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Bring back the Marathi storyteller

Antarnaad, conceptualised by Yugandhar Deshpande, is a series of multi-lingual shows where writers present their stories, poems and letters, through readings and performances. This evening’s performance will focus on reviving interest in Marathi

Mumbai GuideOriginally from Pandharpur, Marathi writer Yugandhar Deshpande realised that many writers whom he had interacted with, had plenty of written material, and decided to bring this group together to hold a Marathi special show.

The session will include a reading from Bhushan Korgaonkar’s book, Sangeet Bari that looked at the true lives and experiences of lavani dancers. File pic
The session will include a reading from Bhushan Korgaonkar’s book, Sangeet Bari that looked at the true lives and experiences of lavani dancers. File pic

“We are trying to showcase various forms of folk art including the Kirtan, and we try to showcase a different form through every session of Antarnaad,” reveals Deshpande.

The writers performing at Antarnaad’s Marathi special at a rehearsal. Pic courtesy/Kunal Vijayakar
The writers performing at Antarnaad’s Marathi special at a rehearsal. Pic courtesy/Kunal Vijayakar

For the love of Marathi
Deshpande will also be a part of the group of writers who will present their works. His presentation will include letters from his forthcoming play, which he intends to write as a part of his playwright workshop.

The cover of Bhushan Korgaonkar’s book Sangeet Bari published in 2014
The cover of Bhushan Korgaonkar’s book Sangeet Bari published in 2014

He will also read his pieces on domination, Ugach Artist (a sketch of a pseudo- artist who has no talent but wants to project himself as an artist). Budding actor and writer Abhijeet Awari will present a short story (Leela Cha Bhunga which explores feminism) and a poem (about dreams). Awari is an engineer by profession.

Meenakshi Rathod from Jalna will present her own life story. She will talk about her life in Jalna, living with a Taanda (a herd — a group of sugarcane cutters) She hails from the Banjara community — a nomadic tribe present all across the country and how they settle down in a place and adopt the culture of the neighbourhood.

She will speak in her native Banjara language as well as in Marathi. Bhushan Korgaonkar, who authored the critically acclaimed book, Sangeet Bari in 2014 — a documentation of the lives of traditional Lavani artistes and their personal lives — will read an excerpt from his book, a poem called Bajaar, and a short story (which explores the love life of a modern urban youth).

Experienced actor Rajashree Tope specialises in Kirtan — a traditional story telling format followed in Maharashtra. Tope will sing the songs in Sanskrit and Marathi but her story will be in English. She will read Bhushan Korgaonkar’s story along with him, and will present a theatrical presentation of his poem Bajaar.

The art of the story
“To revive storytelling in Marathi, we believe that story telling should be in English as it will attract the young crowd. We can use this while keeping the songs in Marathi, or use a modern language, a combination of Hinglish (Hindi-English) or Minglish (Marathi-English) to showcase this form to people who have never seen it.

This is what we are trying to do. There is a lot of potential in exploring storytelling in Marathi, since there are many people who understand Marathi but cannot read. They find it easier if someone reads it out to them. When I read out a few excerpts from my book to my neighbours, they loved it and wished to read the entire book.

Even children in urban and semi-urban Marathi families attend English medium schools and hence, aren’t habituated to reading Marathi anymore but they speak and understand the language well. They watch Marathi plays, TV serials and films but they have no exposure to literature; this can be tapped into if we do more shows like Antarnaad,” shares Korgaonkar.

“We are planning to do a similar event at MCubed (Bandra) next month and we also intend to go to peoples homes to perform along with performing at non-conventional places like libraries, colleges and society community halls,” he concludes.

On: Today, 6 pm to 8 pm AT The Hive, 50, Chuim Village, opposite Ahmed Bakery, Khar Danda, Khar (W).
Call: 9619962969
Cost: Rs 150

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