Swaranjali: Endorsing the Roots of Music
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a standstill to many large events worldwide. Since the onset of the epidemic, most events were either cancelled or postponed.
However, as life gets going, event organisers are quickly adapting to the change, and we can see a fresh trend of virtual events emerging. The entire country is locked down due to the pandemic but some initiatives to keep the NIT Rourkela populace engaged and positive are coming up.
In being circumscribed to our homes, we are craving our regular social support from family and friends and our freedom to control our day-to-day lives. With constraints on our movements and general way of life becoming more and more restrained, we are feeling a loss of control. Music, with its instantaneous pleasing effect, can be an answer to this misery.
In a society revolving around the newest technology, modernised music and what is trending on social media, it is easily understood why so many think the art of Classical Music is in many ways irrelevant. However, with more music being composed in today's era than ever before, and with many artist drawing inspirations from classical pieces, this old art form is far from dead. The NIT Rourkela chapter of SPIC MACAY has been promoting intangible aspects of the Indian cultural heritage very sincerely and effectively since its onset and continues its mission even in these challenging times.
To bring the people out of the feelings of fatigue and psychological strain that they are experiencing during these challenging times, SPIC MACAY, along with HeartBeats and Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat organised a Classical Music Extravaganza on the auspicious occasion of Teachers' Day, 5th September 2020. The sole objective of the event was to acknowledge the hardships endured and the challenges faced by the teachers.
'Swaranjali' unfolded at 6:10 PM on YouTube. The event commenced with the virtual welcome. The welcome was followed by the soothing performance of Anshuman Padhy of Heartbeats, who delivered a spectacular instrumental violin performance based on Raag Darbari. He indeed made a mark in the hearts of the audience with his incredible performance.
Following the violin performance, Sushreema Behera of HeartBeats presented an Odissi Classical Raag Malava Kaushik. The robust performance completely harmonised the rhythm of the surrounding.
When asked about her experience of performing in the virtual event, she said,
It was a nice experience. Right now, we all are doing online classes. Many clubs arranged different webinars. Moreover, daily college life is going on but without music, it seems bland, right! So, HeartBeats thought to conduct some events on this online platform and Spicmacay & EBSB gave us the opportunity to perform on the auspicious occasion of teacher's day. So, we gladly performed. For the first time, we HeartBeats performed virtually. We faced several small issues, but we did it successfully.
She further added,
It was very challenging for us to perform Classical Music online. Many instruments are needed for Classical Music. We did our best to overcome this situation and performed. Special thanks to SPIC MACAY and Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat for giving this opportunity. HeartBeats also has some plans for events in the coming days. So, we hope we will do our best.
The enchanting evening came to an end with the Raag Darbari and Tarana performance by Sachin Nambiar. While Raag is a melodic framework of Indian Classical Music, Tarana, said to have been invented by Amir Khusro is a type of composition in Hindustani Classical Music based on certain Persian and Arabic words. Sachin Nambiar, currently pursuing Ph. D in the University of Georgia, an alumnus of NIT Rourkela and an accomplished vocalist offered a musical tribute through the event to professors, teachers, mentors and guides. During his NIT, Rourkela days, he was one of the most renowned people in the campus for his music's unsurpassed expressiveness and virtuosity.
Team Monday Morning reached out to him to know about his experience. He answered,
My experience was wonderful. It was seamless, and they were very accommodating of my requests.
While virtual events are a reliable replacement for in-person events, particularly during a global pandemic, that doesn’t mean that these experiences are without hurdles! The proceedings of virtual events are the same as that of physical events. However, the most significant difference is the lack of physical presence of the guests in case of the former. Talking to the club Presidents about their experience and inspiration for the virtual event, they had words to convey:
When asked about the success of the event, the President of SPIC MACAY, Om Singh said,
Honestly speaking on personal behalf, I won't say the event was very successful. The initial turnout was decent, but the technical glitch made it worse. Overall considering this pandemic and this being an online event I feel yes there were not a lot of people watching live, but yes there were a good number of views at the end of the day. We generally conduct an event on Foundation day in BBA. But this year we weren't able to do it due to the pandemic. We tried for an artist from SPIC MACAY OFFICIAL but couldn't get the requisite budget, owning to lack of budget. Then we contacted our PIC Dr Soumi Muhuri Ma'am for permission of a student and alumni based performance, and we got it. The reason for Teachers' Day performance was that a significant share of our audience comprises professors of the institute, as youth is lesser involved in Classical Music. So the best was to conduct it on Teachers' Day so that we can get good participation from the side of faculties.
Further, he enunciated,
I want to thank Sachin Nambiar for his help and coming out with such a good performance in a short time that too amidst all his travelling. I would also express my gratitude towards HeartBeats and EBSB for collaboration and support.
Swaraj Kumar, the President of HeartBeats, stated,
The event was no-doubt a success. Its purpose was fulfilled. However, it didn't spread out to a more massive crowd. The same number of people that attended the previous year's Dhwani attended this event. I feel that we don't appreciate Classical Music as much as people of our age should appreciate it. Once I asked my Guru that, why do people feel more connected to mainstream music while having such a vast literature of Classical Music in our country. He said that have you seen a 'Pan Shop'? How much more crowd it attracts as compared to a 'Jewellery Shop'? In a Pan Shop, you get satisfaction instantly, and it gets over in a few minutes. At the same time, one who truly understands the value of Gold will go to the jewellery shop. If it had been MAKTUB, we would have got a count of 1000 people.
He further told about their inspiration behind being a part of the event,
As a fellow student of Classical Music, we believe a lot in our Gurus. So Teachers Day we wanted to thank them for all their hard work. SPIC MACAY works for spreading awareness about Classical Music. We appreciate their work very much. Hence we collaborated with them for the event. They were very Cooperative.
President of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat, P Pritesh Kumar Patro said,
Amidst these uncertain times, we never really expected to conduct such an event online. Thanks to Spic Macay and Heartbeats for the collaboration which proved out to be successful. And we're quite satisfied with the responses we got from the NIT Rourkela junta and faculties and staff.
The club members actively participated in the publicity; as a result of which we got a good response. Though there were some unpredictable technical glitches, those were negligence in comparison to the success of this virtual musical event. We, at EBSB, focus on cultural events, and this was one such event. Indian cultural music has been loved by everyone since time immemorial. It soothes the soul, and amidst pandemic, people are so preoccupied with their classes and lectures. A short break to pacify the soul and environment was necessary.
It is rightly said, that music is the poetry of the air. It is the food of the soul. It is a form of art that is easily accessible anytime and anywhere. This year the Teachers' Day was celebrated on an online platform - quite a deviation but was still engaging enough. The success of the musical extravaganza shall inspire more clubs to collaborate and organise meaningful events.
Team Monday Morning congratulates SPIC MACAY, HeartBeats and EBSB for their great initiative. We wish them all the best for their future endeavours.