Amol Palekar makes first documentary on Kishori Amonkar

MUMBAI: The first-ever documentary on music stalwart Kishori Amonkar has been made by Amol Palekar and his wife Sandhya Gokhale.

The 72-minute long film Bhinna Shadja will be screened in Pune at the National Film Archive of India on 30 August.

Talking of how the idea was conceived, Palekar recalls, "Once, she was chatting with me after a concert and the topic of documentaries on different maestros came up. I asked her why there wasn’t even one on her and she said, ‘You are the kind of person who should make it.’ I was taken aback by her response but did not say anything at that moment."

The duo took more than six weeks to respond, which upset Amonkar. But they used that period for homework, looking at more than 40 films and documentaries on various legends from art and culture. "This gave us an idea as to what we shouldn’t be doing," recollects Gokhale.

After a lot of thought, they decided to only focus on her art, her contribution to music and her thought process without going into the nitty gitties. "We were not sure whether she would agree to this or not. However, when we met her, she gave us complete freedom of interpretation. That was a great relief for us considering that in the past, many people including Vijaya Mehta and Nana Patekar did approach her for making a documentary but that didn’t work out," averred Palekar.

Shot in Goa, Mumbai and Pune, the film features music stalwarts such as Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, all recalling their association with Amonkar and her music.

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