Old-timers in Patna miss classical music shows during Durga Puja | Patna News


PATNA: Come Durga Puja and many of the city old-timers start humming the popular Bollywood number, ‘Jaane kahan gaye woh din’, while recalling the grandeur of classical music programmes, which were part of the festivity till early 1980s, especially from ‘Saptami to Navami’.
Though the Covid pandemic has taken sheen of the puja spirits and craze among the devotees, the old-timers recall that era of 1960s, 1970s and 1980s when Durga Puja in Patna was known more for classical and light music than for the grand pandals and decorations.
Those in the advanced stages of life vividly remember that Durga Puja was a great attraction for the music buffs in Patna and its adjoining areas. They used to wait for the Durga Puja every year to listen to their favourites from Bollywood and enjoy all top celebrities of classical music in the country by hopping from Hardinge Park to Miller School, Gandhi Maidan, Patna Collegiate School, Langartoli, Golghar, Machhhuatoli and Station Road venues throughout the night. However, classical and light music events went on decline with the passage of time since late 1980s, making Durga Puja celebrations a mere ritual for the devotees in Patna.
According to octogenarians Tapan Chakraborty and S Guha of Khagaul, famous table player Alla Rakha, sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, shehnai wizard Bismillah Khan, noted singers Kishori Amonkar, Shamshad Begum and Praveen Sultana, violinist V G Jog and other celebrities used to enthral the audience in Patna during Durga Puja. “Noted danseuse Sitara Devi used to be star attractions for all with her magical charms of dance,” the duo recalled.
Besides, ghazal singers Anup Jalota and Pankaj Udhas were the artists who took part in the musical programmes for many years during Durga Puja in Patna. Bollywood stars Mahendra Kapoor, Sulakshana Pandit and Manna Dey were also regular to the state capital during Puja, they said, adding that the connoisseurs of classical music were regular visitors to Patna from far off places to enjoy the bliss of the Puja grandeur.
With a note of despondency in the voice of music lovers, they, however, genuinely feel that such gala time will never come again in Patna. were the venues for such memorable events in Patna as part of the puja festivity, they said.





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