Sur Olakhiche: Old Marathi Melodies with New Sounds of Music


Photos: Bhagyashree Dixit

By Vivek Chitale

HOUSTON: Houston Maharashtra Mandal presented Sur Olakhiche concert on February 12, at Berry Center, Cypress, TX. The chief guest for the concert was Avadhoot Gupte a Mumbai based music composer, singer, movie director and a TV Show host. This program was performed in order to raise funds for Houston Maharashtra Mandal (HMM) Vastu.  HMM has purchased 11.5 Acre property near Rosenberg, Texas and plans to build Shri Siddhivinayak Temple and Community Center.  Avadhoot Gupte drew a loud applause from the audience for the two songs “Wrong Number” and “Say you love me” from the latest Marathi movie “Fugay”.  Avadhoot entertained the crowd by answering questions from Rashmi Joshi (Radio DJ) and Samir Karandikar.  HMM Vastu Division executive committee members Rahul Deshmukh, Prasanna Rao and Swati Joshi conducted the program.

Friends, the Sur Olakhiche program was pure joy and a sheer delight. As promised, as delivered! Yes, the hype was true. Names and faces of majority of the very talented artists were unfamiliar to most in the audience. But it did not matter.  On Sunday the 12th February 2017 our own- no longer a child prodigy- “Nitish Kulkarni” and his team indeed gave us an unforgettable musical treat. Nitish conceptualized and directed this program, which featured a team of “rather new to Houston” artists such as the singers Shreyas Bedekar, Amit Parchure, and Deepali Kulkarni as well as the instrumentalists Varad Gaikwad (Flute), Sangeeta Panse (Sitar), and Anand Desai (Guitar). Also the sweet, charming and fully confident little princess “Surabhi Phatak”!


Sur Olakhiche included some of the greatest Marathi melodies composed by stalwarts such as Sudhir Phadke, Hridayanath Mangeshkar, Ashok Patki, Jitendra Abhisheki, and Shridhar Phadke. All singers and accompanying artists performed at professional level. Program novelty was the contemporary accompanying music composed by Nitish who accompanied on keyboards, tabla, piano and his favorite keytar, while maintaining the sweetness of the golden melodies. A uniquely noteworthy piano interlude was played by Nitish for the song “Hi Vaat Dura Jaate” sung by Deepali.  The Nivedan written and narrated by Manasi Bedekar was deeply meaningful and appealed to the audience to help preserve and enrich the Marathi Culture.  She poured her heart out making this program more beautiful. The audience liked and appreciated the music group as well as the production support team that worked hard to deliver good sound engineering, attractive stage set up and costumes, purposeful lighting effects and the high esthetic appeal.

Little more about our little Master: Nitish and his parents – our dear friends Shirish and Medha Kulkarni came to Houston in 2003. Nitish became known to Houston’s music lovers ever since he participated in HMM’s special musical programs Krishna Sakha (2004) and the Ganapati Gauri Pandhari (first version 2005). Since his childhood Nitish showed natural instincts to diversify as well as to go deeper into music. He opted for music major in college because he chose to make music his career and life!  After graduating in Music (2015) from Indiana, Nitish won admission into the prestigious Berklee College of Music at Valencia, Spain where he completed MA in Music Production, Technology and Innovation! Thus, Nitish is already recognized as a young musical maestro in his own right.



Nitish has always demonstrated the qualities of a honey bee when it comes to music. He participates in musical activities with open mind and enjoys and appreciates every sweet sound of music regardless of where and from whom it comes to him. Thus, he connects easily with performing artists and listeners independent of the genre of music irrespective of an artist’s age, gender, race, nationality, and level of expertise! Often I have watched him use music effectively as a language of communication world over.

Music exists in our minds as an ornamentation of silence created by the swaras (Swami Chinmayananda). It makes our minds peaceful and joyful. Nitish has succeeded in designing and producing Sur Olakhiche such that it is melodious (shravaniya) as well as pleasing to the eyes (darshaniya). Let me conclude by congratulating the entire team of Sur Olakhiche for presenting a very enjoyable and novel musical program. They maintained high professional standards as well as entertained and pleased us all.