Hariprasad Chaurasia's performance was full of enchanting melody and recreated the rains.

The annual ‘Barkha Ritu' showered upon the metros under the aegis of Banyan Tree. Ushering in the monsoon, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia's flute concert replicated the song of the koyal as it wound up its seasonal cooing. The rain-drop ridden, lush green, illuminated backdrop set the mood of the theme. The Chaurasia magic is something to reckon with.

The fairly long alaap of Brindavan Malhar laced the harmonious raag with a touch of expertise. The veteran's ‘bansuri' conjured up images of dripping raindrops, drenched earth, meadows, valleys, flora, dancing peacocks, cooing birds, joyous animals –in short the entire nature agog with joy at the sight of rain. It takes only a maestro like Chaurasia to picturise real-life scenario adroitly with his magical flute! Not to miss the trademark Chaurasia with the tapering notes abruptly being taken to a finale and the short syllabic notes to beat. His staying power was amazing to say the least.

The cascading notes of Brindavan Malhar had a Wordsworth like effect on the audience. It fell into the ears like a gushing waterfall sprinkling welcome droplets on a soul parched under the metro artificiality. The support provided by Sunil was equally mellifluous and went hand in hand with the maestro's style. Vijay Ghate on the tabla was superb as he drummed in total cohesion with the ‘bansuri' alternating between subdued tones and enthusiastic beat.

Behaag took us on a trip heavenwards. The flute opened up the skies that were cloud-cast with birds singing in anticipation of the first showers. Chaurasia's flute was able to generate an aura of stillness that usually goes before the torrential rain touches the earth.

His challenges to the tabla were met with eager deftness by Ghate. The banter between the two was a pleasure to watch.

The concert wrapped up with a dhun in Pahadi which skipped and danced in tune with the undulations of the hills and dales in folk style. It was reminiscent of a ditty. The toe-tapping rise and fall was easy on the ear. Ravindra Bharati played host to this melodious evening.


French honour for Hariprasad Chaurasia November 3, 2010