The Power of a Flute


Pune, 16th February, 2013: The amphitheatre facing the picturesque sunset and bosoming the cool winds was being lit up by lanterns by the enthusiastic young hearts of Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC), Lavale. The setting was perfect for the genesis of the relationship of SPICMACAY and SIMC, Lavale with the institute hosting its first SPICMACAY concert featuring the enchanting Shri Rajendra Kulkarni performing on the Flute, promising a magical evening.

At around 7:30 PM, the programme started with the Indian tradition of deep-prajvalan or lighting of the lamps by the artists, the deputy director, Mrs. Prasanna Hulikavi and also Brian and Kate Donaghue. The artists were then introduced to the students by Miss Shruti Venkatesh before being felicitated by Mrs. Hulikavi. Kulkarni ji then commenced the concert by addressing the students and sharing with them the fact about how he has been associated with SPICMACAY since its inception in 1977, which, let me say, truly has been a great blessing for SPICMACAY and its cause. It is all these artists and the faith that they have in SPICMACAY that has made this organisation into the movement that it is.

Kulkarni ji started his performance with Raga Yaman. The sur from his flute, when he played the alaap, were like communicating with the soul of the listener. Shri Harshad Kanitkar, accompanied Kulkani ji on the Tabla, playing Taal Rupak. His exquisite performance on the table left the audience awestruck. Later, as the raga picked up speed, Kulkarni ji played the bandish ‘mai vari vari jaaungi preetam par’ with Kanitkar ji playing the Teen Taal. Kulkarni ji also explained how the Rupak Taal has a seven-beat cycle and the Teen Taal has a sixteen-beat cycle.

Kulkarni ji then performed a dhun which embodied various amusing variations that enraptured the audience with delight. With the perfect setting of the hill-top amphitheatre and the cold winds, the audience made a pharmaish or request for Pahadi, and Kulkarni ji graced us with it. The experience of listening to Pahadi was absolutely bewitching and fascinating.

He concluded his performance, as per the tradition of Indian Classical Music, with Raga Bhairavi. Even in the cold weather, and chilling winds, all the students were completely attentive and absorbing all that Kulkarni ji offered, right until the end.

Kulkarni ji was aptly accompanied by Kanitkar ji and every soul present there was revelled and beguiled by their performance. The artists were given mementos as a token of the love and respect of the students and the institute by Mrs. Prasanna Hulikavi.

I, on behalf of the Pune chapter, would like to thank the artist for a wondrous evening and their dedicated love and support to SPICMACAY. I would also thank SIMC for kindling the flame of SPICMACAY in the hearts of its students and hope that we keep this flame alive by having more of such events in the future. I would also thank the Deputy Director, Mrs. Prasanna Hulikavi, the faculty members of SIMC, the chief coordinator, Mr. Amir Tameem and all the student volunteers of SIMC for making this event possible and making it a great success. And importantly, I would thank the students for being the lovely audience that they were and I hope that they would join the cause of SPICMACAY in every way they can.


-Tanmay Mehta

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Musical Treat


Baramati, 5th February, 2013: Sharadabai Pawar Mahila Mahavidyalaya, while strengthening their association with SPICMACAY, hosted yet another SPICMACAY concert, featuring the Hindustani Vocal performance of Manjusha Kulkarni-Patil, here, with a packed auditorium of nearly 2000 people. These 2000 included more than 1800 girl students who were clearly ecstatic to witness Manjusha tai’s performance. Also present in the audience was harmonium artist, Shri Abasaheb Parkale, who felicitated the artists. The programme was also attended by the principal, Dr. M. S. Shejul.

At around 10:45 AM, the programme started with Shri Nagesh Pandit, the music teacher in the school, introducing the artists after which Manjusha tai started the performance with the bandish, ‘Piya Milan Ki Bari’, in the morning raga, Raga Bhairav. As the performance was approaching noon, Manjusha tai presented the bandish, ‘Aali Baki Ankhiyan Jadu Bhari’, in the afternoon raga, Raga Brindavani Sarang. She also explained the science of Indian Classical Music and how different ragas are the most effective and influential in particular prahars or time slots of a day.

The students were very attentive and their responses were as that of a learned audience. Looking at this, a very happy Manjusha tai asked what would they like to hear, abhanga or natya-sangeet. “Abhanga!” said the crowd in unison. Tai sang ‘Abir Gulal’ and the students were spell-bound! It was particularly heartening to see the way the students understood the music and were very receptive. Manjusha tai then sang the Hindi bhajan, ‘Payo Jee Maine’. The audience was lost in the devotion that the bhajan embraces within itself and more so when Manjusha tai sung it.

Manjusha tai ended her enchanting performance with a natyapad which also happens to be a bhajan by Sant Chokhamela. The natyapad, ‘Johar’, was special as for the special meaning it held. Manjusha tai explained that this natyapad says that the audience is maay-baap or the Lord and the singer, the artist thanks them with a johar or folded hands. This is when the students realized that the power of Indian music is in the cultural goodness that it endows on the listeners.

