Hindustani music took centre stage on the last few days of the Yaksha festival in Coimbatore. T.K. GANAPATHY

(This is the second part of the write-up on the Yaksha Festival of Dance and Music, held at the open-air theatre of the Isha Yoga Centre, in the Velliangiri hills in Coimbatore.)

With his dexterous fingers, sitar ustad Pt. Kushal Das recreated the romantic flavour of the evening raga, Jhinjhoti, followed by two compositions in teen taal of sixteen beats, on the fifth day of the Yaksha Fest. The artist brought out the raag’s many shades and subtle nuances in the alap, jhod and jhala. With the unfolding of the raga in a steady stream of notes, Kushal Das’s improvisations came to the fore, enthralling the listeners.

The slow and fast sargams enraptured the cognoscenti. He concluded the recital with a Mishra dhun in Shivaranjani, preceded by a brief alap. YogeshShamsi’s tabla synchronised admirably with the sitar.

Commendable Jugalbandi

The flautist duo, Rakesh Chaurasia (the nephew of Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia) and Shashank Subramanyan, showcased their flair for complex aspects of Hindustani and Carnatic music, respectively. They were accompanied by Anubrata Chatterjee on the tabla and Satish Kumar Patri on the mridangam.

Their relish for the challenges on the bansuri came to the fore in the opening number in Vachaspathi in Roopak taal. Their fluency in the alap, jhod and jhala revealed their superb control over their instrument. The tanam played by the virtuosos was appealing.

The top and the low octaves played alternatively in quick succession and the swara sallies between them compelled Rakesh to observe, “I can’t play this fast.” The Hamsadhwani kriti ‘Vatapi Ganapathim’ demonstrated the gimmickry of both without sacrificing the soul of the melody. The lively and vibrant tani of Anubrata Chatterjee and Satish Kumar Patri completed the sumptuous musical fare.

Range of emotions

The hypnotic spell cast by Ashwini Bhide Deshpande in her Hindustani vocal recital on the concluding day, took the audience to the heights of sublimity. The vidushi could express emotions as varied as contemplation, romantic yearning and bhakti with the same fluency and gusto. Her extraordinary ability to control her resonant voice and give lyrical meaning, left the audience awe-struck.

Belonging to the Jaipur Atrauli Gharana, Ashwini opened with a vilambit khayal in teen taal in Yaman followed by a madhyamakala composition in nine beats and a drut in teen taal in a well-modulated, powerful voice. It was manna to the ears. The number ‘Me Meri Mann Jaoongi’ reached a crescendo and took the audience to ecstatic heights.

The Kabir bhajan, which she sang at the request of the children of the Isha Home School, was a Mishra dhun jhap taal, ‘Dukh Me Sumiran Sab Kare, Sukh Me Karena Koyi,’ was a moving rendition. Yogesh Samsi (tabla) and Ravindar Katoti (harmonium) were commendable in their support.

Each night, the concerts were followed by a procession of the Linga Bhairavi utsava murthi around the parikrama of the Dhyanalinga. The Hindu was media partner of the Fest.