Every year, around late June or July, the auspicious date known as Ashadhi Ekadashi is marked by celebrations in the city’s temples and neighbourhoods. This fortnight, on that date, Yojana Pratishthan will host a concert in Dadar’s Shivaji Mandir at which vocalists Shrinivas Joshi and Yojana Shivanand – who is the co-founder of the Pratishthan – will perform.
Yojana will sing devotional songs composed by her husband Shivanand Patil, who died last year. She will be joined by flautist Vivek Sonar. The second half of the programme will feature abhangs (Marathi devotional songs) performed by Shrinivas Joshi, in the manner they were popularised by his father, Bhimsen.
Yojana’s husband and guru, the talented singer Shivanand Patil, died at the age of 53 when he was at the peak of his performing career. Patil came up the hard way in the music world. He eventually won many awards, including the prestigious Dinanath Mangeshkar Award, but he did not live long enough to enjoy the fruits of his labour.
Together with his wife, he set up Yojana Pratishthan in 1990 with a view to promoting music. After his premature death, Yojana decided to carry forward his work. To mark Patil’s first death anniversary, a concert was held at the PL Deshpande Mini Theatre at Prabhadevi. Yojana, being Patil’s prime student, paid a musical tribute to her mentor by singing a khayal in the raga Maru Bihag.
The khayal “Rasiya O Na Ja” depicts the heroine pining for her beloved, pleading with him to not enter a cave from where he may never return. The lyrics acquired real meaning as Yojana, with admirable composure and confidence, systematically wove alaaps into the raga. It was as if she was indeed addressing her lost husband with a touching earnestness. At 57, after training with singers such as Nivruttibuwa Sarnaik, Vasantrao Kulkarni, Vasantrao Rajopadhye, GH Ranade and Manik Bhide, Shivanand seems to have found her voice and her moorings. She has played main roles in musical plays like Mahananda, Saubhadra and Samshaykallol.
“The concept of a special concert of devotional music on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi was started by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi way back in 1970s,” said Yojana Shivanand. Yojana Pratishthan took this concept a step further in 1992 by hosting their first “Bol Santanche” programme: a group of 20 students sang devotional songs. Subsequent years saw solo recitals by many other singers like Shaunak Abhisheki, Suresh Wadkar, Devaki Pandit, and Shrikant Deshpande. This year’s concept is new: Yojana will sing while flautist Sonar will play them with her. His band of 10 bansuri players will also join in. They have chosen songs of Tukaram and Gora Kumbhar.
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar on June 22 2012 6.24am