Tuesday 28 May 2024

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Kishoritai to inaugurate Sangeet fete


Crossing all the possible boundaries, they excelled at national and even international level. Now, they are coming back to their roots, to enrich their own music – the Konkani music.

Leading this conscious effort almost after centuries together is Kishori Amonkar, the Queen of Indian classical music, whom the Government of India this year has honoured with Padma Vibhushan.

She will inaugurate the first ever All India Konkani Sangeet Sammelan, organised by Konkani Bhasha Mandal, on 9 February. Margao, the cultural city of Goa, is thus getting prepared for the mega event with youngs and elders working day and night to make it a success.

Kishoritai is the second generation of late Mogubai Kurdikar, whose name is being given to the whole 'Nagar' of the Sangeet Sammelan site. Leaving her tiny Kurdi village in Sanguem taluka for Mumbai, Mogubai learnt under Alladia Khansaheb of Kirana gharana, to get acclamation as a veteran classical singer in British India.

Neither she nor her Padma Vibhushan daughter however forgot her motherland. After rebuilding the temple of their 'kuldaivat' Rawalnath at the rehabilitated site following the old temple going under Selaulim dam waters, the mother – and now the daughter –visit their village every year without fail, for the annual feast, giving a free performance.

Equally attached to the motherland are 'Mumbaikar' Pt. Prabhakar Karekar and Ajit Kadkade, both shishya of late Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki, yet another Goenkar maestro in Indian classical music. Following the tradition of their Guru, they have been singing Konkani at every performance wherever they go.

Along with them is Usha Amonkar, the Mumbai-based gazal and light Indian classical singer, who will perform at the Sammelan held in her motherland. The names like Padma Bhushan Shobha Gurtu or several others may follow the suit, perhaps at the next Sammelan.

But the organisers have obviously not forgotten the music evolved in Portuguese Goa, under the influence of Europeans and Africans who ruled for over four centuries. It is still prominent, called kantar sung at tiatr (traditional Konkani theatre), pulling audience from Christian community even at commercial level.

Yet another slot is kept reserved for the permanent migrants, who had fled to Mangalore in Karnataka to save Konkani culture, during infamous Inquisition, the cultural aggression on converted Christians three centuries ago. Eric Ozario from Mangalore will present Mangalorean golden songs, which are free even from the Portuguese influence.

Yet another attraction is, of course, Remo. The Indian pop singer of international repute is nowadays on a trip of fusing Indian folk and classical music with westernised Konkani music. He, along with Mangalorean Wilfy Remimbus, will perform the final slot, on 10 February.

But the most important slot will be around three and a half hour long slot of ethnic Konkani folk, which will perhaps create a base for recreating Konkani music, which is yet to evolve. It is a challenge to all the musical maestros, who will assemble at this historic fiesta.

Till then, it is not actually the Konkani Sangeet Sammelan. At the most, admit the organisers, it could be called a Sammelan of all the Konkani people, working in the field of music, in several parts of India.

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