Shubha Mudgal and her team kept the audience spellbound

In a mesmerising evening, Shubha Mudgal regaled the audience with khayal, thumri and bhajan at The Music Academy this past weekend.

Well known for her khayal, thumri and dadra, Shubha Mudgal trained under Pandit Ramashreya Jha “Ramrang,” Pandit Vinaya Chandra Maudgalya and Pandit Vasant Thakar. Her style was moulded by maestros Jitendra Abhisheki and Kumar Gandharva. Her thumri came out with authentic flavour because of the years she has spent under Naina Devi, who taught her the nuances of thumri singing.

Shubha, at this concert, had a perfect team. So seamless were they that they kept the audience spellbound. Accompanying on the tabla was Aneesh Pradhan. Sudhir Nayak was on the harmonium. One wished that the tabla would always be so unobtrusive and arresting as it was at this concert. That cannot be said of many concerts, where the tabla player aggressively overwhelms the main artist.

An artist like Shubha needs to be heard for much longer than the one-and-a-half-hours that she was restricted to that day.

In short, the entire ambience was one of quiet elegance and grace bringing to the mind’s eye the beauty of the unpredictable Krishna and effervescent Gopis depicted in Persian miniature paintings.

Shubha began the evening with a brief alaap in Madhuvanti and the composition in vilambit ektal ‘Laal Ke Naina.’ She continued in the same raag (Madhuvanti) in madhya laya teental with the composition ‘Jhanak Jhan Baaje.’

Shubha’s penchant for dwelling on the lower nishads and middle octave madhyams in Madhuvanti fascinated. Shubha then went on to a thumri in Desh in smashing style, ‘Jhoole Naval Hindore.’

She ended the evening with ‘Kare Ab Kaun Bahana,’ a bhajan in Maaj Khamaj.

She brought out Maaj Khamaj’s predominant mood that is sringar and wonder at the unpredictable nature of the world. Pandit Chaurasia, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan have revelled in this raag. Shubha has sung the title song for Star Plus serial, ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum,’ with Kailash Kher.

‘Song for a Cause’ was organised by The Pemanda Monappa Trust.