The festival of Purav Ang Gayaki Utsav, held yearly in Calcutta, Varanasi and Delhi, celebrates the unique musical heritage of the Ganga-Yamuna region. The festival is organized by VSK Baithak, lead by Sri Vinod S Kapur, who is tireless in his efforts not to let this tradition of thumris, dadras and horis to get lost in the annals of time by finding and nourishing its young and talented flag-bearers.
In the Calcutta segment of this festival this year, held at Chowdhury House on 27th and 28th October 2012, in association with Sri Vijay Kichlu (Sangeet Ashram) and Sri Aniruddha Chowdhury, eight participants were chosen on their merit to perform (for about 30 minutes each) in front of a stellar ensemble of experts, which included Padma Bhushan Smt Girija Devi, Padma Shri Dr Rita Ganguly, Sri Mohanlal Mishra, Smt Poornima Chaudhuri, Smt Meena Banerjee and Smt Shikha Rai Choudhury.
On 27th October 2012, the first evening of this festival saw the first participant as Smt Dhanasri Ghaisas from Pune. Her first presentation was a thumri on raaga Shivranjani (piya bin bairan) and her next was a dadra (najaria laage nahin).
The next participant was Smt Minakshi Majumdar from Howrah, a student of ITC-SRA and learning under the guidance of Sri Ajoy Chakraborty, presented a thumri on raaga Mishra Khamaj (shyam bina nahin chayen) and then a hori on raaga Desh (rasiya tore karan).
Smt Mousumi Sen from Calcutta was up next and she started her performance with a thumri on raaga Mishra Tilak Kamod (aao piya mori) and ended it with a dadra on raaga Mishra Kafi.
The last participant was Smt Jhumpa Sarkar from Calcutta, a student of Sri Arun Bhaduri and Smt Dalia Raut, who presented a thumri on raaga Mishra Khamaj (dhyan lago mohe tora) and then a dadra on Mishra Pilu (sawariya).
All the participants were accompanied on tabla by Sri Jayshankar Mishra and on the harmonium by Smt Paromita Mukherjee.
As the festival is still not complete and the finest among the participants will be judged for the “Sarvottam Kalakar”, “Vikshit Kalakar” and the “Anukrit Kalakar” awards in February 2013 in Delhi, Overladen will refrain from making any qualitative comment on their performances.
However, there’s one incident we should mention in this context.
During the performance of one of these four participants, our photographer got so overwhelmed by the sheer excellence of music that he forgot to take the customary photo of her performing on stage. Want to know who that participant was? Just browse through the photo album above and find out who’s missing!
If you still don’t get it, here’s a clue. When our guy realized his folly, he decided to switch to video instead, as he thought that a mere picture of her won’t do justice to her performance. So, here’s your clue – the video!