Popeye gets a Bollywood makeover

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It’s all aboard the iconic Adelaide cruiser for an Indian escapade

Adelaide icon ‘The Popeye’ on the River Torrens emerged in a Bollywood avatar for OzAsia this year, thrilling the local Indian community as well as those in the wider community interested in India.

Floating Melodies, an opportunity to cruise gently along the river while being entertained with themed music and food, was an all Indian affair this time around, in a maiden event for OzAsia.

India was in the air from the moment of boarding at Elder Park, as guests were welcomed with, what else, mango lassi!

Taking their spots on the floor, baithak-style on colourful dhurries with colourful cushions, guests waited for the mehfil to start even as the boat smoothed along.

And then it was an onslaught of Radha teri chunris, Munni badnam huis and Masha allahs galore! The lovely lasses in red ghaghra cholis had the party swaying in their spots… who knew they could ‘sit-dance’ so well!

Local musician Farhad Farooq and his band also entertained with live music.

Sailing along the River Torrens through Elder Park, with the fresh spring breeze, the blooms and the playful swans, this could have made for a perfect Bollywood movie backdrop, as Farhad belted out numbers such as Mein tera naam loonga and Sooni padi hain man ki nagariya.

For those that understood the lyrics, the romance of it all was wonderful, while for others, the melody and the mood was enough!

When the Indian snacks came around, the Indian mehfil was complete!

By now the crowd was itching to get on their feet and move their bodies to the ‘can’t-sit-still’ music they had been exposed to. The girls in red came back on to teach a step or two – twist in that light bulb with one hand and pat the dog with the other! The crowd was in full-swing. It was Jai Ho as everyone, young and old, joined in swinging hips and shaking heads and stretching their cramped legs. The boat wobbled a few times, for sure, but the Jai Hos on board hardly noticed!

It was good to see a full crowd, especially as much was on that day: the final game between Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide, the Royal Adelaide show, and OzAsia Festival, even Father’s Day, and let’s not forget the shrieking fans out and about to see Kim Kardashian!

People came out of their winter hibernation to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and what better way to do so than on a leisurely cruise… with a touch of Bollywood glamour!



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