Navaratri 2021 is just behind us. We hope all of you enjoyed watching the series- Namami Durge – the series on Devi Krithis sung by nine young artists of Bengaluru. We thoroughly enjoyed ‘the making’ of it, and I have to share our joy with you. See it here (link).
The whole idea of making this came from my husband, Srinath, a couple of months ago. It was just a wild thought, and the idea faded into oblivion. About 20 days before Navaratri, on a fine afternoon, with a surge of enthusiasm, Srinath asked me again…. “why don’t we ask a few young women vocalists to sing Devi Krithis for this Navaratri?”. My first remark was that we have less than 3 weeks, and is it possible to do it? Bickering started naturally – “why didn’t you tell this earlier? Hey! I did, but you didn’t respond…why did you keep quiet then?”
But finally, it ended with- “let’s give it a try, good if it happens, and okay if it doesn’t.”
We began writing a list of singers to discuss our plan, followed by, talking, talking & more talking. To our good fortune, all young ladies agreed with enthusiasm. Now began the next challenge…. coordinate all 9 artists, our photo/videographers- Neeta & Varun, for shooting date, where to shoot, settings, backdrop, acoustics, the script for introductions, and more. Shooting all the 9 in one day was next to impossible. So, we planned it for 2 days, making hourly time slots for each one. Next round of phone calls-“Are you free on this date? What time will you pick? Which Krithi will you sing?” I must have annoyed everyone to the maximum…but each one showed abundant patience.
We had to give a name to the whole series. So, discussions started within the family with suggestions pouring in……. Navarasa, Navadurga, Navaraga, different names of the goddess, and so on. And then there was ‘the Eureka moment’ during our morning walk the next day ‘Namami Durge’ was coined.
Since hiring a studio for 9 recordings would be too expensive, we decided to shoot and record in our living room. Getting new curtains for the backdrop, hiring the dais, fixing the props… oh! that running around was tiring for sure, but absolute fun. 4 days flew by in a jiffy. Now, Kahani me twist. My son, Avinash enters the scene with his ideas about getting high quality in audio recording. Again, change in plan. And don’t forget the family brawls in between, to add to the tension.
The D-Day dawns. What sheer delight it was to see all the beautiful women dressed in Kanjivarams walking in! By God’s grace, all recordings came out well, of course with little woes in between. There was that unusual power-cut that day. An airplane chooses to fly overhead, that too at a low altitude. Loud kkkkkrrrrrsssshhhh goes the sound of tile-cutting next door, and before every recording, one of us would run to the balcony and shout – “Bhaiyya, dus minute ke liye roko!”
A sigh of relief at the end. All our efforts paid off. We can’t thank enough the singers who collaborated with us… Akshatha, Apoorva, Anjali, Bhargavi, Lavanya, Paavani, Yogakirtana, Ranjani, & the youngest of all, Pranavi. Neeta & Varun (of Neeta Shankar Photography), Srikrishna Bhat (of Vrundavana Studios), and Avinash burnt the midnight oil to make this happen. Not to forget Adithya’s wonderful background score…which came all the way from California!
Of course, our prayers to Goddess Durga for her blessings on future endeavors.
If you would like to rewind and watch the series again in leisure, here is our YouTube link Please give us a shout-out and subscribe to our channel.