It was an evening to remember as the Uttaranchal Wing of the Indian Social Club (ISC) Oman hosted a musical event, featuring a renowned troupe of folk singers from Uttarakhand, India at the Indian Embassy Auditorium, on December 22, 2017.
The beautiful state of Uttarakhand lies on the southern slope of the Himalayas and is well-known for its hill stations such as Nainital (nine lakes) and Mussoorie, glaciers, subtropical forests and the Jim Corbett National Park which protects the Bengal tigers and other native wildlife.
Uttarakhand is a paradise of peace seekers and pilgrims visiting Uttarkashi and Haridwar, where the Kumbh Mela takes place. Rishikesh, a major centre for meditation and yoga study, was made famous by the Beatles’ 1968 visit.
Uttarakhand is the place where music resides in every soul. In keeping with the occasion, popular Uttarakhandi folk singers Kishan Mahipal, Sangeeta Dhoundiyal, Khushi Joshi and Garima Sundriyal, together with the talented team of musicians comprising Vinod Chauhan, Subhash Pandey, Vijay Bisht and Anurag Negi regaled over 300 music lovers in Muscat.
They made the audience sing and dance to their lively native tunes and brought out the essence of Uttarakhand which is famous for its Himalayan rivers, variety of fruits, valley of flowers, diverse festivities, river rafting, high altitude trekking, hill stations and more. Uttarakhand’s name is derived from the Sanskrit words uttara meaning ‘north’, and khanda meaning ‘land’, simply meaning ‘Northern Land’.
The evening began with the lighting of the traditional lamp by the Honourable Chief Guest, His Excellency Indramani Pandey, Ambassador of India to the Sultanate of Oman. He was accompanied by Govind Negi, the Convener of the Uttaranchal Wing, Co-Convener Shiv Bahuguna, Entertainment Secretary Mohan Semwal and Honourable Guests Deepak Dhyani and Rakesh Kandwal.
His Excellency addressed the gathering and appreciated the leadership and efforts of ISC-Uttaranchal Wing. Earlier Govind Negi, Convenor of the Uttaranchal wing, in his speech took the audience through the history of the wing and its vision, thanked all the artists, all the sponsors for their generous support and the organising committee without whose hard work the event would not have been such successful.
The evening continued with the delightful renditions of popular Uttaranchali folk songs, based on incidents of day-to-day life, nature, the seasons and harvest. Sangeeta Dhaundiyal began her singing session with “Maa Nada Devi”, singing praises to their beautiful motherland of Uttarakhand, crossed by the Himalayas.
Other scintillating individual performances by Khushi Joshi with “Kaile Baje Murali”, Kishan Mahipal with “Sobani Bana” and Garima Sundriyal with “Galo Gulabanda” mesmerised the audience. At the end of the programme, all the singers joined in singing the evergreen folk song “Bedu Pako Baaramaasaa”.
Amidst the musical event there were occasional laughter-riots all around whenever the stand-up comedian Ghananand took the stage, he was at his very best with his humor especially mimicking the characters from his village ‘Ramlila’.
Uttaranchal Musical Night was a celebration of completion of 12 years of the cultural existence in Oman of the Uttaranchal wing of the Indian Social Club. The wing endeavours in giving an opportunity to the community from the Uttarakhand state, to enjoy their rich culture and heritage, together with their brethren, right here in Oman.