A Tribute to the late Ranjana Jhaveri

ranjana-jhaveri, manipuri dancerranjana-jhaveri-manipuri-dance

Those my age would remember the four Jhaveri sisters Nayana (eldest), Ranjana, Suvarna and Darshana, who became famous beginning the late fifties for their beautiful Manipuri dances. In those days it was bold of parents to have encouraged girls to pursue a career in dance. The Jhaveri sisters learnt it with dedication under Guru Bipin Singh and developed such proficiency that they had invitations to perform in major cities of India and abroad. In Gujarat, we do not seem to be aware that Ranjanaben (87) passed away on January 17.

The gracefully delicate slow-paced devotional Manipuri classical dance suited Ranjanaben’s gentle amiable demeanour, as in fact it did all four sisters from a highly refined family. She was cast as the Nayika in a string of dance dramas Bipin Singh produced. She became synonymous with the character of Radha in those days. She used to give solo performances as well. Among the dance dramas that became popular were Abhisarika, Khandita, Krushna Roop Varnan and Pontha Jagoi. Darshana Jhaveri keeps coming to Ahmedabad from time to time from Mumbai. It was Ranjanaben who came to receive the Gaurav Puraskar awarded to Darshanaben in 2007.

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