Click on Pages below to get to the articles:

1.  Sealed with a Kiss P1

2. Saint Thyagarajah Celebrations P1

3. Prothithy Bangla Outdoors P2

4. Samanwaya and Debapriya – Vocal and Sitar Duet P3

5. Ashok Roy – A Life Cradling his Sarod P4



Sealed with a KISS

In Sydney for the last 15 years or more a group of volunteers, calling themselves simply, Hindustani Music lovers, have been meeting every month to relish music and encourage one another. Their formula for success has been KISS ‘Keep it Simple Silly’. In the process there is now an increasing interest in this group’s activities as people await this once a month Mehfil, an intimate soiree, to get away from the mad race and preoccupation with their mortgages, careers and rising blood pressures, not to mention the Hazaar (thousands) chores.

In this humble process a recent development has been the budding talent of young Aussies of Indian Origin who are coming forward to perform showing promise. Whilst we have not caught up with the “Prodigy Fever” of India, we down under are content to enjoy – Simple Music by the simply talented !!

I bring you today one such talent in 12 year old Varun Bapat who presents raag Durga,  a pentatonic scale of S R M P D S is also known in the South Indian circles as Shuddha Saveri. Varun sings the bandish in perfect diction set to a rhythmic cycle of 16 beats or Teen taal. Varun is dedicating his performance today to his guru and teacher Smt Ketaki Dongre, a passionate lover of Hindustani Music, Singer and Teacher in Sydney. He is accompanied by our very own family pair Shalaka Malgaonkar on Tabla and her son Kedar Malgaonkar on Harmonium.


Rajan and Sajan Mishra’s Durga is one of my favourites and I had to look no further than UTUBE.. for this bandish set to Ek Taal or a reveting 12 beat cycle.

Carnatic Musicians and composers have also rejoiced in the lap of Raag Durga. Nevertheless I found this delightful site which gives the lyrics of compositions of one of the trinities Muthuswamy Dikshitar in many Indian Languages.  One such composition is called ‘Ekamresa Nayike’

I leave you with an energetic rendition by Aruna Sairam here



Saint Thyagarajah Celebrations In Sydney in 2008



The great Saint Thyagarajah a musical genius was born on 4 May 1767 in Thiruvarur, a village in the Thanjavur District of South India. He lead a simple life as a devotee of the deity Rama. His reality, as depicted in his songs, was to be one with his God and so he lived singing the praises of Rama leaving an enormous legacy in Carnatic Music which has survived generations.

Thyagarajah not only composed in almost every raga conceivable, his songs personify and standardize the expression and character of every Ragam. From the rare to the common to the sublime, Thyagaraja’s play with his “devotional Swaras” is memorized by all for its copious amounts of Bhava and Bhakti. His songs are reproduced passionately by teachers and the students of this style of music all over the world. Sydney joined this Celebration with great conviction at the Dundas Community Centre stretching over two days with his Songs being rendered by all. Some had even come from Melbourne and Canberra to attend this function.

Sydney Music Circle [SMC] the humble organization behind this proud effort is predominantly run by groups of rotating volunteers each year. Each year a new set of organisors seem to add more zest and energy into this celebration.

TIDU interviewed one of the organisor’s young Miss Vandana Narayan:  IMG_3766


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