Monday, June 29, 2015

Mundeshwari Temple | Oldest'(1,652 years) surviving temple of Gupta Age | Kalpana Patowary



The Mundeshwari Devi Temple (also spelled as Mundesvari) is located at Kaura in Kaimur district in the state of Bihar, India on the Mundeshwari Hills. It is an ancient temple dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and Shakti and is considered one of the oldest Hindu temples in Bihar.It is also considered as the 'oldest functional' temple of world. One of the oldest living monuments in the country, the sanctum sanctorum of the octagonal stone Mundeshwari temple is still intact today. A huge heap of temple materials along with large number of idols lie scattered in the area. It is believed that rituals and worship have been perform adhere without a break; hence Mundeshwari is considered one of the most ancient functional Hindu temples in the world. The temple is visited by a large number of pilgrims each year, particularly during the Ramnavami, Shivratri festivals. A big annual fair (mela) is held nearby during the Navaratra visited by thousands.[13] The worship of shakti in the form of Devi Mundeshwari in the temple is also indicative of tantric cult of worship, which is practiced in Eastern India. Maharaja Dutthagamani (101-77 BC), a powerful independent king of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), had constructed a great stupa and a large assembly of priests attended its consecration ceremony in the Mundeshwari hills. According to experts, the seal acted as passport for Ceylonese pilgrims and ensured safe passage during their long journey through various kingdoms to Buddhist pilgrimage centres in India. Experts believe that earlier routes to Buddhist centres at Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh and Kapilvastu in Nepal were via Mundeshwari temple in Bihar's Kaimur district. The inscription of an information plaque erected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at the site indicates the dating of the temple to 108 AD. However, there are other versions for the dating stating the Saka era, prior to Gupta dynasty rule (320 AD) in India, and specifically to 105 AD according to the Administrator of the Bihar Religious Trust Board. The temple, a protected monument under ASI since 1915, is substantially damaged and is under restoration.

Guyana's 48th Independence anniversary celebrations | Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Antony,Guyana

Invited by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Antony, Guyana Govt and the acting Indian High Commissioner to perform for Guyana's 48th Independence anniversary celebrations.
Its very emotional one for me as I think about how the Indians left behind, in India, their own land and family to come to Guyana.
Guyana observes a number of significant events including Arrival Day which signifies the coming of Guyanese ancestors from different parts of the world.
Yesterdays performance at the Indian Monument Gardens in Georgetown, which features a beautiful monument of a ship that signifies the first one that brought Indian indentured immigrants to Guyana. The sculpture was done in India.
We will also perform at State House in New Amsterdam, Berbice a location significant where not far from there, the original set of Indian indentured immigrants landed.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Spirit of Ganga Putri.


Bistirno Parore(Ganga tum behti ho kyun) is one of the best Assamese rendition of Late Dr. Bhupen Hazarika.

The song is inspired by "Ol' Man River" and also has versions in the Indian languages Hindi and Bengali.

One song, and pain of humanity of India flows through this song. Who do we blame? Ganga, because she is mother of our civilization and culture.

Bistirna paarore 
Akhonkhya jonore 
Hahakar xuniu 
Nixobde nirobe 
Burha luit tumi 
Burha luit buwa kiyo? 

Noitikotar skhalan dekhiu 
Manabotar patan dekhiu 
Nirlajja alakh bhabe buwa kiyo? 

Gyanbiheen nirakgharor 
Khaadyabiheen nagorikor 
Netribiheenotat nimaat kiyo? 

Xohossro baarikhar unmaadonar 
Abhigyotare pongu manabok 
Xabal xongrami aaru agragami kori nutula kiyo? 

Byakti jodi byaktikendrit
Xamasti jodi byaktitwarohit 
Tene jithil xomaajok nabhanga kiyo? 

Tumiye jodi Brahmare putra 
Xei pitritwa tene naam matra 
Nohole prerona nidiya kiyo? 

Unmatta dhoraare 
Kurukhetrare xoroxajyaake 
Alingan kora 
Bhishmarupi ajashra beerok 
Jogai nutula kiyo? 

Lyrics of ' Ganga Behti ho kyun ' song are written by Pandit Narendra Sharma.

विस्तार है अपार प्रजा दोनों पार करे हाहाकार
निशब्द सदा .. गंगा तुम
गंगा बहती हो क्यूँ?....