Manjusha tai was ably accompanied by the young and immensely talented Shri Nilesh Ranadive on the Tabla and the very humble and simple Shri Pramod Marathe on the Harmonium. The students loved the entire concert which was evident by their learned responses.

Shri P. S. Jadhav, the co-ordinator, had ensured that all the things were in place and in order. This ensured that we had a wonderful concert entirely taken care of by the institute’s staff. Also the students were absolutely disciplined throughout the concert.

I, on behalf of the Pune chapter, would like to thank the artists for their enthralling performance, the Principal, Dr. M. S. Shejul, for their continued support and participation with SPICMACAY, Shri P. S. Jadhav, for organising the whole event extensively well, Shri Nagesh Pandit and rest of the institute staff for making this event a success and last but not the least, the students, for being a superb audience, I hope they take forward the cause of SPICMACAY.


– Tanmay Mehta

Posted in What's Going On in Pune? | Leave a comment

The Overnight Concert

Tanmay Mehta

On the eve of the Republic Day, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), in Pashan, was buzzing with activity. Excitement overpowered anxiety and nervousness. Splendid colours of the rangoli marked the start of a very colourful evening as the evening was going to hold a series of classical concert straight through the night into the morning of the Republic day.

The overnight concerts marked the conclusion of the January session of FEST 2013, organised by SPICMACAY, Pune. The January session saw maestros of Indian classical music from across India, performing in different schools and colleges of Pune. The overnight event seemed a close befitting the cultural extravaganza that the January session was.

The concerts started late into the evening, at around 9 PM, in the Multipurpose Hall of IISER, with an audience of nearly 400 music lovers including about 250 students. Among the audience also seated was Padma Vibhushan Jayant Naralikar.

The first concert featured Padma Bhushan Dr. N Rajam, performing on the Violin. She was accompanied by Shri Ramdas Palsule on the Tabla.  She played Raga Bihag, followed by the heart-touching bhajan, Vaishnava Janato and finally ending with a Banarasi dadra in Raga Khamaj. The audience just loved the musical embrace that Dr. Rajam presented. One enthralled student opined that Vaishnav janato can be truly enjoyed only on a violin and more so when performed by Dr. Rajam.

The second concert was by Pandit Ajay Pohankar, who was accompanied by Shri Ramdas Palsule on the Tabla, and Shri Chaitanya Kunte on the Harmonium. Pt. Pohankar’s vocal performance started with the wonderful Raga Jog, which he sang in the Sham Chaurasia gharana style. It was followed by a beautiful bandish in Raga Darbari Kanada, ‘Mora piya mose bolat nahi’ which successfully replaced from our memories the movie rendition of this bandish of the same name. He continued with another bandish, ‘Ga re mann piya piya re’. This was followed by Raga Sohini and a thumri in Raga Bhairavi, ‘Yaad piya ki aaye’. He closed his performance with Begum Akhtar Dhund’s ghazal, ‘Jaane kyu aaj tere naam pe rona aaya’. He presented a very pleasing and very versatile array of performances in his concert. He also presented the audience with the different singing styles of the different gharanas.

The third concert saw Pandit Rupak Kulkarni performing on the Flute, with Shri Aditya Kalyan on the Tabla. He played two Carnatic Ragas, viz. Raga Vachaspati, which is a midnight raga and Raga Bhinn Shadaj, which is an early morning raga.

The final concert of the day was by Smt. Kalapini Komkali. She was accompanied by Shri Prashant Pandav on the Tabla and Shri Suyog Kundalkar on the Harmonium. Smt. Komkali presented some rarely heard morning ragas like Raga Lagan Gandhaar, which she performed for the first time. It was followed by Raga Sindura and then by Raga Bhatiyaar and Raga Sohani Bhatiyaar. She concluded her performance and the wonderful overnighter with a bhajan in Raga Bhairavi.

The best thing was to see the overwhelming number of students present for the concerts throughout the night into the morning of the Republic Day. All the artists mentioned the fact that they were very pleased to see such a receptive but at the same time peaceful crowd. The students seemed to have enjoyed the soul-pleasing experience very much.

The way the IISER volunteers handled the overall programme was commendable to say the least. They had taken of each and every single thing. They had kept no stone unturned. It has always been a great pleasure to see so many students of IISER taking such a keen interest in SPICMACAY activities. And this is all thanks to the faculty and management of IISER. They have been very supportive and participative in SPICMACAY ever since IISER was established. We are ever thankful to them and hope for the same support in the future.

A huge thanks to all SPICMACAY volunteers who made it to the event. Banks, rivers, old, new, all volunteers who showed up with lot of love, support and enthusiasm, thank you and please continue to be a part of this gem of a movement that SPICMACAY is.

