Singing her own song

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CREATIVE Arati Ankalikar's performance was lyrical
CREATIVE Arati Ankalikar's performance was lyrical

Arati Ankalikar Tikekar has evolved her own eclectic style

Arati Ankalikar Tikekar has blossomed into one of the prominent Hindustani vocalists of the country. Endowed with a rich and mellifluous voice, Arati Ankalikar is also known for her brilliantly imaginative khayal renditions. From the first strains of her soulful alap until the glittering taans, passing through the play of layakari and laya, over which she has excellent command, Arati holds her audience riveted. With deep reverence and gratitude she remembers her gurus Vijaya Joglekar, the late Pt. Vasant Rao Kulkarni of the Agra Gwalior Gharana and Gana Saraswati Kishori Amonkar. Presently under the tutelage of Pt. Dinkar Kaikini, Arati describes herself as an eternal student of music. With disarming humility she says: "The true milestones of my life have been the musical insights that I have obtained during the course of my training with my gurus... a performing career was not something that I consciously set out to achieve. I was only aware of my tremendous longing for more, a quest for those dimensions of music that still elude me." There is an aesthetic fusion of Agra, Gwalior and Atrauli-Jaipur Gharanas in Arati's gayaki, a commendable creative synthesis, which is her very own. Not leaning towards any one gharana, Arati has developed a style that can be hailed as uniquely "eclectic". Arati Ankalikar gave a brilliant music recital in Bangalore Gayana Samaja organised by Hindustani Sangeet Kalakara Mandali, which has had the distinction of organising more than 400 Hindustani Classical music recitals over a span of 33 years in Bangalore. Arati's delineation of the evening melody Poorya Dhanashree was marked by fertile imagination and innovative zeal. The bandish in vilambiit khayal "Ajare balam lavori maliniya" unfolded in a slow, leisurely, caressive aalap and emotionally charged gamaks and murkis, reaching the crescendo in the two lyrically exuberant drut teen tal compositions. Arati demonstrated her inimitable layakari and taankari in her tarana rendition. This was followed by an energetic presentation of Shankara in a madhyalaya jhaptal bandish "Dum dumada damaru baaje" and a lilting drut teen tal composition "Rijhavu kaise rijhavu". She sang a tappa composition of her guru Pt. Dinkar Kaikini "Maro Mukunda Murari" in chaste Hindi and also distinguished this contemporary composition from a traditional tappa composition in Punjabi. Arati chose the popular night melody Malkauns and rendered the traditional composition "Chalo Hato Piya" in Ada Chautal, bearing testimony to her infallible sense of laya. Her rendition of the drut bandish "Ayae more mandirwa" in Malkuans was noteworthy for its sweeping taans at a breathtaking speed. This was followed by an intensely moving Meera Bhajan "Matwaro badar ayo" in a ragamalika. Arati concluded her recital with a lyrical composition "Bhairavi Priyadarshini" in Bhairavi. Meghana Kulkarni's melodious vocal support blended harmoniously with the pleasing tabla and harmonium accompaniment provided by Ravindra Yavagal and Vyasmurthy Katti. K.S. VAISHALI



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