Category Archives: music

A unique festival

Have you ever received a notification which made you so curious that the first thing you do on the weekend is to rush downtown in spite of rains. I did, when an article on Picklesburgh was shared. This is a festival to celebrate all things pickled. My interest was increased when I read it would be conducted on the Roberto Clemente bridge in Pittsburgh. This was the most unique festival I had ever attended. The day began with rains which generally dampen my spirits for travelling. But my curiosity got the better of me and by afternoon I was on my way. As soon as I reached near the downtown, I saw huge crowd dressed in bright summer colors. The best way to find an event is to follow the crowd.

Roberto Clemente bridge with Picklesburgh

The bridge entrance

The bridge seemed to have come to life because of the festival. The excitement of the event was clearly visible on the happy faces of the kids. There were stalls of all kinds of pickles, jams, jellies, cakes and chocolates in addition to fries, sandwiches. There were pickles of cucumber, corns, beans, etc. Most of the food items had a little bit of dill be it sandwich or roll. The air on the bridge had the lovely fragrance of dill. Everyone seemed to have come with their families. Even the weather seemed to have given up to the enthusiasm and so the clouds had cleared to a bright sunny day.

On the bridge

live music

To add to this there was live music. This was a complete family event which reminded me of the fairs in my hometown in my school days. Everyone Even simple things when done differently can make wonders, this was one such wonder. These kind of events give us the much needed opportunity to enjoy quality time with our family. The crowded bridge and the still river, presented an amazing contrast to the viewer. I returned home with amazing memories. This festival will be pickled in my heart forever.

Shubho Mohaloya (Happy Mahalaya)

Jai Ma Durga

Jai Ma Durga

Yesterday night, before going to sleep, I told my mother to wake me up before 5:30am. It was Mohaloya, the first day of Navratri. As a school girl this used to be a yearly ritual. We used to get up early and watch the Mohaloya presentation. Every year the story of Goddess Durga destroying the evil Mahishasur was presented with songs, dance and chandipath. It used to begin at 5:30 am and get over by 7:00 am. I always felt watching the programme made a pious start of the day.

The most amazing part was the Mohaloya Chandipath recited by Birendra Krishna Bhadra. His recitation is so unique that even today the same recitation is played in all the channels. All the songs of the program made me feel that festivity is in the air. I was brought up in Gujarat in western part of India. The festival of Garba begins from Mohaloya and continues for the next 9 days. In east of India, today is the day when the sculptors paint the eyes of the Goddess Durga. The markets are flooded with traditional clothes of various designs. The beating of the dhak(traditional drums) would give a feeling of the arrival of good times when we would be with friends and family. The tension of studies would be placed aside for a while. It would seem as if festivity is in the air.

In my school days it was only national television Doordarshan. Today different channels have different representations, each leaving its own signature on the event. I would like to show this to all the people who say culture has gone for a toss. Even today, entire families get up and watch the mohaloya presentation. The demand is so much that all the channels take the initiative to create their unique presentations, thus generating opportunities for creativity. With this year’s dhak I want to wish every one a Happy Mohaloya.

Tribute to Music

courtesy:Pullman photography

Today is World Music day. The word “Music” immediately connects me to my grandfather who passed away when I was 6 years old. He was fond of listening to music. I realized this when I saw his collection of gramophone records during the renovation of our house. It was strange to find many of his favorite songs are actually there in my ipod. I immediately felt connected to him.

It moves the spirit and connects the world. The biggest example are the football World Cup songs. Whether its the “Waka Waka” or “Un dros tres”, the world moves to it. The moment we hear these songs we think of amazing jerseys, soccer and stadiums full of enthusiastic fans. We may not understand the meaning of these words but the feeling generated by these songs is same for everyone.

Music definitely calms the nerves and releases stress. Sometimes it even takes us to a different world away from our daily hustle and bustle. It is strange the modes of listening to music moved from heavy gramophones to light smartphones, location of devices from tables to pockets but the music remained the same. I am grateful to all the music composers, singers and instrumentalists for creating music to release the stress of our lives.

Happy world music day to everyone.

Yaa dil ki suno

Today is Hemant Kumar’s birthday. I still remember my early school days when cable was not there in many houses and Vividh Bharati from AIR still dominated. There used to be one voice which had its own identity.The voice was so unique that one could identify the singer from the song itself. It had a strange attraction as if it just pulled all the attention of the singer. It was Hemant Kumar, a singer who would create emotions from his voice.

Be it the loneliness of “Tum Pukar Lo” from Khamoshi or the “Yeh raat yeh chaandni” from Jaal or awareness of “Yaa dil ki suno” from Anupama, each song had so much emotion that one would feel it even without seeing the movie. The first hindi song of his that got engraved in my mind was “Beqaraar karke hame”. This song is so immortal that it is used even today in an advertisement. Not only as a singer but also as a music director. No one can forget his work in Khamoshi, Anupama, Bees Saal Baad. Being a bengali I had the fortune of listening to his works in Bengali as well. My grandfather used to have an amazing collection of Hemant Kumar songs in a Gramaphone disk. Today Hemant Kumar is no more but his works will keep him immortal. His works were so unique that hardly any singer in reality shows ever attempts them. As for me, I can sing endlessly “Ei poth jodi na shesh hoye”…