Very few films have featured Hindustani classical music as their central theme. Dance of the Wind (or Swara Mandal) is a 1997 Hindi film, written and directed by Rajan Khosa. The film was a co-production between five countries, including UK, Germany and India. A celebration of classical music traditions, the film captures the beauty of ancient Indian music and the culture from which it emanates.
Pallavi (Kitu Gidwani), a budding Indian classical singer, is the daughter and student of celebrated classical singer, Karuna Devi (Kapila Vatsyayan). While she was still gaining her confidence, her mother expires suddenly. Due to this shock Pallavi lost not just her bearings but also her voice, subsequently she also loses her career, her students, and her husband. It is only after she meets a young street urchin, Tara and start teaching her, following the guru-shishya parampara (master-student tradition) of Indian classical music, as her mother once did with her, does she begin to find herself again, and also her voice.
The beautiful soundtrack of the film is by Shubha Mudgal, while playback was given by Shweta Jhaveri (for Pallavi), Shanti Hiranand (for Karuna Devi), and Brinda Roy Choudhuri (for Tara). Other noted artists, who worked on the soundtrack were, Sarangi maestro, Ustad Sultan Khan, and noted flautist, Ronu Majumdar.
The Concert – Shweta Jhaveri : (Download)
Tara’s Song – Brinda Roy Choudhuri : (Download)
I recently met Brinda Roy Choudhuri on eSnips.com and she was surprised that I remembered her name. She did not have copies of the songs she sang for this film (she was 11 years old then). I was too glad to oblige. She is a 25 year old, highly talented singer now. Shweta Jhaveri, as we all know, is a well known classical vocalist of today. Shanti Hiranand is better known for a biography of her guru, the legendary Begum Akhtar: The Story of my Ammi. She also played a miniscule role of Siddhartha’s mother in Conrad Rooks’ 1972 movie Siddhartha. She is a superb singer and I wonder why more of her songs are not available today.
Echoes in Time 1 – Shanti Hiranand : (Download)
Heart of Darkness – Shweta Jhaveri : (Download)
Echoes in Time 2 – Shanti Hiranand : (Download)
The film was premiered at 1997 Venice Film Festival, and became India’s official entry at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival and International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in 1998. The film went on to win the ‘Gold Plaque for Music’ at the 1998 Chicago Film Festival. However, it was commercially released in India, only in February 2008.