Just a few hours before Independence Day, the heart of Mumbai was beating to a familiar tune. The occasion was the cultural show, Rabindra Saurabh – Fragrance of Gurudev, organized by NGO Anam Prem to celebrate India’s greatest and most loved bard, Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th anniversary.
What made the program even more special was the fact that all the performers on stage were Marathi-speaking artists and not from Bengal as one would expect. But language barriers quickly became irrelevant and just as the show’s title promised, the air around the city’s Ravindra Natya Mandir was fragrant with the heady aroma of Rabindra Sangeet.
“Anam Prem is an NGO which believes that love is the greatest and the most powerful force which can dissolve every kind of barrier between humans. Rabindra Saurabh is also an attempt to spread this love among humans through Rabindranath Tagore’s music great music and poetry. By including non-Bengali artists to perform Rabindra Sangeet, we hope to spread the message that love and music cannot be bound by the barriers of the country, state or the language of the people,” said Jerome, the organizer of the show.
The show began with a mellifluous singing of Saraswati Vandana by singer Anusha Samant followed by a spellbinding performance by the students of the famed Shanti Niketan. Before the applause could subside, singers Ruchi Chauhan, Nishigandha Thakur, Mitali Katarnikar, Bhushan Samant, Umarji, and Gautam Karandikar all Marathi-speaking artistes, soulfully sang the classic Rabindra Sangeet, getting a spontaneous ovation. Soon after, singers Janice Pereira and Mcquin Pinto regaled the audience with a thrilling rendition of Tagore’s classic poem ‘Where the mind is without fear’. Before the audience could get over the magic of this performance, little Tanvi Thakur cast her spell with her amazing magic show, leaving people asking for more. After another enthralling dance performance by deaf and mute students, noted singer Dr. Soma Ghosh took over with her electrifying vocals, ending the evening in a memorable climax.
The celebrity guests Sufi singer Sahil Multy Khan, Richa Sony, Ashish Sharma, Rufy Khan, director Jayant Gilatar, designer-stylist Umair Zafar and Dr. Soma Ghosh among others admitted that they were surprised to see the flawless rendering of Rabindra Sangeet by non-Bengali artistes. On being told that they were ably guided by Mahua Chakraborty, they all made a beeline to the head of the department of Mumbai’s VJTI College to congratulate her.