Head-bang over abhangas
Celebrate Gudi Padwa with young musicians from a Mumbai band, who fuse devotional poetry with contemporary Folk sounds
As the camera focuses on a Vitthal idol in a temple, we hear poet-saint Tukaram’s popular Marathi couplet, Sundar te dhyan.... describing the lord’s attire in the background. Suddenly, the song picks up tempo with heavy bass notes, drums, tabla and guitar riffs as five musicians perform in a temple, head banging to the chorus, Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari. Uploaded last year on YouTube on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi, Sundar Te Dhyan is the first music video by Abhanga Repost, a Mumbai-based contemporary folk band that fuses Marathi devotional poetry with modern sounds.
If you’re keen to watch them live, head to Girgaum this Friday where the band will present a three-hour performance as part of the Gudi Padwa Shobha Yatra.
A for abhanga
“The abhangas were written by Maharashtrian saints in the 16th century but the messages are relevant even today. For instance, Tukaram’s Sundar Te Dhyan highlights the significance of worshipping one’s parents and Devachiye Dwari by Dnyaneshwar is based on the idea of focusing on work to achieve salvation through fulfillment. We fuse them with contemporary music to make them youth-friendly and also, remind our generation about the rich Indian culture,” shares 22-year-old Swapnil Tarphe, the band’s bass guitarist.
Formed two years ago at the Malabar Hill Mahotsav, an annual cultural fest in the city, the band also features
20-year-olds Suyog Gosavi (lead vocalist), Ajay Vavhal (lead guitarist), Dushyant Deorukhkar on the drums and 21-year-old Viraj Acharya who plays the tabla and percussion. They’ve performed at various city college fests and at Cuffe Parade’s army cantonment.
Gudi Padwa special
As the festival heralds the Maharashtrian New Year, the band will stick to a set of abhangas that define life’s progress. “We’ve composed five tracks for the occasion. Vrikshavalli is a song about nature, Deh Devache Mandir relates to the concept of soul as god and body as a temple, Amhi Bi Ghadlo Tumhi Bi Ghadana is about keeping good company, Aise Kaise Zale Bhondu spreads the message of not following superstition and Anandache Dohi highlights the difference between
happiness and fun,” sums up Tarphe.
ON: April 8, 10 am to 1 pm
AT: Opposite Gaiwadi, Girgaum, Charni Road.