तेजस्विनी .. क्यूँ रहीं
तुम निश्चय ही.. चिन्तनहीन
प्राणों मे प्रेरणा देती नहीं क्यूँ ?

O’ man river,
Dat ol’ man river,
He mus’know sumpin’
But don’t say nuthin’
He jes’ keeps rollin’
He keeps on rollin’ along.

Friday, June 19, 2015

KHADI BIRHA in Mtv@Coke Studio Season 4

It was a nifty Rajasthani folk fusion track that introduced us to a tall Assamese girl in a multi-coloured dress Kalpana Patowary, stood next to East India Company vocalist, Papon, and belted out Baisara Beera, a track with elements of Rajasthani maand with Assam’s Barpeta Holi that turned into a dance jam with its heady beats and harmonium interludes.

Unshackled by genres, Patowary’s high-pitched, raw and confident voice had the “urban” audiences swaying to the groovy hook and hit Coke Studio @ MTV’s YouTube video over a million times.

She is back, this time even BIGGER with for the first time in the history of music, she features Bhojpuri Khadi Birah, a folk for of the Ahirs, Uttar Pradesh in the much talked about Mtv@Coke Studio Season 4 with Dhruv Ghanekar as the Composer.

Dhruv is the co-founder of the path breaking Blue Frog - a State of the Art Live Performance Venue, Recording Studios, Label, Music Production, a Composer, Producer and highly respected Guitar player based in Mumbai, India.

Kalpana Patowary is currently the “reigning queen of the Bhojpuri music industry” and her decade-old body of work is marked with versatility. She is one of the few stalwarts who have popularized Bhojpuri folk music in a contemporary style that wows audiences everywhere. “Among Bhojpuri speakers, she is a rage. Her collaboration with Mika Singh on the chart-topper Gandi Baat from Prabhudheva’s otherwise dud R…Rajkumar (2013) has already put her on the music map in Bollywood.

She got International acclaim with the release of her Bhojpuri musical documentation on the Shakespeare of Bhojpuri Literature – The Legacy of Bhikhari Thakur from EMIVirgin Records and Massical from BIRDjam Label Germany with world class India’s virtuoso percussionist and bandleader  Trilok Gurtu, one of the most dynamic and prolific musicians and collaborated with international unique musicians like  Carlo Cantini, Jan Garbarek, Phil Drummy, Roland Cabezas, Stefano Dall’Ora.


She has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in music in India and on the International arena with Trilok Gurtu, Guru Reben Masangva, Louis Banks, Ranjit Barot, Pritam to name a few...
Lately she was on a 15 days tour for concerts in four Latin American countries presented by The Ministry of Cultural Affairs on the auspicious occasion of Indian Arrival Day, commemorating the arrival of Girmitias from the Indian subcontinent to  Caribbean and the island nation of Mauritius presenting songs on migration.

Mtv@CokeStudio Season’s still on…the HANGOVER……ek MA apne bachhe ko, safalta ki bulandiyo ko chhuta hua dekh jaisa mahsus karti hai.....the emotions rolling deep inside me are the same....BHOJPURI hamari astitwa hai and in CokeStudi@Mtv Season 4, it was as if BHOJPURI was proud to announce its dignity….Says Kalpana.

Taking Bhojpuri music to the helm of one of the biggest music shows in the world for the first time in MTV comes with its share of responsibilities.


I met Dhruv Ghanekar in Blue Frog when I was performing with Trilok Gurtu. After then his solo album “Voyage” was happening and Dhruv asked me to write and sing something in African groove. I wrote for the first time. Baare Baare was the track weaving a rich tapestry of Assamese folk and traditional grooves from the Maghreb region of North Africa. The idea to fuse the two began as conversations in his head, he shares. “If I were to explain it to someone, they’d say, there’s no synergy between the two cultures. But when you hear it, it makes perfect sense,” says Kalpana.

After then, when Dhruv met up for Coke Studio, I was happy as I knew it’s time for some extinct folk to come up where it should come. There is an unseen gap between my own lands. – My people. The gap between India and Bharatvarsh.  In a way Mtv@Coke Studio musically tries to bridge that gap. This time I thought of giving Biraha a folk form of the Ahir clan. Its singing and saying – boli at the same time. Lyrically Khadi Birah also spoke about the expressions of our cultivations, our village folk.

