Raghuram Krishnan charmed the audience with his soulful rendition of choice ghazals by past and present ghazal legends.

The ‘Ghazal Sandya’ featuring up-and-coming ghazal singer Raghuram Krishnan, in the company of reputed musicians, enthralled the audience at TDM Hall, Kochi, recently. The singer could easily strike a chord with the huge gathering with his repertoire that was packed with popular numbers. Raghuram also sang two of his own ghazals in Malayalam.

Raghuram, a native of Kochi, learnt Carnatic music and then Hindustani music but chose to perfect his creativity with ghazals. He has learnt the mridangam as well.

Incidentally, Raghuram did not begin with a ghazal but chose a Rajasthani folk song – ‘Kesariya balam ka…’ instead. The song opens with the soothing notes of the sarangi. Next, he sang a ghazal by the late Jagjit Singh, the melodious ‘Tum itna jo muskra rahe ho’. This was followed by the touching Mehdi Hassan numbers ‘Dil ki baat…’ in raga Bageshree and ‘Hum hi mein thi na koi baat’.

To pay his respects to ghazal singer Umbayi who was sitting right in front in the audience, Raghuram recited a few lines of Umbayi’s hit song ‘Veendum padaam sakhi ninakkai…’ and then smoothly shifted to to Jagjit Singh’s famous ‘Dairo-Haram’ in raga Sudha Sarang.

Fan of Hariharan

Raghuram, an ardent fan of Hariharan, next sang the singer’s ‘Andhe masti hai’. This was followed by Hariharan’s ‘Usne Jab.’ Raghuram’s training in classical music helped him easily render the songs and improvise on them too.

Ghulam Ali’s ‘Hungama hai’, Jagjit Singh’s ‘Ye daulat bhi le lo’, Ali’s ‘Kal chaudi’ and Pankaj Udhas’ ‘Tu paas hai’ followed in quick succession.

The song that the audience really enjoyed was Raghuram’s own ‘Ghazal sandya vannu veendum’ from the album ‘Madhushala’, penned by Chandran Nair and scored by Ramesh Narayan.

One felt that Raghuram could have included a few more of his own songs in the concert. Although the range of his voice was impressive throughout the recital, at times the lower notes were not audible enough. The artiste wound up the performance with ‘Udayi’, a popular Punjabi song, and ‘Dama dum mast Qalandar’, a traditional Qawwali song.

The biggest factor for the success of the ‘Ghazal Sandya’ was the excellent support given by Ahsan Ali Khan on the sarangi, Berny on the keyboard, Jerson Antony and Sameer Umbayi on the guitar, Radhakrishnan on the harmonium, Rajesh Bhagavat on tabla and Shiji on percussion.

The event was organized by BEAME and Ernakulam Karayogam.