Unveiling the Forgotten Voices: “O Gaanewali” Pays Tribute to India’s Musical Icons

Photo of author

By uday

In a mesmerizing evening that resonated with echoes from the past, Khula Asmaan, in association with Wide Wings Media, transported the audience back to the enchanting era of the late 1800s. “O Gaanewali,” a touching tribute held at the Lokmanya Rangmandir in Belagavi, celebrated the unsung heroes of Indian music – the tawaifs, gaanewalis, and naachnewalis.

Stepping onto the stage, artists Avanti Patel and Rutuja Lad, accompanied by Vighnesh Kamat on the tabla and Nusrat Apoorva on the harmonium, breathed life into melodies once immortalized by legends like Gauhar Jaan, Janakibai, Raasoolan Bai, Begum Akhtar, and Shobha Gurtu. Through Thumri, Dadra, Ghazal, and other Hindustani semi-classical formats, they embarked on a soul-stirring journey, evoking emotions buried deep within the hearts of the audience.

Avanti Patel’s fervor for intertwining art with crucial dialogues on gender and society added layers of poignancy to the performance, transforming the stage into an intimate mehfil. With each note, the artists not only honored the musical prowess of their predecessors but also shed light on the societal roles these women navigated in a bygone era.


Directed by the visionary duo of Meghna A.T. and Mallika Singh, and conceptualized by Avanti Patel, a finalist on Indian Idol, “O Gaanewali” wasn’t just a musical spectacle; it was a narrative woven with threads of history, culture, and resilience.

As the melodies echoed through the hall, the audience found themselves enraptured in a world of fascinating anecdotes, presented with captivating eloquence. Each song became a vessel carrying tales of struggles, triumphs, and the indomitable spirit of those who paved the way for generations of artists to come.

“O Gaanewali” wasn’t just a concert; it was a celebration of resilience, artistry, and the enduring legacy of those whose voices echo through time. In paying homage to these forgotten luminaries, Khula Asmaan and Wide Wings Media reminded us of the richness of our musical heritage and the importance of preserving it for generations to come.

Leave a Comment