Extraordinary, comical and diverse were only a few words to describe the Indian Student Association’s 32nd annual “Mustang Masti” talent show on Saturday. This year ISA rewarded prize money of $1,000 to first place winners and $750 for second place.
The show was held in McFarlin Auditorium and featured talent ranging from cultural dance infused with styles such as Bollywood, hip-hop and jazz, to singing in many diverse categories. Hundreds of guests from all over Texas filled the auditorium to attend the exhilarating show.
Just before winners were announced, ISA surprised the audience with the flash mob who had taken over Dallas Hall previously this week. Members of ISA danced around the auditorium to rally the crowd.
First place for singing talent went to Husanbir Singh of the University of North Texas, and second place went to Kamica King of SMU.
Talent winner Singh, a Ph.D. student at UNT was thrilled about his win in the singing category.
“I think music is one of the loveliest things in life. I decided not to make money out of this, and I will give this money to charity,” Singh said.
In the dance category, first place was awarded to the group Saaya of the University of Texas, and second place went to Mohini of the University of Texas.
The panel of judges was comprised of several talented dance and singing practitioners who grew up in many different ethnic backgrounds and diverse cultures.
“I honestly thought it was one of our best shows ever,” ISA President Anisha Durvasula, a senior finance major at SMU, said. “We work really hard just to put all of it together.”
SMU alumna Anjali Pillai, a former member of ISA’s executive board, also talked about the hard work and dedication that was put into making the show.
“They’ve worked so hard; they just do so much work,” Pillai said.
SMU students, faculty and newcomers proudly stood as the show opened with national anthems from Pakistan, India, as well as the United states.
Canadian YouTube sensation Jasmeet Singh, popularly known as Jus Reign, hosted the program with his comical standup and quickly broke the ice with his personable presence and jokes throughout the show.
“We have a lot of great people out here tonight,” Singh said. “There has been a lot of effort and hard work.”
The talent show featured diverse entertainment that also showcased Indian American culture from several perspectives and styles – Bhangra, folk, Middle Eastern, fusion, Bollywood, as well as cultural and popular music.
Students and family members cheered with encouragement and support throughout the entire show.
Maira Raza, a sophomore at the University of Texas at Arlington, was amazed by the talent shown.
“It was really interesting and diverse,” Raza said. “My favorite team was Blue Flame Gold.”
There were a total of 10 acts, with two exhibition acts from Meenakshi Rajesh and Blue Flame Platinum. Acts performed featured a variety of talent from dance, to solo song and a cappella.
Many of the talent performers practiced and prepared for several months before the show.
“The talent show was amazing,” SMU sophomore Farha Khoja, who performed performance dance with her team, said. “We had a lot of fun, and we worked really hard for this. SMU put on a great show, and we plan to come back next year stronger.”
With yet another successful show, ISA plans to have another incredible talent show next year with more talent and surprises.