By Mudassir Raja
India is a country with diverse and rich cultures. The Indian diaspora in Qatar is known for celebrating its culture in different ways.
One such event was organised by the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) on Wednesday evening when classical Indian music was presented by talented vocalists and musicians.
‘Journey of Ragas’ presented in association with Skill Development Center took the audience to the ancient and colourful culture of India as the performers clad in traditional dresses mesmerised the gathering.
‘Raga’ in Indian classical music represents each of the six basic musical modes which express different moods in certain characteristic progressions, with more emphasis placed on some notes than others.
The gathering of music lovers at the Ashoka Hall of ICC were seemingly captivated by the melodious and enchanting performances from vocalists namely, Manjari Deshpande, Shruti Tangirala, Prasad Deshmukh, Manasi Vashikar, Anu Pande, Srilaxmi Suresh, Momi Bandopadhyay and Sanjay Pradhan.
The vocalists were supported by tabla-rythm experts namely, Santosh Kulkarni, Avinash Despande, Avinash Gaikwad and Pranjali Mulik with Rashmi Waingankar playing the Keyboard. All the artistes were trained or students of Skill Development Centre.
Before the start of the show, all the artists were felicitated with certificates and Skills Development Center was felicitated with appreciation plaque by the managing committee members of ICC.
In his welcome speech, Vinod Nair, ICC Vice President, said: “I wish you very warm welcome to this beautiful evening. We are going to start to series of musical shows with the support of the artistes from Skill Development Centre.
The show is going to create an amiable atmosphere with its unique music and feelings. I am sure that the one-hour-long programme will leave you spellbound with the melodious and sweet music.”
The ICC team and other guests lit a lamp to start the programme officially.
Nayana Wagh, ICC Cultural Secretary, shared the details of the show. She said: “It is the most awaited cultural activity. We have a very professional and skilled music troupe associated with Skills Development Centre. The troupe will present the journey of eight multi-lingual popular songs based on different ragas.”
She went on to introduce each artiste with their skills and experience in the field of classical Indian music.
A representative of Skills Development Centre expressed her thankfulness to ICC for giving the opportunity to the centre’s artistes. She said that the programmes become more significant in the light of ongoing India-Qatar Year of Culture. “India has a lot to share with the rest of the world. Raga is a beautiful element in the Indian music.”
Talking to Community, Shashidhar Hebbal, founder and president of Uttara Karnataka Balaga Qatar, said: “It really was a nice musical show. We need to have such regular programmes for the Indian expatriate community.”
Shashidhar, who has been working with a public works authority as senior engineer for over nine years, added: “I attended the event with my family. My wife Geeta Hebbal is the one who decorated the stage for the musical evening. She has also been getting music training at Skills Development Centre. She also supports me in community welfare works. She is one of the management committee members of Uttara Karnataka Balaga Qatar.
“I enjoyed the professional performance by the trained artistes. The show speaks volumes about the kind of skill development training given at Skills Development Centre.”
Srithar Shanmugasundaram, an engineer in a construction company, said: “The show really portrayed the rich heritage of Indian music. It was a vivid melody with vocalists dominating the music. The programme put forward a diverse performance presenting music from different regions of India. They presented different ragas and expressed different moods of an individual.
“It was a unique blend of ancient Indian music with modern young talents. I was amazed to see the level of professionalism by the artistes. I think it is very good and necessary to have similar programmes of classical music in Qatar. Such events can help the young Indian living in Qatar in getting introduced to their national heritage and rich music.”
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