Yaksha concludes its series of music concerts with a divine performance of Ashwini Bhide Deshpande
It is quiet and serene at the Isha Yoga Center. Hundreds sit on the white cushions laid out on the open air ground in front of the Linga Bhairavi temple. An occasional breeze makes the leaves rustle and the birds chirp. And then, a sonorous voice fills the air. The lights from the smart phones pop out. People stop whispering, their gaze fixed on Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, of Jaipur Atrauli Khayal Gharana, who sits on the stage, holding her tanpura. She has just begun to sing.
It is the last day of Yaksha cultural fest. And, the audience can not ask for a better finish. Ashwini is singing ‘Mo Man Lagan Lagi Lag’ in raag Yaman, vilambit teentaal, and the audience already goes “besh besh”. She is accompanied by Yogesh Samsi on the tabla and Ravindra Katoti on the harmonium. Every gamak of the bhaava-filled raga, tugs our heart.
The tempo picks up when Ashwini moves to a faster tala with ‘Kar Sumiran Mann Mero’ in the same raga. Yogesh Samsi supports her on the tabla. The tabla beats add to the mood.
Hands rise in the air and heads sway as the vocalist and the tabla player seem to indulge in a brief conversation for the third round of raag yaman; the rhythm even faster this time.
Raag Basanth is next. Sometimes softly, sometimes assertively, she renders the refrain “Ritu Aayi”. Her alaaps reverbrate through the air, raising goose-bumps. Ravindra Katoti deserves special mention. His harmonium keys recreate every note, delineated by Ashwini.
The last song of the evening is a Kabir bhajan. The audience hums along. How we all wish the night goes on and Ashwini never stops.
It was her first performance at Isha Yoga Centre and she enjoyed it, says Ashwini. “I could feel the spiritual bliss. I included the Kabir bhajan because the children at the Isha Home School requested me to sing it.” The artist was only happy to oblige.
The concert was followed by the procession of the Linga Bhairavi Utsava Murti around the parikrama of the Dhyanalinga. While a few follow the procession, others indulge in some window shopping at the crafts exhibition, Hands of Grace.