Dhruv beautifully designed the rhythm which complimented the lyrics of Khadi Biraha. It became mere of global now as if Indian and African both speaking about the pain and pleasure of farming. Dhruv and I were thinking to put some African plantation folk music in the track. But as we were short of time we changed our idea and instead think of putting some English words in it.          

I shared my knowledge about the indenture laborers of plantation and the pain they went through when they migrated from Indian shores to the Carribeans.

So we decided to write some verses keeping in mind the indenture laborers point and what he’ll speak.

Dhruv wrote some beautiful lines and then Sonia Saigal came into the scene to give the English lyrics a bold vocal throw.

This track KHADI BIRHA is a folk for of the Ahirs fusing with African music. This folk tradition is a fun song, reflects the Migration content and evolved during the colonial period when a huge population of Bhojpuri people left Indian shores to work in sugarcane, cocoa, jute and other plantations in Caribbean countries, owned and run by Europeans.

Khadi Birha is actually a very positive song. It’s one of those great ironies of life because the people who actually worked the hardest are the most positive people…it’s a working man’s song.

Basically, this track would help understand how folk culture helps migrants to recover from the pain and loss on leaving their homelands,"

In Mtv@Coke Studio you can say transnational Biraha : Bhojpuri Folk from North India to the Caribbean, Fiji, and Beyond…

This track Khadi Birha forges the way forward for the culture from which the Caribbean countries diaspora traditions find their origin.

Says Kalpana GRATITUDE!!

'Birha' - Dhruv Ghanekar, Kalpana Patowary & Sonia Saigal - Coke Studio@...


Kalpana Patowary

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Kalpana Patowary to perform in Mahabahu Utsav 2015 Guwahati, Assam.

GUWAHATI, March 16 – In keeping with its efforts to promote the cultural treasure trove of the state, the Directorate of Cultural Affairs is organising Mahabahu Utsav from March 17 at Sonaram HS School Playground here.

Addressing media persons here on Monday, Bibekananda Choudhury, director, cultural affairs said that the three-day extravaganza will showcase the way of living of the ethnic communities through display of handloom, handicraft, agricultural tools, ethnic food, etc. The event will also have generous dose of music, dance and performing folk arts.

“This time the theme of the festival is Peace through culture and creativity,” said Choudhury, adding that the event will provide entertainment to all section of the population including the kids.

The highlight of the first day will be opening of the exhibitions, screening of films, laser animation show, a folk fusion, etc.

The second day will feature film screening, workshops, a tribute to the musical legends, performance by folk artistes with different ethnic background, etc.

The concluding day will entertain spectators to Sattriya dance, performance by new generation of singers, Bihu dance, apparel show etc.

The star attraction of the programme is singer Kalpana Patowary who is slated to entertain Guwahatians in the evening of March 17. Zubin Garg will perform in the evening of March 19 and a galaxy of actors from the Assamese film industry will feather on March 18.

“This event will be a platform for the various ethnic communities of the state to highlight their vibrant culture,” said Choudhury, mentioning that the way of living of all ethnic communities is distinctive and the Mahabahu Utsav is going to provide a glimpse into their colourful culture.

On the other hand, the event, according to Choudhury, is going to introduce the young generation, particularly the urban children to the life style of rural Assam. “We are confident the exhibitions will definitely attract the young people and make them aware about their tradition,” he said.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Incredible India | Rediscovering Madhupur Satra | Cooch Behar | West Bengal.


Assam being my place of origin; the land where I had spent my child hood; an integral part of my identity- I could relive my bygone days by this 5 min music video.

Mahapurush Shri Shri Madhavdeva express his great devotion to Lord Krishna.He feels Krishna as his best friend and asked the Lord to rescue/save him from all sufferings of life.He asked Krishna for offering Bhakti Anand Rasa ie the greatest spiritual delights to him. Mahapurush Shri Shri Madhavdeva felt himself as “Patita” ie the down trodder person and asked him to save him from sins & sufferings from the Earth.With the help of this prayer Madhav Deva tries to reach Moksha for himself and entire sansara.

Here Shri Madhav Deva compares Shri Shri Sankardeva as Kalpataru( wish fulfilling tree) and Ram Nama as Ratna.

Kalpana Patowary Collaborates – Expanding her Musical boundaries.

