Considered the “Macca” of Indian Classical Music, Kolkata was all geared up for the ITC SRA’s Annual Music Conference. I was very excited to attend this year’s music conference. I called my guru jee Ustaad Waseem Ahmed Khan and asked him if I could come. He agreed and I could finally be the part of the music conference.
This year the music lovers had lost Girija Devi jee, who was a guru at ITC SRA since its inception. So, this year’s ITC Sangeet Sammelan was dedicated to the “Thumri Queen”, as she was called by her fans.
This was a special occasion for SRA as it had completed 40 years of imparting the Indian Classical Music training to several of its scholar. Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty, Vidushi Subhra Guha, Pt. Arun Bhaduri, Ustaad Waseem Ahmed Khan, Pt Omkar Dadrkar are few names who were its scholar previously and now they are gurus here and are training scholars under them. Ustaad Rashid Khan and Vidushi Kaushiki Chakrabarty are also the product of ITC Sangeet Research Academy.
Talking about SRA, its one of its kind in the whole country. Its the only one institution who has so many superstars of Indian Classical Music at one place and all of them imparting knowledge under the guru-shishya parampara. I would like to appreciate the efforts of ITC who is trying to save the Indian Classical Music. The rich history of Indian Classical music which is centuries old, needs to be saved and passed on to the future generation and ITC is doing this job beautifully. The rich and glorious history of SRA where a veteran like Pt Ajay Chakrobarty was its first scholar still has its repute of international level.
Talking about Vidushi Girija Devi or Appaji what she was called lovingly by her fan, I would like to quote Javed Akhtar here who said-“Girija Devi was not only a great classical singer but a national treasurer. We are poorer with out her." Indeed! the indian classical music has become poorer without her. For whole of my life I would regret not listening to her live even once. If she would have been with her today, maybe I could have got the golden opportunity to listen to her live at this year’s ITC SRA’s annual conference.