Radio network Big FM ushered in the auspicious occasion of Mahalaya on September 17 as it played the Big Mahalaya, recreated in the melodious voice of singer Swagata Laxmi. The radio network played the programme at 4 am across 18 stations including Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Surat, Guwahati among others.
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Mahalaya is celebrated at the end of Shradh or Pitri Paksha, a 16-day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors. It is believed that goddess Durga descended on the Earth on Mahalaya. For over 80 years, Bengalis all over India have been observing Mahalaya, listening to the recital of Mahishasura Mardini. Generally, Durga Puja happens after one week of Mahalaya but this year it will happen after over one month.
Big Mahalaya is being made available across more than 20 podcast platforms this year, reaching out to over 10 million consumers. While the digital reach has been exceptional, over 2.3 million listeners tuned in to the 46 minutes special on air during the wee hours.
Mahalaya has always been recited in a male voice, that of Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s, which is listened on radio by over 10 crore Bengalis. However, breaking the cultural norm while keeping its ideologies firmly rooted in traditions, Big FM’s rendition of the divine melody reinforces the ideals of inclusivity and equality. Durga Puja has always been a true representation of an empowered woman and Big Mahalaya is a befitting reimagination of the sacred chant with a new and unconventional perspective.
Sunil Kumaran, Country Head, Product, Marketing and Thwink Big, Big FM, said, “Durga Puja is one of the most celebrated festivals in India and we were keen to give our listeners a combination of tradition with a hint of freshness. The campaign that challenged the status quo and brought about a positive change was well-received among our listeners, and this year we are glad that we could embrace the same spirit of joy and inclusivity. We are also happy to share the recreated version of the classic for our listeners across leading audio streaming platforms. With this, we hope to bring everyone together in welcoming the upcoming festivities.”
Big Mahalaya is already live on Spotify, Aawaz, Hubhopper, Bullhorn, Listen Notes and will be soon available on other platforms such as Gaana, Google Play Music, Amazon Alexa, Saregama Carvaan, Ola Play, Samsung Bixby, Tune In, Google Podcasts, Podkicker, Apple, I Hearts, Digital podcast, Player FM and many others.