Tuesday, March 1, 2011


The other day Mommy (she is with us for another week) and me sat watching Dhobi Ghat ( movie ), and I just loved it. The whole point of me jotting down this blog today is not centered around the movie but few blink and miss songs played on it. When Aamir Khan was painting away his blues in the movie, in the background one can hear a subtle Tappa, Dadra, Thumari  playing. (For those who have no clue about what I am talking, Tappa, Dadra, Thumari are dominant genre of Hindustani Classical). Though I am very much a novice in Hindustani classical, my knowledge is mostly restricted to Rock n Roll and Country Music, having heard this genre took me to a different planet altogether. While watching Dhobi Ghat I got intrigued by the songs in the back ground. My mum said the singer probably is Girija Devi. Though I am still not sure about it. Ever since that day I am  incessantly listening about it. On Saturday morning, I woke up to my  Mother's version of banshee screaming, she read out the news paper to me saying, Girija Devi is in Delhi for some Music Festival. Pronto, I grapped the phone, asked few people for the passes. It turned  to be the famous Shankarlal  Musical Festival, dedicated to the memory of Pandit Bhim Sen Joshi, and the performance included Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Rahul Sharma, Rajan Sajan Brothers as well as Girija Devi. It took me a second to convince my Dad about joining us ( Dad just had his eye operation, I thought he will be reluctant to go), and Mrinal as usual had no choice but give in to the demands of married life. So sharp at 5:30 we left for Kamani Auditorium and saw one of the greatest concert of my life. Girija Devi sat among her disciple who where 1/4th her age and the audience were simply awestruck by the melody she presented. After seeing her performing for 1:30 hours she has a fan in my for life. The songs included lots of Kajri, (Kajri- means black-rainy clouds explaining the pathos of separated lovers). I am still taking baby steps, so don't hold my words for it, as I am only two weeks old. But would love to get into this deep lost world of Gharanas, and a music which has become so relevant to me in such a short period. Nowadays I love waking up to the sound of Raagas, hope this is not just a passing phase. The evening was more special because I saw it in the company of the three most important persons of my life. My Parents and Mrinal.

Disclaimer: The songs played in Dhobi Ghat may or may-not be Girija Devi's. But it seemed like her, my Mommy felt the same. And I stuck to it, at least it introduced me to this whole genre of music.

P.S. The first picture is of Girija Devi, along with her many students and great grand sons. The second picture is Me along with my Mommy, the fourth picture is of Rahul Sharma and Ram Kumar Mishra, the former is a Famous Santoor player and son of Shiv Kumar Sharma, later, is one of the India's eminent Tabla player. The last picture is of Me & Mrinal.  

Mumpi you were highly missed.