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'Sant Kanhopatra': Celebrating Balgandharva in Delhi

By Vijay Satokar
May 01, 2016

 The audience was half empty (or half full!). Used to unruly scenes when she presides over LS sessions, Speaker Sumitratai Mahajan sat through patiently as the actor playing Sant Chokha kept adjusting the mic fixed to his attire as he sang the Abhangs and the stage had a wierd scene of the sound technicians frolicking, placing microphones on the stage... Kudos to the actors who held their nerves and continued their performance undisturbed as if they were  forewarned.

Delhiite Maharashtrians are used to witnessing such mishaps. The audience nonetheless enjoyed as actors Suresh Sakhalkar, Asmita Chinchalkar, Ravindra Kulkarni, Kavita Tikekar, Niranjan Kulkarni, Anuradha Rajhans (grand daughter in law of Bal gandhrva), Narayan Bhalerao, Avanti Bayas, Vivek Katkar and Ajit Bhalerao braved the erraticsound system and enthralled the audience with their robust performance. Sangeet Natak Sant Kanohopatra won the hearts fo the Marathis in Delhi.

The programme on the eve of Maharashtra Day, was organised by Delhi's Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti also in memory of the late Dr.Savlo Keni, first Vice President of Lalit Kala Akademi under thebanner of Pune's Balgandharva Sangeet Rasik Mandal at Mavlankar auditorium (named after first Speaker of the Lok Sabha).

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu was the chief guest.

Delhi Maharashtrians are treated with cultural feast every year on the occasion of Maharashtra Day. R M Hejib of the Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti, credited for keeping Maharashtra culture alive in the capital for the past several decades was felicitated by the Balgandharva Mandal for hosting them in the capital.

"W rarely get chance to witness Marathi theatre in Delhi and although the sound system was horrible, I did not feel like leaving the show half way", said former first Chef of the country, Machchindra Kasture who came with his wife Hemlata to watch the performance. Maharashtrians, young and old, some with their tiny tots. Former SupremeCourt Juge Vikas Sirpurkar and his wife Kumkum were present in the audience.

WhatsApp groups of Marathis in the capital were surprised at the extra effort by government officials that was being made for the show by Dr.Ashutosh Javdekar. Is he son of Prakash Javdekar, asked some. He is a dentist with strong tooth sorry, taste for music be it Marathi classical or Western Jazz, said another post. Personal invites emailed and WhatsApped by Javdekar (Prakash), however, did not leave anyone in doubt that the dentish was indeed son of the Minister.



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