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February - March 2008


Film, Art & Culture

by Kishan Sharma


Generally people go to hotels, restaurants, clubs, bars and other such places to celebrate the new year. All over the world, most of the people drink beyond limits, dance till they fall, play noisy music and spend lakhs of rupees just for some fun and enjoyment. Lakhs of poor people hardly get even two-time meal. For them, it is same old story every day. However, the M.I.T.’s Vishwa Shanti Gurukul arranged a two day musical festival, which was unique in many ways. The Gurukul is constructed at the Rajbaug, the famous bungalow of Raj Kapoor at Loni, near Pune, where he worked on most of his films. Prof. Dr. Vishwanath Karad, Founder President and Director of M.I.T. Pune, invited musicians like Pt. Hridaya Nath Mangeshkar, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Ustad Shujat Khan, Pt. Arvind Gajendragadkar, Sanjay Tandon, and Suhasini Nandgaonkar, to perform on the stage made in one of the three temples in the middle of river Mula-Mootha. The artistes were taken to the stage by boat, one after another, and the audience was seated on the banks of the river and on the specially made dam. The singers and instrumentalists presented devotional songs and classical music. It turned out to be an attractive programme-site since each artist took some more time than scheduled, much to the liking of organizers and audience. Ustad Bahauddin Dagar, Pushkar Lele, Shrikant Deshpande, Pramod Gaekwad, Godawari Munde, Ramesh Shengaonkar, Ashok Kadam, Hari Bagde, Keshav Badage, Gundecha Brothers – Ramakant and Umakant, Upendra Bhatt, Rahul Deshpande, Vijay Ghate, Aditya Kalyanpur and Udhdhav Bapu Aapegaonkar participated in the two day festival, which was compered by Anand Deshmukh in Marathi.


It took 17 long years for composer Anup Jalota and singer Padmashri Padmaja Phenani-Joglekar to release their devotional songs album, "Mangal-Deep". Anup Jalota had composed the title song, "Main Mangal Deep Jalaoon" written by Rajesh Johri in a very melodious tune almost 17 years back. Impressed with the tune and words, Padmaja requested Anup Jalota to reserve the bhajan for her only, which Anup Jalota did. But things were not working favourably. In the mean time, Anup Jalota composed some other devotional songs written by Sudhakar Sharma, Harish Chandra, Satyendra Upadhyaya and Ravikant Jain, alongwith bhajans of Saint Tulsidas etc. Finally, well known lyricist Narayan Aggarwal "Narayan" came forward to make a CD of all the devotional songs sung by Anup Jalota and Padmaja Phenani-Joglekar. The "Mangal-Deep" album was released at an impressive function by famous musician Padma Vibhooshan Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma. It was 100th CD made by the N.A. Classical company in 14 years. Trigun Patwardhan, Suryakant Surve, Mandaar Parakhi, and Manoj Desai accompanied the singers on musical instruments at the release function. Music lovers in large number attended the function.


Old playback singer Sudha Malhotra was recently felicitated by the Deepali Group at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hall in Mumbai. The talented beautiful singer still carries her charm; and her voice still takes music lovers to another world. She was not well, and did not want to sing, but when compere Kishan Sharma requested her to sing atleast two lines of her popular song from "Girl Friend" – Kashti Ka Khamosh Safar Hai; she not only sang the song in full, but also treated the large audience to her other popular numbers like – Tum Mujhe Bhool Bhi Jao To Yeh Haq Hai Tumko, and Salaame Hasrat Kabool Karlo. The packed hall gave her standing ovation, when she even tried to sing famous Qawwali – Naa To Kaarvaan Ki Talash Hai, alone. The original qawwali is sung by Mohd. Rafi, Manna Dey, Asha Bhonsale, Sudha Malhotra and S. D. Batish. The new generation singers have much to learn from the talented old artistes. That’s why goes the saying – Old is Gold.

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