Pandit Hari Charan Verma gave a scintillating Hindustani vocal performance.
Many musicians — especially of the classical genre — are lesser known artistes in India. But lack of due publicity or recognition does not bother these veterans who believe that they are in service of their muse — the music. Faridabad-based Hindustani vocalist Pandit Hari Charan Verma, who performed in Orissa's capital city recently in Bhubaneswar Music Circle's sangeetayana concert series, certainly comes under this category.
Verma retired as the chief producer of music with Prasar Bharati, the national broadcaster; but he is not tired of his passionate involvement with music. Age has not withered the power of his peerless voice that the voice culture expert has carefully cultivated through a rigorous riaz over 50 years. And the veteran exhibited it during his two-hour long captivating recital at Rabindra Bhawan much to the cheer and wonder of the connoisseurs.
Verma has evolved his own unique style that has harmoniously combined two gharanas (traditions) — the Jaipur and the Gwalior — traces of which were evident in all his renditions during the evening. He set the evening into motion with two interpretations of raga Bihag — Maru Bihag followed by Sawani Bihag that had made legendary Kumar Gandharv the most sought after singer during his days. A master of the taan patterns and the laya as well, veteran Verma's khayal was an apt combination of classicism and romanticism.
His next recital was the rarely heard ancient raga Barwa that gave glimpses of his amazing mastery over voice culture in madhya-laya and drut segments. And his rendition of the kajri was also equally mesmerising. And that prompted the demanding audience for more from the master. He obliged them; this time with a Meera bhajan in his mellifluous voice that was wet with devotion.