The concert by Wadali Brothers and Jaspinder Narula saw a mix of gurubani, ghazals, bhajans, Sufi compositions and the rare film number.
The 15th anniversary celebrations of the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) were marked by a remarkable concert of the Wadali Brothers and Jaspinder Narula. The tastefully decorated open-air stage and the lawns of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) wore a festive look. .
The evening got off to a flying start with the spirited performance of the Wadali Brothers, who opened with “Tera naam” and concluded with their popular number “Damadam mast kalandar”, doing full justice not only to the lyrics but also the ragas in which they were composed.
The fifth-generation singers from Guru ki Wadali in Amritsar district, the brothers Puran Chand and Pyare Lal Wadali have earned a huge fan following with their soulful rendering of genres like gurubani, kaafi, ghazal and bhajan. Flashes of Patiala gayaki in the vibrant voice of Puran Chand disclose his classical grooming under gurus like Pandit Durga Das and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Pyare Lal, the younger brother, is a disciple of Puran Chand himself. Hence, though he too sings well, he loves telling stories in between his performance, which causes ras bhang (interruptions) at times.
The vivacious personality and full-throated melody of Jaspinder Narula stole the show. She mesmerised the audience with her rich repertoire comprising gurubani, natiya kalam, Sufi compositions of Bulle Shah, qawwali, ghazal and her famous numbers from films.
The occasion also happened to be Guru Purab, the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Hence, Jaspinder opened her concert with gurubani of Sant Ravidas, which was based on raga Shyam-Kalyan, the most appropriate raga of that hour, set to Rupak tala of seven-beats. Thus, she established the credentials of her classical music training from the very beginning, which proved to be the backbone of her powerful renderings throughout her concert.
The famous natiya kalam of Amir Khusro, “Chhaap tilak sab”, came next, where she wove a delicate tapestry of swaras around the note Pancham, during the phrase “Khusro Nizaam ke…” On request she presented a total contrast with “Pyaar to hona hi tha”, her well-known duet that she had sung with Remo Fernandes with the versatile touch of Western opera.
The alap in Kalavati paved the path for Bulle Shah’s Punjabi composition.
“Allahooo…”, which came next, had a qawwali flavour.
The strains of raga Gorakh Kalyan created the intoxication of “Ye jo halka halka suroor hai”, before she started the ghazal composed in this raga. She too concluded with “Damadam mast”, but here the shades of Yaman had different hues when compared to the earlier rendering by the Wadalis. Upon request, she closed her riveting recital with “Tauba meri” by Bulle Shah and left her listeners in the sheer ecstasy of its pathos.
The event was a joint presentation of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the IWPC.