A musical on the life of Swami Vivekananda

Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror

All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that. Stand up and express the divinity within you," said Swami Vivekananda who was one of the greatest thinkers of the 19th century.

Vivekananda sparked off the process of cultural rejuvenation and religious reform which shaped the consciousness of a nation waiting to be born.

The format which Shekhar Sen has adopted is a familiar one, with text and message neatly woven into songs and lyrics.

The actor-singer has had a string of successful musical plays to his credit. He is now one of the most recognised faces on the Hindi stage.

"Like my earlier play on Kabir and Tulsi, the play on Vivekanand too is a vehicle to spread his message as well as philosophy.
Very few people know that Swami Vivekanand was a well-trained musician," says Shekhar Sen. In his autobiography, Ramkrishnabuwa Vaze, a renowned singer recorded that he had heard and learned a dhrupad from Swami Vivekanand who was well-versed in forms like the khyal, devotional bhajans as well as tappa.

He also wrote tracts on music which are still relevant to researchers. Shekhar Sen has incorporated all these diverse musical forms into the musical play.

Both Sen’s parents Arunkumar and Anita were veteran musicians. Shekhar Sen has inherited their legacy. However, he did not choose to venture into a career of a classical singer.

He brought out over 200 CDs of devotional songs. "Later on, I began to feel that singing lyrics of the saint poets was not enough. It is necessary to weave together their lives which led me to the musical theatre," says Shekhar Sen.

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