being remembered by the industry twenty years after retirement but admitted that it was his habit to keep working as he still had a large unfinished agenda.

Capt. Chadha thanked the three doyens for responding to his invitation and recalled his experiences with them. He then went on to request Mrs. Poonam Khuman to felicitate Mrs. Manisha Halbe for her pioneering work with 'Pragati Kendra'.

Abhijeet and his troupe returned with renewed vigour to begin a Goldie-oldie segment where the singer took the audience back to the sixties and the seventies of the film industry, rendering masterpieces by maestros like Kishore Kumar ('Humme tumse pyaar kitna' and 'Zindagi Ka Safar') and Hemant Kumar ('Tumm Pukaar Lo') to shouts of 'Encore, Once More' from the senior sections of the audience. The perfect orchestration set the mood for more performances that were restricted, alas, by the time constraints put on the show.

Abhijeet's rendition of 'Ohh Maajhi Re' perfectly echoed the philosophy of 'Kashti 2009' and made the audience feel the sublime beauty of the high seas within the four walls of the auditorium.

Abhijeet ended the show on a self congratulatory note by belting out the Shahrukh song 'I am the best' to great vibes from the audience right until the end.

Capt. Chadha then returned with the entire team from Marex Media to thank all the invitees and took a bow to end yet another great show put up with hard work, love and dedication. This, to commemorate the collective efforts of the Indian shipping industry.


Capt. Purushottam Shankar Barve was born in Pune on May 26, 1933. He joined 'T. S. Dufferin' in 1948. After serving his sea time in the Scindia Steamship Navigation Company, he joined the Directorate General of Shipping as Nautical Surveyor in the year 1961. Capt. Barve's contribution to the Indian Maritime Industry covers various areas including maritime administration, training and support to shipping and port managements. Capt. Barve was Nautical Adviser to the Govt. of India from 1988 until his superannuation in 1991. He designed and developed the 'Shipboard Structured Training Program' (SSTP) through Distance Learning in collaboration with Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS).

Capt. Barve also led the academic team of the Tolani Education Foundation as its Chairman to establish the Tolani Maritime Institute. In 1986, Capt Barve suggested that the course on the 'T. S. Rajendra' be converted to a graduation course to create alternative career options for cadets. This was then put in to effect with the University of Mumbai granting a B. Sc. degree to cadets passing out. Capt. Barve's interest in training came to the fore during setting up of the shore based 'T. S. Chanakya' in Navi Mumbai and training simulators in 'Lal Bahadur Shastri College of Advanced Maritime Studies and Research' in Mumbai. Capt Barve has helped in launching a Postgraduate Diploma course in Transport and Logistics and is in the process of launching a Post Graduate Diploma in Maritime Economics and Operations.

Capt. Barve has actively supported State Maritime Boards and port managements in implementing safety procedures for handling of critical cargoes like LPG in Visakhapatnam, cryogenic cargoes in Hajira, navigational systems in ports of Tuticorin and Hajira and pilot boarding arrangements in the Hoogly River, Kolkata. The cargo barges in Goa were brought under the safety regime by him.

Capt. Ron Dev Kohli was born on May 29, 1929, at Nur Mahal in district Jalandhar in Punjab; he joined the 'T. S. Dufferin' in 1944. Capt. Kohli has been associated with the shipping industry for over 64 long years.

As a cadet, he joined the Scindia Steam Navigation Company in 1947 where he worked and qualified for various certificates of Competency, passing the Master's exams in 1955. Capt. Kohli then went to the UK for his Extra Master's Certificate in 1956. He volunteered to join the newly formed Eastern Shipping Corporation in 1961, and joined the Shipping Corporation of India as a Master on the first Indian Passenger Ship built in Vizag, the Andamans. In 1959, Capt. Kohli was posted as Asstt. Marine Superintendent at the SCI offices in Calcutta.

He was transferred to Mumbai in 1963 as Marine Superintendent and took up various responsibilities viz. Personnel, Maintenance of Ships and Operations. In 1973, he became Joint Managing Director at SCI. From 1986 to 1987, he was MD of Mogul Line Steam Ship Co., newly acquired by the SCI. From 1991, he led the Maritime Training Institute of SCI as Director. In 1992, he became adviser to INSA, and was also Chairman of 'Narottam Morarjee Institute of Shipping'.

Currently, he is in his second term as Master of the Company of Master Mariners.


Mr. Alok Shirodkar, Marketing Head, Marex Media and Ms. Sonia Parmar, Associate Marketing Head took the opportunity to thank the various partners of 'Kashti 2009'.

These included their Exclusive Partner, Griffin Marine travel; the Premier Partner for the event, Pentagon Group of Companies; Associate Partner, Wallem Shipmanagement Pvt. Ltd.; Platinum Partners, Ishima International Shipmanagement Pvt. Ltd. and Bibby Ship Management Ltd.; Golden Partners, Mitsui OSK, & Marlow Navigation; Silver Partners Bernhard Schulte, Dynacom, Elite Mariners, Fleet Management Services, Planmain, MSC Shipping, Seaarland, Tolani Maritime Training Services, V Ship Pvt. Ltd., Conti 7 and Vacanseas.com.

Capt. Chadha acknowledged, to excited clapping and wolf whistles by the assembled cadets, the enthusiastic attendance of cadets from 'T.S. Chanakya', 'T.S. Rahaman', 'Tolani Maritime Training Institute', 'Mumbai Maritime Training Institute' and 'Marine Engineering and Research Institute.'


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