With an excellent response for my earlier blog on “mangala Gauriche khel“, I was inspired to write more about those working in that area.
Couple of my next blogs will see exclusive interviews with those who have worked relentlessly and taken our culture to a level which they themselves never thought of.
Today, I got an opportunity to meet someone who inspired me in her own way. She is the one who started the group called “Swanandi” who performs mangala gauriche khel and has been managing the same for 25+ years.
Kanchan(Mausami) Mule is 64 years now, and when I saw her I was amazed.
Kanchan Kaku as I call her fondly, is born and brought up in Pune. She completed her schooling from “Gopal high school” and graduation in B.A(Marathi) from Sir Purshottam College (SP college).
She inherited music from her father “Bal Mate” and was very active in sports since her childhood. “I just can’t sit at one place and need to do something or other” says Kanchan Kaku while serving me the tea.
When I asked her “where did you learn Mangala Gauriche Khel from”? She smiled and said that she used to participate in every Mangala Gaur program that used to happen in neighborhood and simply absorb by observing. There is no Guru as such or one person to whom she can give the credit to.
In today’s date Swanandi has already performed 661 programs at various occasions like Dohale Jevan, Mehendi, Barsa and other political gatherings including the Shravani Tuesdays and hopes to complete 700 shows in this season.
They have traveled all cities in Maharashtra and have also showcased their talent in Goa and Rajasthan. “If the host is willing to pay for our Travel and accommodation” we can travel anywhere.
Swanandi does not like time limits imposed on them while performing, as that is unfair to every person in the group. They have a pre-decided sequence and any change in time allotment disturbs their entire performance. However, performing for so many years have helped them learn the way to overcome any challenges they come across.
Having performed with Smita Talwalkar and Madhu Kambikarji, Kanchan Kaku feels herself as fortunate and blessed.
She has about 40 ladies of different age group, financial background, and profession performing with her. She has shared her skill with almost 2000+ ladies so far and is well connected with most of them.
Some of them join for fun, some with the thought to retain our culture and some for source of income is what she mentioned. They practice throughout the year and now each person in the group is a pro.
“We don’t perform for money, but we do need it to manage our costumes and other logistics though. Swanandi has got immense respect, love and success which is more important than the remuneration paid to us” says she.
She writes her own scripts for compering, designs the games per program requirement and sometimes on the spot, choreograph the sequence and make sure program is catchy. She does this while managing her own household and understanding every team members problems/aspirations.
While we were talking, I looked around and found her beautiful picture in Navari saree and was amazed as she had done modelling for “Swamini-shop”.
I asked her if I could get a softcopy. She did not have one as it was taken sometime back when digital world did not exist. I used my phone and created a soft copy. I could see her blushing when I told her that I will whatsapp her the image
It is so difficult to find out such dynamos who believe in growing and doing something for our culture. Who have the vision to take it to every door if they could and we at festivals and more salute such power houses…
Kanchan Kaku may “Swanandi” achieve all the heights it can!!!
Snippet of the Interview:
Also, it can be found at