Month: February 2002

Melodious Transition

Melodious Transition

Natya Sangeet, or stage songs, is an important part of the Indian culture. And Thane city is certainly very Indian at heart. This was evident from the response to a programme on changing patterns of Natya Sangeet, which was held at Gadkari Rangayatan on February 16, 2002. More than a thousand people attended the show.

The event was organized by CKP Social Club of Thane City in conjunction with a Mumbai-based cultural group called Swarendu. The theme of the show was "Changing Colors of Natya Sangeet since 1947". Shrikrishna Dalvi, award-winning music critic, stage artist and vocalist, hosted the show.

Dalvi, who was felicitated by the CKP Club, discussed the evolution and progression of Natya Sangeet since independence. The uniqueness of the show was in the way it was presented. All through his discourse, Dalvi was accompanied by renowned singers like Suresh Bapat, Sharad Jambhekar, Varsha Bhave and Nilakshi Pendharkar.

Each time Dalvi discussed the style of a particular era, one of the singers performed to demonstrate that style.

According to Suresh Gupte of CKP Social Club committee, "Shrikrishna Dalvi was the life of the show. His oration left everyone in the audience spellbound." During the show, Dalvi made many significant observations about the transition of Natya Sangeet. For instance, according to him, in the olden days of Natya Sangeet, music and lyrics were produced in isolation from one another, creating a mismatch between the two. But now, lyrics are written first and the rhythm is then composed around it.

The show was a huge success, touching the soul of everyone present. And why not, as H. W. Longfellow once said, "Music is the universal language of mankind – poetry their universal pastime and delight."

Win some, Lose some
While for most of us, the civic elections may have come and gone, without leaving so much as a trace of memory, but for some the recently concluded elections will not be forgotten for a long, long time.

Prashant Gawand, the NCP candidate who stood in the civic elections from ward 34-A, lost by the smallest margin possible. That’s right – he lost by just one vote! He got 2055 votes while Deepak Jadhav of BJP got 2056 votes. Gawand found it hard to digest that he could lose in such a way, though all indications before elections were favorable to him. He requested for recounting though he had a tough time dealing with the officials.

Gawand also doesn’t rule out foul play as he says, "A couple of days before the polls, Jitendra Avad had informed the Police and the press about the printing of bogus ballet papers that might be used for altering the results".

We may never know what really happened is in this case. But the situation clearly calls for the serious look at the system of elections. Also, we should all realize that every vote makes a difference. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm."

Advantage, Reader

Advantage, Reader

Mark Twain is known to have once said, "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them."

True, reading is an extremely potent instrument of self-development. Once, when I was in fourth grade my class teacher said to class, "Books are your best friends. They will remain with you forever and you can turn to them always". After all these years, I can only say that I testify to this statement.

Now, in order to make good books available to the residents of Thane, a unique kind of book exhibition has been launched – the one that travels. Known as Granth Tumcha Bhetila, this "Mobile Book Exhibition cum Sale" is a boon for booklovers from Thane.

This uncommon endeavour has been initiated by four single-minded individuals: Jayant Pawar, Bhatu Sawant, Vikas Doke and Prashant Dingankar. There is a gleam in the eyes of all four that speaks of will to succeed against all odds. The clarity of their vision, and the social cause driving it, is heartwarming. According to Pawar, "We are not in it for money. We can make a lot more in alternate professions. What drives us is the vision of expanding the reading culture among the people."

And their efforts already seem to be showing results. Each of their stops has been a huge success with a terrific response from local residents. "Parents are delighted with our exhibition. Most of them are concerned about the declining habit of reading among their children – especially the impact of TV", says Sawant.

The books displayed, although predominantly in Marathi, cover a wide variety of topics including reading, drawing, health, beauty, cooking, spirituality, astrology, fiction, self-help and management. In short, there are books for everyone. There is a section with English books also.

The exhibition has had some really prominent people as its visitors, among them, Satish Pradhan, film actor Shailendra Gaur (of Veer Savarkar Fame) and Principal Ashok Chitnis.

The first exhibition was held at Brindaban Society. Since then, they have been receiving invitations from all over. They have already covered twelve important areas in Thane, including Vasant Vihar, Kopri Colony, Singhania Complex, Kolbad and Lokmanya Nagar. The last exhibition was held near Gaondevi Maiden.

