Revitalizing Indian Cultural Heritage: Smt. Bageshwari Devi Thumri Festival
In the enchanting realm of Indian classical music, the rich heritage of Thumri stands as a testament to the profound beauty and emotional depth that this art form encapsulates. From 21st to 25th April 2023, a momentous occasion unfolded in the heartland of Uttar Pradesh—the Smt. Bageshwari Devi Thumri Festival. This five-day extravaganza, held across different locations, including the illustrious Raman Nivas of Benaras, paid homage to the legendary Thumri Maestro, Vidhushi Srimati Bageshwari Devi. Dr. Soma Ghosh, the esteemed organiser of the festival, has dedicated her life to preserving and revitalizing the heritage of Indian classical music. The festival also served the important function of bring together many performing masters of various Gharanas, on one platform, enabling the new generation to imbibe this rich singing style.
The Heritage of Thumri:
Thumri, with its roots in the rich cultural tapestry of India, is a genre of semi-classical music known for its lyrical and emotive qualities. It thrives on intricate melodic patterns and poignant expressions of love, longing, and spirituality. Smt. Bageshwari Devi, a luminary of the Benaras gharana, was a beacon of Thumri, whose captivating renditions and soulful melodies continue to inspire generations of musicians. The Smt. Bageshwari Devi Thumri Festival aimed to celebrate and propagate the essence of this invaluable musical heritage.
Revitalizing Indian Musical Heritage:
Dr. Soma Ghosh, the driving force behind the festival, embarked on her journey to preserve and promote Indian musical heritage in 2004. With unwavering dedication and relentless efforts, she has organized numerous concerts and workshops across the country, striving to make people aware of the depth and beauty of our musical traditions. Understanding the importance of passing on this legacy to the upcoming generations, Dr. Soma Ghosh's main motto has been to ensure that the youth of India is well-versed in their cultural roots. Even during this festival, she interacted with students of four Schools/Colleges and had the satisfaction of inspiring several talented student singers amongst several hundred students.
The 5-day Extravaganza:
The Smt. Bageshwari Devi Thumri Festival became a momentous event that transcended the boundaries of time and transported music enthusiasts to a realm of pure artistic bliss. Renowned Thumri exponents and disciples of Srimati Bageshwari Devi graced the festival, captivating the audience with their masterful performances. The festival showcased the versatility of Thumri through a melange of recitals, jugalbandis, and interactive workshops, creating an immersive experience for all attendees.
Message from Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi:
The festival received an extraordinary endorsement from none other than Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself, who extended his blessings and well-wishes to Dr. Soma Ghosh. In his message, Hon. Prime Minister exhorted Dr. Ghosh to involve as many school students through workshops, in this wonderful effort. This esteemed message from such an exalted personality filled Dr. Ghosh with immense joy, validating her tireless efforts in promoting Indian cultural heritage. It served as a reminder of the profound impact her work has had on the preservation and dissemination of classical music in the country.
The Smt. Bageshwari Devi Thumri Festival stands as a testament to Dr. Soma Ghosh's unwavering commitment to revitalizing Indian cultural heritage, particularly in the realm of classical music. Through her efforts, she has not only celebrated the heritage of Thumri but also ensured its transmission to the younger generation. This festival has undoubtedly kindled a renewed appreciation for the captivating melodies and poignant expressions that define the Thumri tradition. As we move forward, it is crucial that we continue to support and cherish such endeavours, for they play a vital role in safeguarding and promoting our rich musical heritage for generations to come.
Photos for your Kind Attention & Use.