Bhopal: Club Literati , Bhopal conducted a panel discussion on 'Where is Radha in Krishna's story?' on Monday.
The discourse, organised especially for Janmashtami, centered around Radha's historical role. The event was moderated by Anthony 'Tino' De Sa, author, poet and civil servant. He shared the earliest documentation of Radha's appearance in Indian Literature.
The panel included celebrated names such as Malashri Lal editor and author. She focused on the contemporary questions revolving around Radha. She is currently the Dean of Colleges, and also the Dean, Academic Activities and Projects at the University of Delhi.
She has held other senior administrative positions in the same university, including that of the Head, Department of English (2000–03), Director, Women’s Studies (2000–06) and Joint Director, South Campus (2006–11). As a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright, the British Council, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Shastri-Indo Canadian Institute, she has conducted research in prestigious institutes, including Harvard University, USA, Bellagio, Italy, and Newcastle, UK. Lal’s academic specialisation is in Women and Gender Studies, a subject on which she has written ten books. Her book The law of the threshold: Women writers in Indian English was widely acclaimed. Recently, she has co-edited In search of Sita: Revisiting mythology and Chamba–achamba: Women’s oral narratives. She has served on international book award committees, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.
Panelist Alpana Vajpeyi, a kathak guru, emphasised the significance of Radha through her artistry of dance. She is a Kathak dancer trained by Chakradhar Dance Center, Bhopal by kathak genius of Raigarh gharana Pt Karthikram and his equally capable son Pt Ramlal has been her mentors
She has performed brilliantly all over the world in many festivals like India Festivals and has also performed in Kathak Festival, Kathak, Pargat Nritya Mahostava, HCL Music Program etc. She has also performed in the prestigious Khajuraho Dance Festival in 1993, 1999, 2010 and 2016.
Reba Som, an historian, enlightened the attendees on Tagore's Radha. Reba (born, Darjeeling, West Bengal) is an academic, historian, writer and classical singer from India. She was the director of Indian Council for Cultural Relations' Rabindranath Tagore Centre in Kolkata from 2008-2013.
She is also a trained singer of Rabindrasangeet and songs of Kazi Nazrul Islam. Her compact discs, "Selected Songs of Rabindranath Tagore" (III Millenneo, Rome, Italy 2003 and Saregama – India, May 2004) and "Love Songs of Kazi Nazrul Islam" (Times Music, 2016) include her English translations of the lyrics.
A short story "Radha, Beloved of the Blue God", written by Bulbul Sharma found a dramatic rendering through theatre artist and actress Aviree Chaurey. She was introduced to the television screen and the state at an early age. She went on to the silver screen and today pursues performing arts with a great passion, her forte being theatre and recitation. The session lasted for one and a half hours and was attended by around 70 people of diverse backgrounds.