Bhubaneswar: At the Sangit Kala Kendra Awards virtual function, Mrs. Rajashree Birla, President, Sangit Kala Kendra, announced the name of renowned actor Naseeruddin Shah, as the recipient of the coveted Aditya Vikram Birla Kalshikhar Puraskar. Alongside, two emerging stars, in the firmament of theatrics – Neel Choudhary and Irawati Karnik were awarded the Aditya Vikram Birla Kalakiran Puraskars. This distinguished gathering was graced by Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Mrs. Neerja Birla and the extended Aditya Birla family.
Addressing the gathering, Mrs. Rajashree Birla, President, Sangit Kala Kendra, stated, “Today we rejoice, the spirit of our, Founder President, Shri Aditya Vikram Birla and his love for the performing arts. As you know, the Sangit Kala Kendra’s, ‘Aditya Vikram Birla, Kalashikhar Puraskar’ and the ‘Kalakiran Puraskars’, were instituted in 1996, as a befitting memorial to, Adityaji and through it, create a significant pathway, for a singular recognition, of exemplary talent, in this domain”.
She further added, “Theatre is the central theme, for this year’s awards. A few of you may recount, Adityaji’s love of the theatre and his donning the mantle of an actor in the two plays ‘Pragat Bhaye Nandlala’ and ‘Kaya Kalap’ under the banner of Sangit Kala Kendra. At a personal level, both Adityaji and I, loved watching plays and films. A lot of our Sunday evenings were thus spent. Among our favourite actors was Mr Naseeruddin Shah, whom we watched in theatres and on screen. It is wonderful to have you with us, Naseeruddinji”.
.Mrs. Rajashree Birla, President, Sangit Kala Kendra, was all praise for Naseeruddin Shah’s illustrious career and averred, “Mr. Naseeruddin Shah, upon whom, the Kalashikhar Puraskar is to be conferred today, is an iconic actor. His breakthrough roles have hit both the screen and the theatre, for now over 40 years. The films and the theatre roles, still keep rolling and we see him do the most challenging roles with amazing ease, getting into the skin of the character. Having you, receive this Award, Naseeruddinji, is truly a fulfilling moment, for all of us at Sangit Kala Kendra. We respect you and we admire you”.
She fondly recalled late Pandit Jasraj and observed, ” On this occasion, I would like to say a few words, as a tribute to Pandit Jasraji, who was very close to our family. and the Sangit Kala Kendra. Pandit Jasraji’s image, looms large in the global world, of classical, mystical music. In this field, he was an ambassador par excellence, unparalleled. So, it is very apt that, the ‘Indian Astronautical Union’ has named, a planet after Pandit Jasrajji, for a life, dedicated to music, as you saw in the video. With this, Panditji is the first global Indian, to join a galaxy of immortal composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven and Pavarotti. We are immensely proud of Panditji”.
Mrs Birla congratulated emerging stars Neel Choudhary and Irawati Karnik. With great joy, she further added, “Ever so often, I meet talent from various fields, be it dance, or classical music, or painting, in fact, any of the performing arts. And they admit that to get the ‘Aditya Birla Kala Kiran Puraskar’ would be a dream come true. It fills us with joy and pride. I am sure you feel, so too. We owe all of this to having, a stellar panel of judges, year in and year out. Their contribution to the process of evaluation has been invaluable. They lend honesty and heft. This year our distinguished panel of judges comprised of Nadira Babbar, Sanjna Kapoor, Akash Khurana, Sunil Shanbagh and Chhaya Ganguly”.
She concluded by thanking the Judges and the Sangit Kala members. Shaan and Neeti Mohan excelled in their musical performances. It was truly an evening of celebration, joyous engagement and great enrichment.