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THE QUEEN OF NAUTANKI
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Kala Kunj our cultural organization was hosting another programme in 1982 to felicitate some of the famous women personalities who had done commendable work in their respective fields. That year the committee decided to invite Gulab Bai along with kathak exponent  ALaknanda Devi the elder sister of Sitara Devi, Chhaya Devi the great actress of Bengal films, Kamalini Dutt another Bharatanatyam exponent and director doordarshan archives , Dr. usha k Luthra Director AIIMR  and Manu Bhandari the famous writer. Since my husband Ravi Jain, kathak exponent and choreographer and an electrical engineer by profession, knew Gulab Bai vaguely from the days he studied in Lucknow university, decided to go to Kanpur and request her to come for the show.

He remembered the times when he would visit small places to see the performances of Gulab Theatre Company throughout the night. She would travel to various places in trucks loaded with equipment which she owned and sat like a queen amongst her co artists in the green room.

Everything was just the opposite when he visited her residence in Kanpur to invite her for the kala kunj programme. Gulab Bai was leading a secluded life and her health was also not on her side. It was really sweet of her to have accepted our invitation to come to Delhi for the felicitation.

It was a task indeed, to receive her at the station and make her stay in Delhi comfortable because she had  difficulty in walking, this we realized later.

After the felicitations, Gulab Bai sang a couple of her favourite songs which were being enjoyed by quite a few of her fifty years or so old fans in the audience. On my husband’s request Gulab Bai  sang “nadi naare  na  jaao  shyam  paiyyan  paroon”.I bet this 1982 recording is only with Kala Kunj. Perhaps the only one. I don’t know how much Gulab Bai was paid when this song was included in one of the bollywod films because this was the song which swept away the audience off their feet during her hey days.

Written by Kathak Exponent Nalini Malhotra Jain


Created Date:  3/20/2021 3:37:00 PM
Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj 3 Chief Guest Justice Madan B. Lokur, Dr.Ashok Chakradhar,  Ranjana Subberwal Guru Nalini Malhotra Jain with Dr.Ashok Chakradhar Renowned astrologer Pt. Ajai bhambi, as chief guest Ustad Rehmat Khan Langa, renowned Rajasthani Folk  singer Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj Kalakunj