Home Entertainment Does the brand new Annapurna Devi movie unravel the lifetime of the recluse?

Does the brand new Annapurna Devi movie unravel the lifetime of the recluse?

Does the brand new Annapurna Devi movie unravel the lifetime of the recluse?


Filmmaker Nirmal Chander, astonishingly, has made two commissioned movies on the reclusive musician.

Musician Annapurna Devi led a deeply reclusive life, and remained an enigma for many. However, filmmaker Nirmal Chander, who by no means had the chance to satisfy the legendary musician, bought to make two movies on her — Guru Ma in 2019 for the Sangeet Natak Akademi, and a newer one, 6-A, Akash Ganga, for the Annapurna Devi Basis.

The newest movie has been screened to date in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Delhi.

A lot has been written concerning the lifetime of Annapurna Devi or Ma, as she was recognized. Her start in Maihar in 1927, her father Ustad Allaudin Khan instructing her music solely after he noticed proof of her extraordinary musical grasp, her father getting her married to Pt Ravi Shankar in 1941, and the way the tumultuous marriage turned her right into a recluse.

So as to add to it, the couple’s son Shubhendra selected to go away his mom in 1970 and went to the U.S. together with his father, the place he died in 1992, having damaged off all contact together with his mom.

Annapurna Devi played the surbahar, often described as a bass sitar.  The relatively few people, who heard her before she stopped performing early in her career, were amazed by her mastery of it.

Annapurna Devi performed the surbahar, usually described as a bass sitar. The comparatively few folks, who heard her earlier than she stopped performing early in her profession, have been amazed by her mastery of it.
| Photograph Credit score:
The Hindu Archives

In the direction of the tip of her life, Annapurna Devi needed her story informed. She had given an interview in Bengali to Tathagatha Ray Chaudhury, and had additionally spoken to Shekhar Sen, however that was on her father and his musical legacy. Agreeing to this film was an indication of her whole belief and dependence on Nityanand Haldipur, who taken care of her like a son. Annapurna Devi’s superiority as a musician is traced within the movie, by way of the accounts of disciples Dr. Vinay Bharat Ram and Carnatic singer Shakuntala Narasimhan, who describes Ma’s final live performance with Pt. Ravi Shankar in 1955, on the Madras Music Academy.

Annapurna Devi broke her vow to by no means play in public once more solely as soon as, in Calcutta within the mid Nineteen Sixties.

Ustad Allaudin Khan.

Ustad Allaudin Khan.
| Photograph Credit score:
The Hindu Archives

It’s stated Ustad Allaudin Khan informed his daughter she needn’t ever play for the general public, and will commit her music to the divine, as she didn’t like performing (quoted in Jyotin Bhattacharya’s guide on Allaudin Khan).

In one other occasion, Nityanand Haldipur quotes Ma as saying that the viewers style has now been so diluted by panditji and bhaiya (Ustad Ali Akbar Khan) that “my music, which is barely what Baba taught me, received’t fulfill listeners”.

In keeping with Nirmal Chander, the Annapurna Devi Basis gave him whole freedom within the making. “Nityanand didn’t even see the tough minimize. It’s a blessing to get such trusting producers.” The movie, nonetheless, narrates Annapurna’s life by way of Nityanand’s eyes — he’s current in virtually each body, interviewing even Oliver Craske, who, as Ravi Shankar’s biographer, makes an attempt to current the opposite facet of an incident of their marriage.

Sitar maestro Pt. Ravi Shankar .

Sitar maestro Pt. Ravi Shankar .
| Photograph Credit score:

The 80-minute movie covers points of Annapurna’s life, together with controversial points of her stormy marriage (which resulted in divorce in 1982), skims over her instructing methods, contains a heart-tugging excerpt from her diary in Bengali, and excerpts from an audio interview. There’s a lot untouched, together with her marriage in December 1982 to her disciple Rooshi Kumar Pandya.

Annapurna Devi with Pt. Ravi Shankar at a jugalbandi concert.

Annapurna Devi with Pt. Ravi Shankar at a jugalbandi live performance.
| Photograph Credit score:
Courtesy: Annapurna Devi Basis

Nirmal Chander says she didn’t got down to make a biographical movie. “For me, the movie is about her legacy of instructing.” But, the movie sticks principally to the private and does not likely interact considerably with any disciples aside from Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Basant Kabra, Dr. Vinay Bharat Ram, Hemant Desai and Nityanand Haldipur.

This may very well be, maybe, as a result of Guru Ma had already focussed on her disciples, and her instructing approach.

Work on the movie started 10 days earlier than Annapurna’s demise in 2018. There’s not a single shot of her, as Nirmal was not granted entry. There are scenes, although, after her demise, of her over-filled bed room, crowded with proof of recollections of a protracted life. One wonders why her want for privateness was not revered after her demise.

This movie dwells on the untold story of Annapurna Devi, as hinted to her disciples. Her diary may reveal extra, however Nityanand, as chief trustee of the Annapurna Devi Basis, has determined to not make it public for now.

And so, even after watching the movie, Annapurna stays an enigma.


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