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Kamal Kabuliwala and his Sapera Musicians delve deep into the birth, life and times, threats and the Bollywood connections of the Ganga river through the magical and hypnotizing rhythms of Been, Tumba and Dhol. JashneGanga performed in Majma style celebrates the existence of the world’s biggest river through the logics of mythology, science, music, quiz, stand-up comedy, conservation and dance. In conversation with the Majmakar Kamal Kabuliwala.
Q1. )First things first, do you think Ganga can be cleaned?
Kamal Pruthi: A river is not just about water, it is a thought process, for some it may be mythological symbol, and for some it is scientific. The way India is called the land of snake charmers, similarly it is also called the land of the river Ganga and therefore it was imperative to bring the two identities of the same country together. And since we are the children of the river Ganga, it is time for us to save our mother.
Q2.) Is this Majma performance all about cleaning of Ganga and preachy in nature?
Kamal Pruthi:Majmas are in nature full of entertainment and preachiness is neither part of the Majma format and just not my thing as an artist. Even if there’s a lesson or a message to be conveyed to the audience, it is done subtly and with an attractive packaging of high entertainment.
Q3.)What is Ganga for you?
Kamal Pruthi: For me Ganga is an everyday celebration for billions of people and that’s why we also named the Majma JashneGanga. Like on festivals everything is cleaned up, and if Ganga is an everyday festival, her cleanliness will have to be an everyday affair and not a once in a while activity.
Q4. )What all Bollywood connections have you woven with your Majma performance JashneGanga?
Kamal Pruthi: I didn’t have to weave the Bollywood connections. They were already there. I just identified them and put them in a nice sequence. A lot of Bollywood films have had connection with the Ganga river, not just metaphors but also direct relevance like in Ram Teri Ganga Maili and then in many songs Ganga river has been featured like “Ohre taal mile nadi ke jal me, nadi mile sagar me”. Many films have been shot on the banks of the Ganga river as well. Even the latest Bollywood film like Masan, where Vicky Kaushal works at the Ghats of the river Ganga.
Q5. )Any Story around river Ganga, which you would like to share?
Kamal Pruthi: I would say, for that come and be part of the Majma. Like in films, the stories of Majme are not revealed in the interviews.
Q6. )Delhi’s river Yamuna is also choking and it is often called a drain, can you create an entertaining musical Majma around the Yamuna as well?
Kamal Pruthi: Why not? I would love to see people celebrating their birthdays, anniversaries and going for picking and boating on the river Yamuna. Once we as the citizens of Delhi start taking the ownership of our rivers, the governments will do the needful to maintain it like a healthy river.
( This article has been published with the permission of the artist Kamal Kabuliwala. )
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