Deekshita captivated rasikas with her sonorous voice
The Srinivasa Sastri Hall at Luz has been the launch pad for many a stalwart. On that premise and also because V. Deekshita has all the necessary facets that go into making a fine, classical vocalist, this writer feels she has a bright future.
At her concert for G.K. Foundation Trust, this young singer began with the varnam ‘Vanajaakshi’ in Behag, Adi. It was as sweet and original in composition as it was novel. The second item is not commonly heard: ‘Ganapatiyeundan’ in Mohanam, a composition of Thanjavur Sankara Iyer. Her 10-minute alapana in Dharmavati displayed a fine sense of aesthetics and balance, with which Ashok Mellur's violin blended well.
After Dikshitar's ‘Parantaamavati Paramesvarayuvati,’ Deekshita took the audience through niraval and kalpanaswaras -- which appeared disproportionately long-winded.
‘Saarasadala Nayana’' in Khamas , also of Dikshitar, had commendable bhava and lakshana, and was a pleasure to listen to. Expectedly this was followed by a brisk piece, Tyagaraja's ‘Sreepate’ in Nagasvarali, Desadi, delivered impeccably. An artist who can treat kirtanas with reverence cannot fail to click with a discerning audience. The ten-minute Thodi alapana was again wholesome, and made the raga stand out, occasional undirected rambles notwithstanding. In durita-kaala sancharas, Deekshita displayed a dynamic range extending to the upper dhaivata, without sacrificing melody or precision. Ashok backed it up with his own version of the raga adequately.
Tyagaraja's ‘Kaddunuvaariki’ moved at a royal pace. The 15-minute alapana between the vocalist and violinist and the 20-minute kirtana, with niraval and swaras was so absorbing that no one noticed the passage of time; it’s an indicator of how the team on stage could sustain audience attention. Mridangam artist Payoor Gopalakrishnan's thani was masterful, original and pleasant, if short. There were, however, several passages during the concert in which his strokes, obtrusively loud, intruded the nuances of the singing.
Deekshita's viruttam in Tamil, ‘Nalam Tarum, Kalvi Tarum’ in Pantuvarali, Atana, Bhairavi, Saranga and ending with Madhyamavati, was a brilliant manifestation of her tastefulness. It was full of spiritual essence, and culminated in the song ‘Karpagame.’ Till the last item, a thillana in Poornachandrika, Deekshita and her team held the audience captive, which had swelled up from a mere handful to fill half the hall.