Want to find out what IISER Pune’s newsletter had to say about the concert? Check this out :

Posted in What's Going On in Pune? | Leave a comment

The Fest 2013

The line up for 'An Overnight Concert' at IISER Pune on 25th January, 9 pm - Part of The Fest 2013

at IISER Pune on 25th January, 9 pm

The Fest consists of a wonderful line-up of concerts, held in the latter half of the academic year (January to April). These are feasts of classical arts. In the span of a week, a number of concerts of various classical music and dance forms and workshops in Arts and Crafts are conducted.

The aim of this series is to inspire the student community with the ‘real thing’. The FEST series also provides students an opportunity to witness several young and upcoming artistes perform alongside senior artistes. The schedule is as follows :

15th Jan Inaugural concert – Mysore Brothers 10 – 12 am Modern College, Shivajinagar
15th Jan Mysore Brothers 2:30 – 4:30 pm D. Y. Patil Design College, Lohegaon
17th Jan Pdt. Vishwajit Roy Chaudhary 2 – 4 pm Institute of International Business and Research (IIBR)
18th Jan Pdt. Biswajeet Roy Chowdhury 8 – 10 am Delhi Public School
22nd Jan Shri Raghunandan Panshikar 6:15 – 8:15 pm National Centre of Radio Astrophysics (NCRA)
25th Jan Dr. N. Rajam
Pdt. Ajay Pohankar
Pdt. Rupak Kulkarni
Smt. Kalapini Komkali
9 pm – 6 am IISER Pune
5th Feb Smt. Manjusha Patil Kulkarni 10 am Sharadanagar, Baramati

The events under the Fest Series are open to all students.
The Pune Chapter meets every Saturday at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Law College Road at 6.00 pm. Please join us.

Posted in What's Going On in Pune? | Leave a comment

A Beautiful Mayur Alarippu

This has got to be one of the most beautiful Bharatanatyam dance pieces I have ever seen! It is a ‘Mayur Alarippu’ – An in-vocational dance piece with movements inspired by that of a peacocks.

In this Mayur Alarippu, Smt. Priyadarshini Govind seems to grow a set of azure peacock wings which only add to her grace and poise. There are more than a few moments during the piece when you realise what a beautiful dancer she is. When she suddenly moves from her more fluttery steps into the strong Thatti-mitta around the 0:21 second mark or when she moves her neck forward imitating the movement of the head of a peacock around the 0:29 mark are a few examples. Her strong command on expression becomes evident as well towards the end of the video.

I apologise for not having the link to the full video! I’ll upload it as soon as I get it!

Posted in Dance | Leave a comment

Maharashtra State Convention

Greetings everyone!!! It gives me great pleasure to inform you that IISER-NCL Chapter is hosting the Maharashtra State Convention. Dr Kiran Seth is here and we have just conducted a press conference(today 4:30 pm onwards). The convention begins from tomorrow, 11th March and will conclude on 13th March, Sunday. Here’s schedule of the Convention-

11th March – Friday

7:15 pm – Flute concert by Sri Rajendra Kulkarni at NCL Auditorium

12th March – Saturday

9:30am-Noon – Introduction, Updates of SPIC MACAY in Maharashtra and around the country

2pm – 4:30pm – Interactive session with Institute/Corporate heads and supporters – How to take the movement forward

5pm – 6:30pm – Dhrupad Vocal Concert by Sri Uday Bhawalkar, IISER Multipurpose Hall

7pm – 8pm – Interactive Session of Volunteers with Dr. Kiran Seth

13th March – Sunday

9:30am – Noon – Issue based discussions on the movement in Maharashtra.

We invite ALL SPICMACAY supporters, heads of institutes, administrators, corporate heads and volunteers from all over Maharashtra to attend the convention. If you are new to SPICMACAY and/or would like to give a little time of yours for our cause please do attend the post-Dhrupad Concert Interactive session with Dr Seth.

Please check this space and our website for more updates…

Come, experience the movement and JOIN us!!!

Posted in What's Going On in Pune? | Leave a comment

Coming Up…

Hello Everyone! As  Pune Fest-2011 comes to a spectacular end we have a lot more brewing for the next couple of months. First, the National Convention…the 26th National Convention of SPIC MACAY is going to be held in the campus of
Ravenshaw University in the Millennium city of Cuttack – the current twin city to the state capital Bhubaneswar. The duration of the convention is from 23rd May to 29th May 2011. We hope that this – the first ever National Convention being held in the state of Odisha – known for its age old heritage of Art, culture, sculpture, temple architecture, pattachitra painting, not to mention the numerous folk and tribal arts will be one of the best ever.  Please do visit the National Convention Website to register and read more about the schedule and the artistes performing. For ongoing information about curtain raisers and other activities please join our Facebook Page.

At our end, SPICMACAY IISER-Pune-NCL Chapter is hosting a mini-convention for volunteers from across Maharashtra from 11th-13th March, 2011. The tentative schedule is as follows:

11th evening: Concert

12th: Session with Principals of Schools and Colleges from in and around Pune

13th: Many meetings

PS: Dr. Seth will be here for the convention!

Looking forward to seeing you all there!!!

For more updates, watch this space…

Posted in What's Going On in Pune? | Leave a comment