For women, by women

Celebrate different aspects of womanhood with a musical tribute by Sakhi, an all-women Indian Classical band that makes its debut in the city this Saturday

“For a country that is considered a female entity, Bharat Mata, for some reason, we have not celebrated womanhood enough through music. So, forming a band like Sakhi was obvious at some point,” believes well-known vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty, who leads this six-member group that was formed this January. It will make its debut in the city this Saturday at NCPA. Paying a tribute to Indian womanhood through Indian Classical music, the band comprises diverse artists like Nandini Shankar (violin), Debbopriya Chatterjee (flute), Savani Talwalkar (tabla) and Mahima Upadhyay (Pakhawaj). “In our country, music is often divided into vocal, instrumental and percussion. I wanted all these elements in one band,” reasons Chakrabarty.

(From left to right) Bhakti Deshpande, Savani Talwalkar, Debbopriya Chatterjee, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Nandini Shankar and Mahima Upadhyay are part of the all-women band, Sakhi

Interestingly, Kathak dancer Bhakti Deshpande is also a part of this musical group. “Dance is something that we often separate from musical groups. However, without the visual portrayal of the women we are celebrating, the band would be incomplete. As a result, Bhakti Deshpande is also part of the group. Moreover, Kathak, as a dance form, gels best with Indian Classical music, as it is improvisational. This also makes Sakhi different from other bands,” she says, adding, “Having known these artistes as solo musicians or through their gurus, forming this group was an easy process. Things just started falling into place. However, it took us a year and a half to create the compositions.”

In their performance, the band will incorporate diverse genres of Hindustani and Carnatic music such as khayal, thumri, dadra, chaiti, hori, kajri, tarana, thillana and bhajan. “The stories portrayed through the songs are more important than the compositions themselves. The idea is to celebrate different aspects of womanhood through personalities. For instance, Mirabai represents the devotional aspect of a woman, Yashoda signifies motherhood, Radha as a beloved, and the strength and power of a woman is portrayed through Kali. As women, we have different layers in our personalities and these aspects are in all of us,” concludes Chakraborty.

On: February 21, 6.30 pm
At: Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
Call: 22824567

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