Be it exploring the Purvi folk music of Bihar, reliving the legacy of the Bhikhari Thakur era, celebrating the landscapes of NorthEast India through Maa-e-Ri – a lyrical conversation with Mother Nature or embarking on a musical journey of Biraha fiesta of the Ahirs, Kalpana is traveling the world through her music and expanding musical boundaries by collaborating with a number of national and International artists.

The pairing of star acts on an album isn't uncommon but this musical document is a rare achievement. From names like Sunidhi Chauhan (collaborated with Enrique Iglesias), Shreya Ghoshal ( collaborated with Maestro Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan), AR Rahman (recently collaborated with Rolling Stone lead singer Mick Jagger), Yo Yo Honey Singh (plans to collaborate with American rapper Sky Blu), Suhail Yusuf Khan (shared the stage in collaboration with Welsh harpist Georgia Ruth), Swarathma (recently collaborated with Lebanese band Wanton Bishops), Skyharbour (recorded a song with Megadeath guitarist Marty Friedman) and Salim-Sulaiman (remixing Enrique Iglesias' single), all seem to be expanding their musical prowess to bring something new for their audience. 

So what makes these collaborations click. “It’s interesting and exiting at the same time as it is all about breaking the conventional rules. History and Time witnessed every time who so ever speak a new thought i.e. Galileo, Socrates, Newton and many more they were threatened to death. Here if you are an artiste who deals with root music, folk music than you are many times criticized for collaboration as the conventional form is broken. Of course it’s sensitive and you should be responsible and mature enough not to chemical the genres to that limit to lose its original dignity…fusion should not lead to confusion” …says Kalpana with a mystic smile.

 “Collaboration brings along the share of fans and a wider range of audience.  It does help in expanding your audience base as when you collaborate with other artists; their audience also gets to know about you, the interest builds up which helps you expand." 

The Sacred Scriptures of Monikut is one of my best and the most notable musical collaboration not only with various respectable artists but also with a variety of primitive instruments being used in this album.
From the traditional - ancient and extinct instrument Kalia to Sarinda to the Sundari to Doba to Djembe to Kahon to the Tabla, Shehnai, percussion, electronic hand sonic, drums, beads, electric piano, Acoustic Guitar, Nakara to Nagara to Bortal to Flute, this album is a cocktail mix of different sounds,” she shared.
I kept the folk vibe of traditional Ghosha original and added a more somber touch and I tried to keep the original and earnest vocal performance of the Barpeta style from my Mother.
Kalpana shares the stories of her Collaboration and unique experience and what it means for music in the region:

The Collaboration: The Sacred Scriptures of Monikut.

The Song: Muktita

The Artist: Papon Angarag Mahanta – vocals

The Best:  Kalpana was the featured artist in the third season of Mtv@Coke Studio produced by Papon Angarag Mahanta and this duo were seen turning heads with their collaborative music in Coke Studi@Mtv with Rajastani & Assamese barpetia fagun songs.

The Collaboration : The Sacred Scriptures of Monikut.

The Song : Ami Joto Jibo

The Artist : Zubeen Garg – vocals

The Best :  The main attraction in this album is Kalpana teamed up with Zubeen Garg along with children vocals from Assam (Anuska Saikai, Dhritismita Kalita, Armit Kalita, Hansraj Saikia,Purbahna Pragalav Kayshap, Ankita Khanikar, Rishab Khanikar, Bandita Devi, Bhumika Nath, Himashree Barman, Dibyam Seal, Jivitha Seal, Arisha Sheikh, Rimisha Hussain, Chayasnigdha Nath) for the track Ami Joto Jibo which sounds very different. The Children vocals added the varied and eclectic energy with extra boost. Both Kalpana and Zubeen have their styles which can drain on listeners as melancholy and drowning, but together with the group of children they produced a prayer something which transforms into a gorgeous anthem.

The Collaboration : The Sacred Scriptures of Monikut.

The Song : Hey Prano Bondhu

The Artist : Guru Ruben Masangva – Acoustic Guitar

The Best: Hey Prano Bondhu is a track with a blend of distinct Blues influence with a modern sophisticated melody with traditional lyrics by Srimanta Madhavdeva.

