Bhubaneswar: As a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit mahotsav celebrations throughout the country, a two-day musical extravaganza called “Shruti Amrut” was held at Sainik school Bhubaneswar, on the 5th and 6th of August 2023, in collaboration with the Ministry of culture, Govt. of India and SPICMACAY. Students of Sahodaya schools, various colleges and public got an opportunity to witness the folk cum classical performances.
On day 1, Padmashree Dadi Dorab Pudumjee and members of his Ishara puppet theatre, mesmerised both young and old audience, with the staging of the show “The Superiou New clothes” or the “Anokhi Poushak”. The performance was a mixture of human movement and puppetry. The visual puppetry of the moving actors was amazing. The plot mentioned how the king had a false transformation, wearing no clothes. Everyone including his dewan, the Rajguru and other court members could not speak out the truth, it was rather children who could see through and exposed the malicious weavers.
The second performance was none other than by Parvathy Baul. With her simplicity she held the audience astounded – where everyone dived deep into the waters of Bhakti, she rendered songs from baul traditions, songs from Purulia, The first poem of Sri Geeta Govinda and ended with Radhakrishna’s sublime love, as explained by two birds, the shuk and Sari – “Brindabana Bilashini Rai Amader”.
The second day of Shruti Amrut, on 6th August had three versatile performers of international repute. Shashank Subramanian, a young and brilliant flutist was accompanied by Amrit Natarajan on Kanjira and Parupalli Phalgun on the Mridangam. Shashank, a child prodigy played the flute with utmost dexterity. The skill with which he moved, his fingers was just captivating. He mesmerised the majorly young audience with Raga Manohar along with some wonderful Jugalbandi of all the three carnatic instruments.
During the course of programme, students of Sainik school, spoke about the sacrifices and valour of Orissa’s unsung heroes – like Baji Rout and Buxi Jagabandhu, who fought in the early years of Indian freedom struggle.
The next artist to take the stage was none other than the brilliant sitarist, Niladri Kumar, along with renowned Tabla player, Satyajit Talwalkar. Apart from their melodious performance, Niladri made a direct connect with the audience, when he played the notes of Vaishnava-Jana followed
by Raag “Tilak Kamod”. His music will definitely have a lasting impression on the young minds.
The last item for the evening was the exuberant performance of Koodiyattam by Guru Margi Madhu and his group. Koodiyattam or kootiyattam, is a form of pure Sanskrit theatre which is traditionally performed in the Hindu temples of Kerala and is believed to be over 2000 years old and hence recognised by UNESCO as a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity. These plays originally stretch up to 40 days to complete.
The main actor was Chakyaar Margi Madhu, who started the performance after a ritualistic warship and a traditional make-up session of around four hours. He was supported by Dr. Indu.G on the cymbals and various drums on the stage. He enacted a short episode from the Ramayana where Sugreeva is seen lost in deep thoughts about friends and foes – after being banished by his evil brother, Bali, and how he wandered in the hillocks and forests, until meeting Sri Rama and Lakshmana – who give him the courage to fight Bali.
With this, the two days of Shruti Amrut – by The Ministry of Culture and SPICMACAY, concluded on a high note – creating everlasting marks in the memories of audience – especially the young students, thus fulfilling the core purpose of SPIC MACAY – to have every child experience the mysticism embodied in Indian and World heritage, and taking inspiration, promote the same as future citizens.