Friday, October 9, 2009

2010 + 20 = 2030 End of Gujarati Light Music?

Light music is popularly known as ‘SUGAM SANGEET’ – name given by senior officer of All India Radio – Thakur Jaydevsinhji. Sugam Sangeet is a blend of two words – Sugam – Simply, easy to understand and, Sangeet – means a music which is easy to understand. Here, ‘Understand’ stands for easy to enjoy. You need to understand to enjoy, but here, this “Understanding” should be very simple. Sangeet means Music. That means, this music is “easy to understand and enjoy”. This definition is for ‘Music’. Here, music is in the centre and as words (of Lyric) accompany music – their togetherness should also be “SUGAM’ – easy. This definition was established by the work of Late Avinash Vyas. His music – (Composition) and workds were very easy to enjoy. They are very popular even today. Avinashbhai’s contribution – both in Quantity and Quality – Covers a great amount of ground! He wrote for every occasion, relations, seasons, festivals etc. He wrote for Gujarati Films more than 100. He is the only one ‘PADMA SHRI’ in this field from Gujarat. He wrote and he composed. So, his words are in tone with his composition. His language is very simple. His tunes are very melodious. His expressions are less complicated. It reaches to mass. That was his goal too!

The generation which loved his songs is above 70. the next generation which liked Gujarati songs has reached 50. We see a listener group between 40 onwards in program of Gujarati sugam sangeet these days. The third generation of 25 to 40 is missing and the forth one does not know Gujarati! Many of our children are English medium students. Though, there are Gujarati schools, still very popular, but their students hardly come to Gujarati music programs, except garba.

It is not that nothing had been done in the field of Gujarati sugam sangeet since Avinash Vyas left this world. Many composers have shown their best. Late Neenu Mazumdar and Kshemoo Divetia composed very good songs. Shri Dilip Dholakia is our senior most composer, whose songs are popular among two generations. Late Ajit sheth and Rasiklal Bhojak did their best. And Ajit Merchant is still known for Aankno Afine….

New Gujarati songs came with Ashit Desai and Late Paresh Bhatt. New generation of composers S/S Uday Mazumdar, Saumil-Shyamal, Naynesh Jani, Soli Kapadia, Amar Bhatt are still in full form. There are very talented composers in Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Bhuj and Mumbai also. They all are here to stay. The new lot of singers have shown their mettle.

But where is a new listener? What will bring him to theatre to listen to Gujarati sugam sangeet?

When will we accept the importance of mother tongue and understand a difference between language for business and language for expression of emotion? Language carries culture. If a language dies, culture dies too! If a Gujarati youth can enjoy (understand?) a Panjabi song, lyric in English – why can’t he enjoy Gujarati? What does he or she wants from Gujarati Sugam Sangeet?

When the youngest of today’s listener will turn to 60! Than? I had been to U. K. and U.S.A. Situation is same – or even worst! Only handful of listeners wants to listen to ‘New’ songs, even in Ahmedabad or Mumbai. This group is not increasing…. (even decreasing due to obvious reason of age etc). They are the same, who I saw since years! I thank them for their support and Love and patronage. But we need to do something at the earliest.

Can we not think together and find out the way? We have only 20years to save Sugam Sangeet, remember!

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