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Baithak Initiative Building Artistic Connections

How The Culture Café of Vic is using The Old Concept Of 'Baithak' to Unlock A New Audience For Hindustani Music here in Melbourne Australia

Appreciating Indian Classical Music in Baithak style

What started as a hobby activity for Mrinal Mandsorwale in 2017 in NSW Sydney , has flourished today into a growing not-for-profit organization The Culture Café of Victoria who works with Artists , emerging artists and more than 20 students and from 12 music and arts schools in Australia

The café runs multiple initiatives – from Sangeeta mehfils , Karaoke shows to dance (Pure Arts) concerts and workshops for a variety of audiences including young and emerging musicians.

The café also conducts music research. Check out our programs page to know more about our current initiative Six lives

The Culture Café

Baithak Initiative Building Artistic Connections

Why the Café Baithak style

Music is celebrated and revered for not only being entertaining but highly meditative and this is the sole purpose of forming Baithak to connect people and art irrespective of societal divides and backgrounds as well as to promote young upcoming musicians and emerging artists

The tradition of Baithak in Hindustani Classical music involves the artists and the listeners coming together in an informal setting in a relatively small closed space. It is considered the purest form of musical performance as per the traditions of Hindustani Classical music. The idea is that the listeners get an unadulterated and untampered taste of music, from close quarters.

Many great performances by legendary artists have taken place in such Baithak over the centuries where listeners were treated to great music.

The setting is rewarding for the artists as well as they can interact directly with the audience. When spontaneous and unbridled aahs and waahs emanate from the audience as the artist reaches the sam or strikes an interesting note, it leaves a very fulfilling and inspiring effect on the artist as well

But this tradition of Baithak, once the soul of Hindustani Classical music, has been on a definite downswing for the last few decades. The ever-busy and fast-paced city life, ever-increasing travelling distances within the city, and the new threat of COVID made it more rarer.

What is The Culture Café Baithak style?

The Culture Café Baithak is a traditional mini-concert, where musicians of all types perform in close proximity to an intimate gathering of listeners, in an informal yet interactive atmosphere.

These monthly events offer a stage for upcoming artists and young maestros to share their talent and take eager music-lovers along on their musical, cultural and spiritual journey.


“Baithak” in Hindi literally means “a sit-down gathering.” In Hindustani Classical Music tradition, a Baithak is a musical performance in a homely and intimate environment where musicians perform in close proximity to the audience as opposed to a more formal concert on a stage or for a large gathering.

The Culture Café initiative of Baithak was initiated here in Melbourne in 2021 and by have been organized regularly in Melbourne since 2022 and have been very well-received by the community.

These gatherings aim to elevate the atmosphere of performing arts recitals beyond just entertainment. The artists forging deeper connections with the audience transform the space to a spiritual assembly.

Established and upcoming artists of Indian music are regularly invited to perform at the Baithak. The objective of these events is not only giving a platform for artists to perform but also allowing them to share their musical journey with the community. The informal, interactive and educative atmosphere opens a gateway of musical exchange between the artists and the audience, greatly enriching the experience of art lovers and students of Indian music who attend the Baithak.

The Café Baithak is an inclusive organization. If you feel you can participate and contribute to any of our activities in any manner, feel free to talk to us or email us!

We believe that all Indian and Western art forms are practicing art forms – their practice and Sadhana helps us be more sensitive human beings and creates a strong foundation for a meaningful life.

Tune into this space to find out how you can subscribe to this programme in the future.



The Culture café of Victoria is a bold artistic house proudly based in the North of Melbourne in the Hume council Municipality on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people.

We support local arts and artists to thrive in the ARTS sector. We encourage everyone to participate in the arts by: partnering with a range of local arts organisations through annual grant funding or low-cost leases promoting exciting and interesting arts programs for you to participate in or attend commissioning dynamic and engaging public art for everyone’s enjoyment making it easy for you to organise your own events, by helping you find suitable spaces and applying for permits you need.

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