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Leela Roy Ghosh: A Guardian Angel

Leela Roy Ghosh: A Guardian Angel

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Published by Rohini Dandavate
A tribute to Late Leela Roy Ghosh, a singer, voice artist and copywriter from Mumbai, India
A tribute to Late Leela Roy Ghosh, a singer, voice artist and copywriter from Mumbai, India

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Published by: Rohini Dandavate on Mar 02, 2013
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02/06/2015

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Leela Roy Ghosh: A Guardian Angel

 

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Leela  Roy  Ghosh:  A  Guardian  Angel     Dr  Rohini  Dandavate   January  2013  

  Ms  Leela  Roy  Ghosh  in  her  Office,  Sound  and  Vision  India     Leela  Roy  Ghosh(Leela  di)  was  a  multi  talented  person.    An  established  singer,  voice   artist  and  copywriter,  she  was  a  graduate  of  Utkal  University  with  a  long  training  in   the  fields  of  music  and  dance.  In  Mumbai,  during  her  stint  in  the  Government  of   India  Tourist  Office,  she  gained  a  wide-­‐ranging  experience  in  the  field  of  Indian   Tourism  and  actively  promoted  India  and  its  rich  culture  in  other  countries  through   her  work.  She  was  only  64  years  old  when  passed  away  in  Mumbai  on  Friday,  May   11th,  2012,  due  to  complications  from  a  liver  transplant  surgery.    .     I  met  Leela  di  when  I  moved  to  Mumbai  in  1979,  to  pursue  further  education  and   seek  new  professional  opportunities.    Life  away  from  parents  and  home  in  a  city  like   Mumbai  was  tough.  As  fate  would  have  it,  I  happened  to  meet  Prashant  Nanda,  a   friend  and  famous  actor  who  was  then  with  Rajshri  Pictures  (P)  Ltd.  in  Mumbai.  He     2  

graciously  introduced  me  to  Leela  di,  one  of  the  kindest  individual  I  have  ever   known.  This  meeting  was  a  milestone  in  my  career.  Like  a  guardian  angel  she   quickly  took  me  under  her  fold.  Author  Rusty  Berkus,  in  his  book,  To  Heal  Again   wrote  “  There  comes  that  mysterious  meeting  in  life  when  someone  acknowledges   who  we  are  and  what  we  can  be,  igniting  the  circuits  of  our  highest  potential.” Truly, my  meeting  with  Leeladi  was  that  special  moment  of  my  life.  She  was  one  of  the  few   people,  who  recognized  my  ability  and  graciously  reached  out  to  help  me  connect   with  different  kinds  of  professionals,  find  performance  opportunities  and  harness   new  skills.  No  words  can  express  her  benevolence,  love  and  bigheartedness.  I  was   fortunate  to  have  crossed  paths  with  her  and  spent  some  crucial  years  of  my  life   under  her  guidance  and  friendship.    

  Photo:  1980-­‐  Leela  Roy  Ghosh,  Iqbal(her  colleague),  Rohini  Doshi  in  Govt.  of  India   Tourist  Office.      

 

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During  the  same  time  period  as  my  move  to  Mumbai,  Late  Pundit  Bhubaneshwar   Misra,  the  renowned  music  composer  had  been  posted  to  the  All  India  Radio  in   Mumbai  and  Late  Guru  Kelucharan  Mohapatra  (Guruji),  the  legendary  Guru  in  the   field  of  Odissi  dance  had  started  offering  Odissi  dance  workshops  in  Bhulabhai  Desai   Institute  on  the  invitation  of  Shri  Soli  Batliwala  and  later  still  in  the  National  Center   for  Performing  Arts.  Though  Guruji  had  visited  Mumbai  earlier  to  offer  personal   lessons  in  Odissi  dance  to  Dr  Menaka  Thakkar,  Jaya  Dheer,  Minal  Patel  and  a  few   others,  the  month  long  intensive  Odissi  workshops  in  Bhulabhai  Institute  and  NCPA   generated  a  deeper  interest  in  many,  attracting  new  students  and  celebrities  to   learn  Odissi  dance.  In  the  same  time  span,  Protima  Bedi  founded  Odissi  Dance   Center,  (now  known  as  Nrityagram)  in  Mumbai,  and  classes  were  offered  in  Prithvi   Theater  and  S.N.D.T.  College  and  gradually  Odissi  dance  was  becoming  a  household   name.        

 

Photo:  Performance  in  NCPA  (1980)   Ms  Leela  Roy  Ghosh,  Pundit  Bhubaneshwar  Mishra,  Rohini  Doshi.      

