Ronu da wove magic around his audience with his flute

“Ronu is definitely the Dr.Feelgood of Indian Flute,” commented the popular American musician Ry Cooder, once. All those who gathered outside the Linga Bhairavi temple, Isha Yoga Centre during Yaksha 2011, would certainly agree with Cooder.

He promised a romantic and a meditative evening. And what an enchanting evening it turned out to be!Ronu da was accompanied by two very talented musicians, Kalpesh Anchla on the second flute and Indraneel Mallick on the tabla. His one and half hour performance could accommodate only two compositions. One in raag Bageshri and the other in raag Pahadi. Bageshri was wooed by Ronu da, for more than an hour. No swara was left untouched and the raag lakshana (technical boundaries of a raag) was ingeniously harnessed. The 45 minute-long alaap was nothing short of brilliance.

Elevating

The alaap was an intimate dialogue between Ronu da and Bageshri. His gradual exposition of the raag, along with fertile pauses, elevated the audience to a higher plane. The composition, which was initially set in jhaap taal (10 beats) shifted to teen taal (16 beats), under the expertise of Indraneel, on the tabla. One could not identify the point, where Ronu da's swaras ended and Kalpesh's began. The two of them shared scintillating chemistry on stage, as they played with the wind trapped in their bansuris.

He sang too

As if expressions through flute weren't enough for Ronu da, he sang a couple of lines composed by his guruji. “Kaise dharoon tera dhyaan,” he crooned. As he switched to his beloved flute, he wove magic once again, with his khayal (elaboration of the raag with the aid of the lyrical composition).“I did not expect to play Bageshri for this long. The song was very intense,” he remarked.

When he mentioned that he had a little time left for a bhajan or a dhun, the audience requested a song, based in raag Pahadi. A charming Pahadi-based dhun was played.

“The flute is more of a folk instrument,” said Ronu da, while Kalpesh played notes liltingly, in the background. “You will feel the connection with the land, when you listen to dhuns being played on the flute.” We felt the connection, intensely.

The Hindu was the media partner for Yaksha 2011.

Keywords: YakshaRonu Majumdar