In the post on Trinity Club (The Spaces of Music 6), I had talked about the importance of the venue in the musical precinct of Girgaum. Here I want to introduce the project’s Research Interviews, hosted on https:/pad.ma under Mumbai Music. One of our interviews was with Balasaheb Tikekar, President of the committee running Trinity Club. Describing how it all began under the patronage of pre-eminent singer Bhaskarbuwa Bakhle, Balasaheb said:
Tar koni tari peti aanli, tabla aanla, aani tya jaage madhaye gaana gana suruvat jhali, gappa marne aata. (So someone brought the harmonium, the tabla and they started singing in that space and people would come and chat.)
Aata Trinity Club cha udesha kai hota hi jaga sthapana maage Bhaskarbuancha? Ki je bahergaon je kalakar yetat gaanare mhana, vaajavnare mhana tya lokana jaaga rahala ashi navti kutech (What was Bhaskarbua’s aim in establsihing in Trinity Club? Bhaskarbua’s aim in establishing the Trinity club was to provide a space for musicians who would travel and did not have a space to stay) Te ek karyakramapurti ka hoi na te aapla jaaget ithe yaayche aani rahaiche tithe aapla vyaysay pan karaiche sangeetacha aani jaiche parat. (Even if it was just for their programmes they would come and stay here for their business and leave.) Ase moth mothe kalakar jithe yet asat rahat asat. (A lot of famous artists would come and stay here.)
Balasaheb’s association with the Club began in 1955-56, nearly fifty years after it was established. Speaking of those days he said: Pan kahi divasani kahi lokani tharavla ki aapan apla weekly basat jauya gaayala Shanivar kinva Ravivar asa kahi tari tharavuya. Tya pramane Ravivar tharla asa sakali 10 vajta gayala basaicha (After a few days some people decided we should have weekly music sessions on the weekends and they decided to have it on Sunday mornings at 10.) Aani peti tabla koni tari bhetaiche arre majhi peti aahe, majha tabla aahe. Mahjya kade tanpura aahe mag tanpure jamuya aapan tanpure aanaiche (and we would find someone who had instruments – someone would offer their harmonium, some other would bring the tabla. Somebody would say “I have a tanpura.” We would go and bring them). Asa karun aamche karkyakram suru karaiche kon gaayla mhanaiche. “Ha tumhi tabla vajavta ka? thoda basa tabla vajva koni peti aahe ka peti wala? ki chala ya.Tumhi gaata ka chala basa madhye basa bajula tabla aani peti aahe.” (This is how the programmes started. Someone used to sing and we would ask, “Can you play the tabla? Come play for sometime and then is there anyone who can play the harmonium? Do you sing? Come and sit here in the centre, the harmonium and tabla will be right next to you.”)
Asa karun gayala suruvat jhali te majha aiklyanantar aankhi lok aale te mhanale ki chala bara ithe aaplyala jaga aahe ganya saathi and sagle loka aahet aani sagli instruments vagare aahet mhanun ase lok jamaila laagli (This is how the music sessions started and soon the word spread and more people came. They said this was good, there was a space to sing and there were instruments, and people started attending.)
Koni tari lead ghyaycha ki chala me baba yeto aaj chaha mhajya kadun tumhala saglyana chaha. Sgalyana chaha dyaycha… konala paan aani. Paan khayche tyavelela tambaku paan, supari vagere paancha tabak asayche. Lok pan bin khayche aani konacha vaadh divas asel kahi asel tar kai pedehe, khaana peena (Someone would take the lead and sponsor tea for everyone, or paan. People would eat paan in those days – betelnut with tobacao, areca nut etc. There would be a plate full of paan. People ate paan, if it was someone’s birthday or something they offered sweets, food and drinks.)
Aata tumhi prashna vicharaal hya jaagecha bhada bida kon det hota? Pan ashech kone tari denekare ganyache shaukin mandali aani te je mukhya te he hote te baghatach hote tyancha laksha hota aani tyanchi parvangi ghetleli ki amhi Trinity Club hya jaage saathi aamhi hi jaga deleli aahe, tyamule paise denya ghenacha. Bara ticket lavnacha asa kai prashnach navta. Tyamule kon hi yaava kon hi gaava. (Now you may ask me who was paying the rent for this place. But there were many generous music lovers and we had the permission of the owner of the space to run the Trinity Club in that space. So there was no question about the giving and taking of money or charging people for tickets. It was open to all to come, and all to sing.)
The board on the door of Trinity Club says – for members only. When asked how one became a member, Balasaheb explained: Aani ulat Trinity Club chalvaicha mag tyala he kai pravesh fee kai? Tar amhi tharavla ki pravesh fee kahi nahi jo regular yeil toh member. Jo regular tithe yeil aapla tabla vajan kareil, aapla gayan kareil, peti vajan kareil, chaar lokan madhey mix hoel, raheel vaigere. hyacha karta membership nahi. Hi membership aahe. Tar ashya tarini te chalu jhala aani mag lokancha madhye naav hoila lagli ithe jaaga ashi aahe Girgaon madhaye hi ashi jaaga aahe tenva aapan tithe gayala basuya (If we had to run Trinity Club what would be the entry fee? We decided that anyone who is regular is a member. The ones who come regularly and play the tabla, sings or plays the harmonium, mingles with the people. Therefore, there was no membership fee. Regular attendance was the membership. This is how it started and soon it became popular among people that there there’s a place like this in Girgaon and we should go there and sing.)
Balasaheb’s wife Sumathi Tikekar added: Ani Club ha commercial navta tyamule kai ((The club was not commercial so…)
Paisha bicha prashna nahi. (so there was no question of money), continued Balasaheb.
Concluded Sumathi Tikekar, Ganya cha fakta pahije. (We wanted only music).
Translation: Trupti Kanade
The full interview can be viewed at https://pad.ma/DGF/info
Although the image below doesn’t show any women, we were told that they used to attend the performances regularly.
Inside Trinity Club
Photo: Hemangi Kadu