The most risky song of this album, is about the longing of a human soul to merge with the infinite, says Kalpana. I always had a Blues feel to this track and I thought it would be interesting to incorporate a person who could take it that way. It took a while but with Guru Ruben’s style of playing the Guitar fell in place and it will transform you to a different world when you close your eyes listening to it.
The AssameseBhojpuri singer and the Father of Naga Blues from Manipur provide two seemingly different sides of the coin: one side mystical and dreamy, the other side more realistic. Kalpana’s collaboration with Guru Ruben in this album feels natural and just plain easy. The blues and the vocal in acoustic guitar have a lasting quality and will be recognized. Kalpana’s extensive vocal range and prowess mixed with Ruben’s signature playing and gregarious attitude toward music makes for one of the most fun and unforgettable musical collaborations.


The Collaboration : The Sacred Scriptures of Monikut.

The Song : Hari Namo Roxe & Muktita

The Artist : Trilok Gurtu (Germany)

The Best : Kalpana Patowary  had earlier worked  with Trilok Gurtu in an International album called MASSICAL released from BIRDjam Label, Germany and have long wanted to make music together and they finally got their chance in the Sacred Scriptures of Monikut. Trilok Gurtu has been a major inspirations in this album.   

Trilok Gurtu provided the ambient and ominous electronic beats while Kalpana renders her traditionally epic and self-referential vocals makes this track truly special. Kalpana’s melancholy ambiance provided a perfect backdrop as Trilok Gurtu forayed into the brand new territory of ambient Assamese music culture.

Trilok Gurtu  and Kalpana were just musical and this timeless classic masterpiece collaboration will always be remembered and more greatly preserved in Assam history.

She adds, "Working with Trilok Gurtu has enhanced my understanding of my own music, and opened my eyes to a variety of musical possibilities." He is ahead of times.
Trilok Gurtu, Guru Ruben Masangva, Papon, Zubeen and Kalpana Patowary comes together and fashion something seamless, beautiful and exciting, regardless of the different and diverse worlds they may come from, the result is something to be cherished and recognized for ages to come.
Now last but most importantly not any least - Sacred Scriptures of Monikut is a happy and satisfying piece of cake for me as I relish the art of creation step by step. In this project that every element comes alive whom I adored and inspired in some way…while it was on a deciding stage I was sure which way to go with this project. Here I am talking about to style the ghokha’s, I heard a lot of Native American Music, Tibetan stuff. The spiritual approach I got it right from them. YANNI and BHUPEN HAZARIKA - Sacred scriptures musical style is about following these legends. Now many may sarcastically smile, but I share the truth. I know I can’t touch their musical heights but where will all my love energies go for them…it has to transform somewhere and I think The Sacred Scriptures of Monikut is the outcome of my love for them. Many times I feel Yanni’s music is all about love and the beautiful side of our being, its serene and his music bounds me to believe…. “Yes I am a GOD particle”. Juxtaposed, Bhupen Hazarika’s social observance says a complete different story of our mankind, and he chose to speak through music again. I tried to incorporate the pain and pleasure on one note, appreciating each other.

On significance of The Sacred Scriptures of Monikut for Assam:
This album is of the highest standard ever produced in India. I don’t think that the Naam Ghosha & Kirtan Ghosha Assam has been presented in this way to the world or any other way before.

On local instruments and particular forms of folk music used:
The Sacred Scriptures of Monikut is one of my best and the most notable musical collaboration with a variety of instruments used in this album. From the traditional an ancient and extinct instrument Kalia to Sarinda to the Sundari Doba to Djembe to Kahon to the Tabla, Shehnai, percussion, electronic hand sonic, drums, beads, electric piano, Acoustic Guitar, Nakara to Nagara to Bortal to Flute, this album was a mix of different sounds,” she shared.

On what this project mean to young talents in the Northeast and India.
I believe it means a lot to hold on to your roots and present its beauty to the world. It is a matter of pride and satisfaction. This album would encourage young people who love their land and culture.

On Kalpana Patowary’s music and how it emanates from her land Assam:
I love to put Assam on the world map again and again with the love, culture, emotions and music of the land. But here focusing on rural folk music I would like to sound original folk at least from the singing point of view.

On upcoming projects:
  • Anthology of Biraha - A folk form of Utter Pradesh & Bihar. A deliberate approach to travel back in time to collect the roots of BIRHA singing style, a folk tradition of AHIRS or YADAVAS from UTTAR PRADESH to the Caribbean Islands.
I am also collaborating in a project with Mungal Patasar - one of the best-known exponents of the Sitar - a unique artist from the sister islands of Trinidad & Tobago very soon. This is sponsored by the Indian Council which wants us to make an album touring the festivals in the Trinidad next summer.