Nasik : Memorial to commemorate 150 city artists

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Nasik is known to Maharashtra as the city of culture, literature and theatre. Generations of artists, writers, poets, theatre activists, and musicians have worked hard for years to earn this identity for the city. While some of them got recognition on national and international platforms, many who contributed significantly for the development of Nashik’s cultural scene remained ignored.

Members of the Kusumagraj Memorial, city’s cultural hub, have decided to hold ‘Prakashyatra Athwaninchi’, a unique event to commemorate the contribution of these unsung heroes on November 6. The family members of 151 artists will gather at the memorial where they will share thoughts and memories of their elderly, who worked passionately for the art and literature in Nashik.

“Being the epicentre of city’s cultural and literary activities, the Kusumagraj memorial considers it its responsibility to express gratitude towards the personalities who made great contribution towards Nashik’s cultural progress. The concept of this event came from the same sense of responsibility,” said Vinayak Ranade, trustee of the memorial. Senior theatre activist Kailas Patil, writer Datta Patil and director Sachin Shinde added their inputs and the novel event was chalked out.

“We have shortlisted 151 known and unknown names from the available documentation and memoirs of the stalwarts. Nashikites from prose, poetry, ballads, Kirtans, painting, sculptures, dance music, theatre, movies and production fields have been selected after the rigorous research,” said Ranade. It was not at all an easy task for the organisers to find out the addresses and contact numbers of many people as their family members were detached from the fields. Still, the group managed to contact and invite 150 families.

“We sent them a hand-written correspondence and made an emotional appeal to attend the unique gathering where they have to light the first earthen lamp of this Diwali in memory of their elderly,” Ranade said. Kusumagraj Memorial will light a lantern named after the artist in the memorial premises. “With 150 lanterns and number of earthen lamps, the memorial premises will illuminate with memories of the departed souls who illuminated our world with their artistic excellence,” he said.

Kusumagraj Memorial has decided to hold the similar event every year to celebrate the life and times of the artists who made Nashik proud with their work. This year, the lanterns named after Kusumagraj (V V Shirwadkar) and Dadasaheb Phalke will also be lighted. Stalwarts like Shivaji Tupe (Painting), Madan Gadge (Sculpture), Pratibha Varma (Dance), Gangubai Paluskar (Music), Sadanand Joshi (Theatre), Shambhu Modak (Production) will be remembered in this event.

There will no formal oration, lectures or addresses, but the pure sharing of the remembrances. Anticipation has already built in Nashik for this event as the Kusumagraj Memorial has invited all Nashikites to attend this rare moment.

Being the epicentre of city’s cultural and literary activities, the Kusumagraj memorial considers it its responsibility to express gratitude towards the personalities who made great contribution towards Nashik’s cultural progress

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