In praise of the divine mother

Sep 24, 2014, 07:34 IST | Soma Das

Mother-daughter duo, violinists Minoti Khaund and Sunita Khaund Bhuyan, will present Invocation of Ma, a musical jugalbandi featuring Durga Stutis or verses in praise of Goddess Durga

With the onset of Durga Puja, it’s an apt time to invoke Ma Durga’s blessings. Towards this end, the mother-daughter duo of Minoti Khaund and Sunita Khaund Bhuyan will perform Invocation of Ma, a violin jugalbandi in praise of Goddess Durga, imploring her to visit earth and share her spirit and strength with us.

Minoti Khaund
(Above and bottom) The mother-daughter duo of Minoti Khaund and Sunita Bhuyan will present a violin jugalbandi performance in praise of Goddess Durga

The duo released an album, titled Invocation of Ma, last year. It included Durga Stutis in Raag Durga composed by Khaund, who was a disciple of the late Pandit VG Jog. The Durga Stutis emphasise on Durga Shakti i.e. the inherent strength of womankind and offers a narrative on Goddess Durga including her avatars and different weapons. Speaking of the album, the duo share that the inspiration for the Durga Stutis came from the Delhi rape incident.

Sunita Bhuyan

Bhuyan explains, “My mother felt that it was ironical that women were seeking empowerment, as thousands of years ago Goddess Durga was the most empowered woman. Keeping this thought in mind, she wrote Durga Stutis on Goddess Durga’s beauty, grace, strength, her jewels and her weapons. Most importantly, all of the weapons were given to her by the male gods to fight good over evil, starting with the trishul given by her husband Lord Shiva. This gave birth to the album Invocation of Ma.”

One can look forward to the event starting with Durga Stuti verses followed by a rendition of an alaap in Raag Durga followed by two compositions, one composed by Khaund in Rupak Taal and the other an old Bandish composed by her guru. The duo will also perform famous songs by Bhupen Hazarika and the event will culminate with Assamese folk tunes performed by Bhuyan.

The violin jugalbandi, being the highlight of the event, Bhuyan emphasises on the challenge it presents: “The primary challenge is in terms of co-ordination; it needs a lot of practice and preparation. It’s easier to perform solo than with another artiste. You have to be compatible, give each other space, and ensure that both of you give your best. You also have to maintain individual styles yet give the audiences a seamless performance. The musical sensibilities of the two artistes must match to get a great jugalbandi.”

Quiz her on how it feels to perform with her mother and she states, “Playing with one’s mother and guru is a completely different dynamic. You are conscious that she is your guru, so you are careful. And then, you know she is your mother, so, a few liberties would be pardoned. And it’s one jugalbandi where you feel proud to be the follower and don’t mind sharing the limelight at all!”

On: September 27, 6.30 pm
At: Hall of Harmony, Nehru Centre, Dr AB Road, Worli.
Call: 24920482

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