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News |  05 Oct 2018 17:53 |  By RnMTeam

Nine nights of music and dance set for Garba season

MUMBAI: It’s already that time of the year, for Garba and Dandiya nights. Come 10 of October, next nine days will be musical and dance oriented for many enthusiasts. From housing societies to large scale events, there is lot of music happening. But, have we thought, what is the tradition behind this music and dance annual event? 

Garba, derived from the Sanskrit word Garbha (Womb), is a form of dance done on traditional Gujarati folk songs. It’s an ode to Goddess Amba around a perforated earthen clay pot, symbolising womb and fertility possessed by female species, while Dandiya requires a partner with two sticks or according to folk lore even swords, in each person’s hand and is played with his/her partner.

Garba is done on set rhythmic patterns of Be talli, Tran Talli, literally meaning two claps and three claps and so on. Traditionally, there have been many songs on which Garba has been played. Garbas like Dholida Dhol Re Wagad, Pankhida, Chogada, Saned edo, Tara Vina Shyam, Odhani, Kesariyo Rang, Mehendi Te Vavi. However, now many Bollywood songs are also been played for Garba, as this activity has now gone beyond just Gujaratis.

There are many events happening across the city of Mumbai, to have Garba Nights. The famous singer/artiste Parthiv Gohil, will be performing at Rangilo Re, a Garba event organised by NESCO. Parthiv, a Gujarati himself shares his insights, “The journey of Rass Garba and Dandiya from household events to these large-scale ones have been in last 25 years. In general, in India, all the festivals, be it Ganpati or Navratri, have taken this big scale and commercialised route in last two decades. Previously, there was no Ganpati festival as such in my hometown in Gujarat, however, today there is one celebrated. Similarly, the demand for Dandiya and Garba has grown over the years.”

One of the biggest stars to shine, predominantly during these nine days, is Falguni Pathak. Over the last two decades, Falguni’s performance has been looked forward by many Garba and Dandiya enthusiasts. “Not only is Falguni Pathak popular but what is more impressive about Falguni Pathak is that she retained the traditional form of music and in fact introduced these forms to non-Gujarati masses too. Like the form of Dakala, which is a very powerful form of music performed to evoke the divine power, is brought forward by Falguni. I personally am a big fan of her performances.”

Continuing about Falguni, Parthiv says, “I have myself witnessed her events like a part of audience and I realised that she is phenomenal. If you meet her off stage she is so humble and soft spoken, but on the stage she is another person altogether, like a live wire.”

Parthiv shares an interesting fact, “In New York, a few years ago, I was performing for a Bengali community program. Bengalis too, are known for their Durga Puja and the music played at it. After the show started, while they enjoyed my performance, they also requested me to perform on some Bengali tunes too. So, it was a fusion between Bengali and Gujarati music. Last year, I performed with the Nashik Dhol and this year, I have some Rajasthani folk tunes in my performance itinerary.”

The flip side of new songs making headway into the Garba playlist is the fact that there are songs played, which can be best categorised as cringe pop. On this, Parthiv says, “I make it a point to stick to ethnic songs even if I perform or present Bollywood songs. My playlist has songs like Nagada Sang Dhol from Ram Leela - Goliyon Ki Raas Leela or folk-based songs. Yes, some people play irrelevant music. We have a saying in Gujarati that effectively means ‘if there is a village, there is a place for garbage, too, in it’. So, I ignore such events and look at doing positive and constructive work.”

Over the years, Bollywood has depicted Garba festival and produced many songs for the festival. Be it Hum Dil De Chuke Hai Sanam, Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage, to the recent Loveyatri.  

There are many Garba events happening in Mumbai. Apart from the NESCO event, Rangilo Re, Falguni Pathak and Ta Thaiya will grace the crowd in Borivalli, Mumbai on Navratri 2018. Other artistes like Devang Patel, Bhoomi Trivedi also take the stage by storm during the Navratri, in india as well as Mumbai.