Streets in Mumbai are named after personalities from different fields, but seldom do the name plaques carry biographical sketches about them. I have yet to come across a directory, online or offline, published by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which not only gives a list of street names but also provides short information about individuals whose names adorn these plaques.

In the situation, the idea of naming a street after one or the other individual, in most cases, seems to be a half-hearted attempt at acknowledging their contribution to society, or at best, a haphazard way of doing so.

A street in Borivali is named after Malharrao Kulkarni, the noted bansuri player who lived in the area and contributed greatly to promoting Hindustani music in that part of the city. He began his journey with music as a tabla player, and later, turned to bansuri. In 1963, he established a music school called Swar Sadhana Mandir where he trained numerous students in tabla and bansuri. He also organised several music programmes in Borivali. The fact that a street has been named after him is ample proof of his popularity in the area.

We listen to Malharrao Kulkarni’s rendition of the raag Malkauns. He plays two compositions, the first set to the seven-matra Rupak and the second to a fast-paced 16-matra Teentaal. Bansuri support is provided by his son and disciple Rupak Kulkarni, who is also one of the leading disciples of bansuri maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia, and tabla accompaniment is provided by his son Raghavendra Kulkarni.

One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a widely recognised performer, teacher, composer and scholar of Hindustani music. Visit his website here.



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