BENGALURU : Navaratri celebrations are in full-swing. People dress in colourful, traditional clothes and beat those dandiyas together late into the night. People take these celebrations very seriously, and bring in musicians from Rajasthan and Gujarat for the ten-day celebrations.
Shree Indiranagar Gujarati Association (SIGA) has brought in banjo and dhol players from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Mukesh Sisodia from Jai Mata Di Musical Group, who organises the orchestra for the association, says he enjoys the celebrations here more. “People are enthusiastic about the festival. They wear traditional clothes and enjoy garba and dandiya till 2am or 3am,” he says. Mukesh has brought in two dhol players from Gujarat and banjo players from Rajasthan.
“I met these musicians in Mumbai at a programme and loved their performances. They love performing in Bengaluru as the feel and vibe of the festival is the same as in Gujarat,” he says, adding that Dandiya is not possible without these musical instruments. The six-member orchestra perform Gujarati songs and some new Bollywood numbers too. “Our lead singer Anil Sisodia is from Rajasthan, but he sings Gujarati songs too,” he adds.
Rajubhai Barot has been coming to Bengaluru from Kalol, Gujarat, for Navratri since 2015, and feels like he’s in Gujarat during the festive season in the city. Singer and head of the band Sur Sandhya, Rajubhai, says they play traditional and folk songs of Gujarat that are usually played during ‘Mataji ka garba’, where they use the dhol, rhythm pad, organ and drums. “Navaratri is celebrated across the globe. Even here, people from all communities come celebrate, including locals. The hall gets so crowded, and we don’t miss home at that moment,” he says.
The band, with nine musicians, perform for the Jayanagar Sanyukt Mandal Association. The celebration starts at 8 pm with stuti, followed by garba and then ends with dandiya and aarti around 11 pm, he says, adding that another factor that attracts them to come and perform here is the weather. “It’s very hot in Gujarat. Here, the weather is pleasant,” he says. The band has also performed in London, Africa and Dubai.
Gujarat Tourism associates with Gujarati Samaj
Shree Indiranagar Gujarati Association has tied up with Gujarat tourism this year. Gopi Vishrolia, assistant manager, Gujarat Tourism, says, “We were waiting for our operations to start in Karnataka. This is our first promotion here. We are trying to bring ‘khushboo Gujarati ki’ to the city. No one has to go to Gujarat now, they can feel Gujarat here.” Praful Maun from the association adds, “Our purpose of organising such events is to represent Gujarat, and that’s what this association with Gujarat Tourism stands for.”