Cultural bonding


Music does not have any boundaries and the crowd that had gathered at the Birendra International Convention Centre on the wet evening of August 16 for Pandit Ronu Majumdar’s flute recital was proof of this. Organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relation (ICCR), Indian Embassy and BP Koirala India-Nepal Academy, the evening was part of the Indian Independence Day celebrations and also to mark the establishment of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kathmandu.

Even the rain and the never-ending traffic jam did not stop the Capital’s music lovers from reaching the venue on time. The noise and crowd outside BICC were forgotten as the hall’s tranquillity engulfed all for one of the most memorable evenings.

This the Grammy-nominated artiste’s second visit to Nepal. Rooted in the Maihar Gharana, Pt Majumdar has been associated with music maestro like Pandit Ravi Shankar and well-known artistes like George Harrison, Ray Cooder and others.

Starting the evening asking, “Tapai haru lai kasto chha? (How are you all?)”, Pt Majumdar was able to grasp everyone’s attention in the hall. Many were surprised and delighted to hear the musician speaking in Nepali.

He began his recital with the Kalyankari raag, which according to the artiste, is considered very auspicious. The soothing sound of the flute filled the air enchanting everyone present with its soulful music. Pt Majumdar was accompanied by Shri Ram Das Palsule (tabla), Pt Durga Prasad Majumdar (pakhawaj) and Shri Kalpesh Sanchala (flute, support).

The jugal-bandi between pakhawaj and tabla was astounding and well received by the audience. At the end he played Sare jahan se achha and Raghu pati raghav. But the loudest cheer was for the Nepali composition, which he learnt from veteran Nepali musician Ranjeet Gajmer. At the end he again asked, “Mero programme ramro lagyo? (How did you like my performance?)

Special guests Professor SS Mehndi, Vice-president and Director General of ICCR Pawan Kumar Verma along with Indian Ambassador Shiv Shankar Mukherjee were present at the event.

On the starting of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kathmandu, Verma said, “In this age of globalisation, it is very important to preserve and nurture our culture. As cultures, traditions and art of the two nations are similar, I hope with this centre and your support we will be able to continue in its exchange and development.” A few students of the Centre who are learning tabla, flute and Kathak from teachers from India also performed at the event.