So impressed is Satish Pradhan with the noble cause that he has offered space outside his office near Teen Hath Naka (Thane’s old flyover) for the exhibition’s next stop. Their next display with fresh stock is scheduled to begin from February 22, 2002.

When asked how they thought of a mobile book exhibition, Pawar answered, "We have been associated with Sahitya Yatra exhibitions for some time now. While reading an opinion book kept at one of the exhibitions, we realized that most people wish to spend more time at book exhibitions and want to bring along their family and friends too. But distance often prevents them from visiting book exhibitions. So we decided to take the book exhibition to readers".

"Reading is like an infectious disease: it is caught not taught", writes Christine Nuttall. These young men are doing everything to spread the disease that is best left uncontrolled!

FACT FILE

Why is reading important?

Recent research has shown the many advantages which regular readers have over non-readers. Here are a few examples:

Readers Non-Readers
Can more easily consider complex and abstract issues Are less able to cope with complex and abstract issues
Possess an extended vocabulary, use interesting sentences and ideas Have limited vocabulary, and use simplistic, shallow sentences
Have developed thinking processes, and a rich inner world of thoughts; able to reflect on, analyze and make sense of experiences Are often unable to develop beyond concrete thinking; have limited inner world of thoughts, ideas and experiences
Are enthusiastic about new ideas and experiences offered in books or films Are unenthusiastic, have limited responses to new ideas
Are patient, resourceful Are often impatient
Are imaginative and creative Have limited creativity, and a dependence on a factual, literal approach
Smooth Sailing

Smooth Sailing

It was a happy Republic day for residents of Thane city who were delighted to see boating at Masunda Lake back in action.

Boating and specially rowing is a popular activity in Thane. Some resort to it for leisure while some others draw on it to de-stress themselves. Fitness freaks think of it as a terrific form of exercise. The boating service at Masunda Lake is enjoyed by one and all. So when boating was banned in October last year, Thaneites were quite saddened. But little did they know that their favourite leisure time activity would soon be back, and better than before!

At the outset, Precision Fisheries Pvt. Ltd., the company that has acquired the contract, seems to be doing a pretty good job.

The boating services resumed operations on January 25, 2002, with an unusual inauguration ceremony. The usual lot of politicians, bureaucrats and celebrities were missing. Instead, the privilege of inaugurating the services was given to the first group of kids that arrived at the site. Thereafter the general public was invited to two full hours of free boating.

The new boats are much better than their predecessors. For one, all boats are now made of fibre, each sporting bright colors like red and yellow – this means no drab-looking wooden boats any more. What’s more – for those who can’t row, now there are paddle boats. Kids will be particularly excited about the new boats as they come in cheery shapes such as swan and dolphin. Senior citizens too can rejoice as now they need not depend on the younger lot if they feel like going in the middle of the lake. Plus, there are life jackets for taking care of contingencies.

They have boats with seating capacities to suit all needs – singles, couples, groups and families. The company soon plans to "launch" a Kashmiri style Shikara. Also, the motor boat variety will now use CNG as against kerosene which was used earlier. Kerosene is known to pollute water and also harm aquatic life

Anant Koli from Precision Fisheries says, "The Company’s objective is to provide a good vehicle for entertainment to the people of Thane because they deserve it."

Culture Owls
People of Thane are full of enthusiasm and soaked in cultural values. What else explains the popularity of events such as Chandane Samelan? Organized by the Marathi Granth Sanghralaya in its own premises, Chandane Samelan is an interactive cultural entertainment programme that lasts all night.

This year the event is scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 02, 2002. The highlight of this year is famous Marathi singer Ranjana Joglekar, who will perform live for the audience.

The programme also features, among other things one-act plays and group dances. There would be Laavani and Bhav Geeta. There is a lot in store for the audience too, who can participate in Parody Song Competition and Joke competition etc. A quiz show on the topic of "Marathi TV serials" is on cards to.

Chandane Samelan was conceived by Late Shyam Phadke, who was a renowned writer from Thane. The primary objective of this event is to provide a platform for creative persons who can demonstrate their art and also gain the confidence of performing in public. Another important aspect of the event is that it attracts Marathi speaking public to the 108-year old library and thereby promotes the habit of reading among them.

For more details or to participate in Chandane Samelan, call 533 0951