 

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Leela  di’s  experience  in  Odissi  music  became  useful  to  Guruji  and  Bhubaneshwar   Mishra  while  in  Mumbai.  She  was  invited  to  provide  vocal  support  for  Odissi   performances  organized  at  the  culmination  of  the  workshops.  After  her  day’s  work   in  the  Tourist  Office  she  would  put  in  endless  hours  of  rehearsals  for  the  dance   presentations.  Even  after  the  completion  of  the  workshops,  many  Odissi  dancers   continued  to  receive  her  consistent  and  unconditional  support  for  performances   and  in  furthering  their  careers  in  dance,  music  and  advertising  in  Mumbai.       Leela  di  was  one  of  the  few  individuals  who  persistently  worked  to  promote  and   propagate  Odissi  dance  and  Odissi  music  in  Mumbai  and  in  the  Tourism  industry.   Organizations  like  Vaitalik  included  Odissi  dance  presentations  in  their  program   schedules,  beside  other  dance  forms  for  tourists.  Odissi  performances  were   organized  in  the  tourist  office  premises  for  special  delegations  from  other  countries.   Screenings  of  a  documentary  on  Orissa  and  its  rich  traditions  of  dance  and  music   were  included  in  the  monthly  events  of  the  tourist  office.  She  was  posted  to  work  in   the  Government  of  India  Tourist  Office  in  London  for  approximately  four  years.   Even  while  in  the  London  office  she  was  instrumental  in  inviting  many  Odissi   dancers,  including  me  to  perform  in  London  and  in  its  vicinity.       On  her  return  on  completion  of  her  stint  in  London,  realizing  the  need  and  potential   of  dubbed  content  in  India,  she  founded  her  company  Sound  and  Vision  India  in   1993.  Leela  di  made  her  mark  in  the  voice  over  industry.  She  directed  voice  over   projects  for  most  Hollywood  films  released  in  India  and  received  high  acclaim  for   her  work.  Her  expertise  was  in  adapting  dialogue  and  music  to  merge  different   cultures  and  languages  seamlessly.    Hollywood  studios  like  Sony  Pictures,   Paramount  Films  and  Disney  invited  her  to  speak  on  her  experiences  and  the   challenges  she  faced  in  dubbing  projects  while  transcending  cultures.  Her   contribution  as  a  copywriter  and  voice  artiste  in  the  advertising  industry  for  over  20   years  is  noteworthy.  Among  the  many  accolades  and  awards  she  received  the  most   notable  was  the  Dada  Saheb  Phalke  Award,  for  her  contribution  in  the  dubbing   industry.     5  

 

  The  producer  of  epic  films  Titanic  &  Avatar  -­‐  John  Landau  with  Leela  Ghosh  &   Pradip  Das  of  Sound  &  Vision  India  and  his  Oscar     The  last  time  I  met  her  was  a  year  before  her  death.  She  kindly  offered  her  studio   and  staff  to  do  an  audio  recording  for  a  full  day.  Her  generosity  to  help  people  in  the   industry  and  train  new  hands  was  remarkable.  Amidst  her  most  busy  schedules  she   always  made  time  to  meet  her  friends  and  reach  out  in  every  possible  way.  Her   untimely  death  has  left  a  big  void  in  the  hearts  of  many  who  had  the  chance  to  know   and  work  with  her.  Her  sense  of  humor,  positive  attitude,  everlasting  energy  and  an   indescribable  will  power  enabled  her  to  tide  over  the  most  difficult  times  of  her  life.   She  treaded  the  rocky  paths  and  the  turbulence  in  her  life  with  the  same  smile  and   undying  spirit  and  arose  like  a  phoenix.       The  following  tributes  on  face  book  page  of  her  company,  Sound  and  Vision  India,   best  describes  the  inimitable  Leeladi:     “  The  Queen  who  lived  her  life  kingsize  and  was  bestowed  with  the  unique  gift  to   make  each  living  being  she  knew  feel  like  a  superstar.  She's  left  us  all  with  painful,   broken  hearts  and  a  legacy  of  unconditional  love  which  can  never  be  replaced...I  can     6  

only  endeavor  to  be  one  percent  of  the  magical  angel  guardian  that  mashi  was.   Loved  you  the  most  my  magnificient  Bengali  tigress...Sucharita  Bose     “Jab  main  Mumbai  aayaa  thaa,  aur  rozi  kaa  koi  zariyaa  nahin  thaa,  tab  tumnay   mujhay  dubbing  kaa  kaam  dekar  sambhaalaa  thaa.  Leela  Di,  ab  jo  meri  tarah  iss   shahar  aayengay  unko  kaun  sambhaalegaa?  Love  you”.  Kamlesh  Kunti  Singh     Leeladi,  an  inspiration  and  a  pillar  of  support  to  many,  left  for  her  heavenly  abode   too  soon.  Wish  we  had  many  more  years  to  experience  her  love,  infectious  laughter,   melodious  voice  and  unending  zeal  to  live  and  keep  going  even  in  the  darkest   moments  of  life.     May  her  soul  rest  in  peace.    

Rohini  Doshi-­‐Dandavate  holds  a  doctoral  degree  in  Cultural  Policy  and   Arts  Administration  from  the  Ohio  State  University  and  presently  resides  in  San   Francisco,  CA.  She  earned  her  graduate  degree  in  Odissi  dance  from  Kala  Vikas   Kendra,  College  of  Indian  Dance  and  Music,  Cuttack,  India.  Her  gurus  are  Guru   Kelucharan  Mohapatra,  Guru  Raghunath  Dutta,  Guru  Ramani  Ranjan  Jena,  and  Dr   Menaka  Thakkar.       As  an  artist  in  the  Arts  in  Education  Program  of  the  Ohio  Arts  Council,  she  has   conducted  workshops  and  lecture  demonstrations  in  Odissi  dance  for  students  in   schools  and  colleges  in  Ohio  since  1994.  She  offers  courses  in  Odissi  dance  in   educational  institutions  and  community  organizations.  Rohini’s  research   papers/articles  are  posted  at  www.scribd.com/rohinidandavate  

 

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