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Thursday, 14 June 2012

Balgandharva: First Marathi Movie I watched...

I was introduced to a mesmerizing  piece of music last year when my colleague Aniruddha's mobile phone rang when we were on call discussing some work in the most serious mindset possible. I was dumbstruck by the calmness that little piece of music could bring to my mind while in the middle of a critical design discussion, even as Aniruddha went on to recieve the call thus cutting short my opportunity to listen to that heavenly sound. On asking him about the details later, I got to know that it was the beginning part of a song from a Marathi movie named "Balgandharva", released in 2011 - portraying the life and times of a famous Marathi singer and actor. I then went on to listen to that song myself, and ever since, it has been delivering a daily morning dose of cheering up, as I feel that it brings in a great deal of calming influence - "Panchtund Nararundamaladhara", a Naandi song of the play "Shakuntal" as portrayed in the movie Balgandharva, sung by Sri Anand Bhate, a disciple of the great Sri Bhimsen Joshi.

Two more Abahngs from the same movie became very close to my heart after that, "Chinmaya Sakala Hridaya" and "Aga Vaikunthicha Raya", again great renditions by Anand Bhate.

All this led to more curiosity about the movie itself, and the person on whom the movie was made, Balgandharva, the great Marathi theater artist. Born as Narayan Sripad Rajhans, he became known as Bal  Gandharva when freedom fighter Balagangadhar Tilak got mesmerized by his talent when he was singing as a little kid, and called him by that name. I ended up reading a lot about the man, his extravaganza in the fields of music and theater, and the tragic life he led, despite being one of the most gifted artists of his era. A man who was never bogged down by the restrictions of a family life and the lure of money, he became famous for some of the most memorable female roles portrayed during his times.

Having watched the movie as well now, it gives great pleasure that this was my first attempt towards watching s Marathi movie. An excellent portrayal of the great artist, and the story, true to the real life happenings of Narayanrao.