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Ashok Hande’s Marathi Bana completes 1000 shows today!

Friday, October 22, 2010
By Sandeep Hattangadi

Ashok Hande, known for his musical shows like Mangalgani Dangalgani, Amrutlata, Aawaz Ki Duniya, Azadi 50 etc. has reached another landmark in his illustrious career with the completion of 1000 shows of his cultural programme Marathi Bana devoted to sing paeans of popular Marathi literature and cultural icons.

On October 22 next, Chaurang, Hande’s cultural organization will be presenting the 1,000th show of Marathi Bana at Gagangiri Maharaj's Ashram Manori, Malad (W). This show is free for all patrons of Marathi culture and Maharaj himself will preside over the event.

Hande, who started as a vegetable and fruit vendor in his family business was obsessed with music and singers so he brought out non-film music audios and started organising music and dance cultural performances in the Marathi arena.

Hande, Creative Director of cultural organization Chaurang, took up this challenging task to weave together the history, traditions, music and dance and present it with the latest and modern technical support, to bring back to Maharashtrians, their Marathi Pride -- Marathi Bana.

The show is conceived, produced, directed, written and narrated by Hande himself who has all the trivia about Marathi music and films on the back of his hand.

Marathi Bana was a show that paid homage to singers like Sudhir Phadke, satirists like P.L. Deshpande, lyricists like Suresh Bhat, Jagdish Khebudkar, sportsmen like Ajit Wadekar, political leaders like Bal Thackeray, film personalities like V. Shantaram, Shreeram Lagoo etc. which were a part of the print publicity of the show.

At the outset, this show was presented at a much smaller scale at Gagangiri Maharaj's Ashram Manori, Malad (W) way back in October 2005.

The huge amount of appreciation for this show prompted Hande to launch the same on commercial platform.

However, on November 1, 2005, the first commercial show of Marathi Bana was launched at Dinanath Mangeshkar Auditorium, Vile Parle on Diwali Pahat which was welcomed by the audiences with a House Full board.

The rest, as they say, is history. Chaurang has managed to throw in some new elements in the show through experiments with sound, lights, satire on current issues, costumes, choreography, etc. in such a way that a large number of Maharashtrians have seen this show at least 10 times, and would still love to see it again and again... The House Full board of course, has been repainted several times over the last five years. Maharashtrians and non-Maharashtrians all over the state and even visiting foreigners have appreciated Marathi Bana alike.

Over these 1,000 shows, the glamour, attraction and appreciation of this grand production has only increased day by day, making all those who haven't seen it yet very curious and all those who have already seen it wanting more and more.

Stalwarts from various fields such as politics, sports, academics, film and theatre, apart from the common Indian have all felt very proud of the cultural heritage presented in this gigantic show comprising of over 125 artists including singers, musicians, dancers, technicians etc.

Talking to us, Hande says, “this cultural show is an attempt to educate the Marathi youth about the vast Marathi heritage and culture which most of the newer generation is generally ignorant about, having made great strides in technology and the corporate world. My show has been seen by many dignitaries like Sunil Gavaskar, Bal Thackeray, Sharad Pawar etc. We also perform in the interiors of Maharashtra like in Solapur etc. where we have more than 12-13 shows in a month. We are trying to get more better singers, musicians and satirists on our show to draw in more audiences and I am sure that Marathi Bana will have a longer run than Aawaz Ki Duniya which has been our longest running show. I feel I am the chosen one selected by the Almighty to spread the fragrance of Marathi culture across all Maharashtrians and non-Maharashtrians all over the world”.

Youngsters have been very pleasantly accepting facts they did not know about their culture and elders have been blessing Hande with moist eyes and sheer ecstasy for completing the missing link after seeing Marathi Bana repeatedly.

Over these 1,000 shows, the glamour, attraction and appreciation of this grand production has only increased day by day, making all those who haven't seen it yet very curious and all those who have already seen it wanting more and more.

Hande, however, still sees this as just the beginning. His aim is to take Marathi Bana, the Marathi Pride, the true spirit of Maharashtra to the entire country and beyond. Let’s hope this true son of the soil completes his mission of propagating Marathi culture to all borders of the world.

Ashok Hande sure is one helluva ‘Mard Maratha’ guy!




Please let me know when this show is going to held in Mumbai specially Dinanath natyagruha

Commented by: bharati yeshwant more | 11/15/2010

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