Beatles mania unplugged at Mountain Echoes Literary Festival

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Foot tapping session with Ajoy Bose, Usha Uthup and Dawa Drakpa celebrated 50 years of The Beatles coming to India –

Thimpu: A shared love of The Beatles brought together Bhutanese musician Dawa Drakpa, writer Ajoy Bose and Usha Uthup, who discussed the era-defining music in ‘Across the Universe: Beatles Forever’.

The session began with the band’s tryst with India at the Rishikesh retreat in 1968 and the influence this spiritual experience had on their work. Ajoy and Usha spoke of the impact The Beatles had on generations in the East and West, and how they became the icons of cultural expression in the ’60s and ’70s. Dawa Drukpa talked about how the Fab Four an inspiration for his band The Baby Boomers, often called “Bhutan’s first western-style band”.

In her inimitable style Usha Uthup broke into some classic Beatles numbers accompanied by Dawa. A pleasant surprise was Naseeruddin Shah, who joined the panelists in a rousing rendition of Imagine by John Lennon. The audience waved their cellphone lights at this impromtu concert at the ninth edition of Mountain Echoes.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Eastern Himalayas, Mountain Echoes literary festival is an initiative of the India Bhutan Foundation, in association with India’s leading literary agency, Siyahi. Presented by the Jaypee Group and powered by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, the three-day festival is on till August 25, with engaging and insightful discussions being held across the city.