Sawai still a delight: Fans
As Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav enters its 60th year of existence, MiD DAY talks to people to decode the irresistible allure of the mahotsav
Nilam Dixit, an engineer by profession and a resident of Mumbai, has been attending the event for the past 35 years. She said when Bhimsenji used to sing, the atmosphere would suddenly become extremely pleasant.
“Even today it makes perfect sense to came to Sawai and enjoy music, as we get to see and hear stalwarts of classical music on one platform. If I ever miss the mahotsav, I ask for the CD of the performances so that I don’t miss being a part of the event. I believe this is the best festival that takes place in the world of classical music. I still remember Bhimsenji attending the festival and he had come in his car. We all were so pleased to see him. This had happened a few years ago,” Dixit said.
Like Dixit, there are several others who have been visiting the festival for decades now. “I have being coming here for over 40 years now and enjoy the festival to its fullest. The event is a musical treat for all the attendees. Young faces in the crowd brings me joy and is a sign that the festival will surely celebrate its centenary and more. There were times when performances would go on till 4 am, those were the best days,” Sharad Joshi said.
One of the regulars at the mahotsav, Chandrakant P said that he has been enjoying the festival for over 30 years. “Whenever I come here, I feel I’m in a different world. I enjoy being here because the atmosphere makes you forget all your sorrows. All you do here is enjoy pure and pristine music,” Chandrakant said.
The Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav is an annual classical music festival held since 1953. Arguably the largest, most popular, and sought-after Indian Classical music festival in the world, the mahotsav is hosted by Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal (ASPM) and was initiated by Pt Bhimsen Joshi as a memorial music conference commemorating the life and work of his guru, Pt Sawai Gandharva alias Rambhau Kundgolkar, the festival's namesake.