Indians from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and other states were enticed by Karunya’s singing in a nearly 3 hour long program by this singing sensation. The program, jointly organized by Greater Indianapolis Telugu Association (GITA) and India Association of Indianapolis (IAI), was held in Indianapolis on July 9, 2006. Since about 500 Indians attended this program and thoroughly enjoyed Karunya’s melodious and celestial singing it could be given the title of “Karunya 500”. The hall where the program was held reverberated throughout the program with non-stop applause from the audience while many of them sang along with Karunya or joined the dance.
The presidents of GITA and IAI, Mr. Raju Chinthala and Mr. Haresh Gangwani, respectively, introduced Karunya and facilitated the program. Karunya sang a total of 22 songs – truly 22 memorable gems that will reside in the hearts of the participants. He started the program with a fast paced Abhishek Bachchan song, “Right here, Right now” and won the audience right away and from then on the audience never stopped clapping or hand-waving till the end of the program. In addition to hindi hit songs like “Hum hai ek pal yahaan”, “Yaa Ali Raham wali” and the current melody “Chaand sifaarish” from Fanaa, he also rendered a Punjabi beat “Maine jise abhi abhi dekha hai” from Sharukh’s Kal Ho Naa Ho.
Karunya also sang 4 telugu songs including a recent hit from the movie Pokiri. His rendition of “Sivasankari” and “Raave naa cheliya” of his favorite singer Ghantasa were top-notch that not only reminded Telugu people of legendary Ghatasala but also re-affirmed their belief that Karunya is a phenomenon of singing. The audio arrangements for the program were by Mr. Manjit Rehan of Indianapolis who also sang two songs. In the last part of the program, Karunya gave a surprise entrance to the audience by joining a Telugu dance medley by Vinod Madhanu and Sandeep Pamireddy of Indianapolis and dancing with them to a tune from Pawan Kalyan’s “Bangaram” movie.
Another big moment for Karunya’s fans was the part where he was felicitated by GITA and IAI by the presentation of a plaque, a shawl and was honored with the title of “Gaana Kala Bhushana” (a gem or ornament to the art of singing) with the backdrop of vedic chants by Dr. DHR Sarma. Like the Julius Caesar quotation, “Veni vidi vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)”, Karunya came to Indy, he sang and he conquered the hearts of Indians from more than three US states and left the program with the admiration and the deserving title of “Gaana Kala Bhushana” that was whole-heartedly and affectionately presented to him by his fans. The program concluded by a vote of thanks by GITA president Mr. Raju Chinthala. The executive committee members of GITA, IAI and many volunteers and sponsors helped to make this program a grand success.