A spring of melodies at Saanghi Smriti Sangeet Samaroh

Nostalgic notes: Shujaat Khan

Nostalgic notes: Shujaat Khan  

The stalwarts of Indian classical music enthralled the music loving city of Indore at the annual Saanghi Smriti Sangeet Samaroh

The Indore chapter of INTACH organised Saanghi Smriti Sangeet Samaroh, the much-awaited annual music festival of the music loving city, celebrating the memory of Sohanlal Saanghi, known for his love and patronage to music which is sustained by Sharat Sanghi and his family till date. The festival is held in the spring season every year for nearly half-a-century and has presented almost all the stalwarts of the bygone era. This year, it spanned vocal and instrumental music from traditional dhrupad gayaki by Pt. Uday Bhawalkar and sitar by Ud. Shujat Hussain Khan, the scion of Imdadkhani gharana on the inaugural evening to the scintillating santoor by Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya and a sumptuous variety encompassing khayal to thumri, dadra, chaiti, hori to folk songs redolent with the authentic flavour of Purab Ang Gayaki by Vidushi Malini Awasthi on the second evening.

Pt. Uday Bhawalkar, one of the most sought after dhrupadias of the present generation is a true representative of Dagar Bani. He was groomed under the able guidance of Ud. Ziya Mohiuddin Dagar and Ud. Ziya Fariduddin Dagar in the authentic Guru Shishya Parampara for decades on end. This was evident right from his selection of a raga like chhayanat to the form dhamar and also the bandish (composition) “lachkat aave gori, abir gulal ki bhar bhar jhori…” keeping in mind the spring season and the festival of colours. His detailed alaap reminded that dhrupad is a matter of architecture, spacious, aspiring and formal. It explores the inner space of the raga’s universe and is radically different from the spirit of khayal.

His leisurely alaap embellished with portamento that spanned sometimes an octave or more, was joined later with Pakhawaj by Pratap Avad. The hori dhamar set to dhamar tala of 14-beat cycle, had his rhythmic play with the tala as if imitating the “Lachkat chaal”, the lilting gait of the delicate ‘Gori’, described in the composition.

The following Basant composition “Bhanwara phuli ban-saghan belariya…..” in Sool-tala, was dealt as a poetic depiction of nature’s bounty in the spring season. Pt. Uday Bhawalkar concluded his dhrupad recital with a beautiful composition in Tilang that went “Sur sangat so gave, tabahi rijhave…” set to Sooltala. The Pakhawaj under the nimble fingers of Pratap Avad enhanced the serene effect of the dhrupad rendering.

Ud. Shujaat Khan nostalgically remembered Ud. Amir Khan of Indore and confessed that Khan Saheb’s music had the most profound impact on him after the taalim he received from his own father and Guru Ustad Vilayat Khan. He also mentioned that his great grandfather came from Etawah and settled in this place, hence coming here is like a pilgrimage for him. Keeping in mind the discerning listeners of this city, he offered one of his most memorable renderings of raga Jhinjhoti this evening. Even before opening the alaap, he created a magical image of the raga by just strumming the ‘Tarab ke taar’, the resonating wires underneath the main strings. The detailed alaap embellished by his sensitive touch, lightness of stroke and the tender meends of many ‘sur’ in one go, created the romantic aura of the raga, before he proceeded to the jod and jhala sections underlining the invisible ‘laya’ with different Chhand of four and eight beats, intoxicating the listeners with the beauty of rhythm. His leisurely elaboration of the spacious raga during just Alaap-Jod Jhala lasted for nearly an hour before he played the Masitkhani and the Drut gat accompanied by Amit Chaube and Ramendra Singh Solanki on either side. Shujaat gave them ample opportunity to show their individual talent as well.

This was perhaps one of the most satisfying concerts Ud. Shujat Khan has given in recent times that proved his rich inheritance in full abundance, despite the lighter vein of ghazals and more he had to sing and play on demand from the poetry of Hazrat Amir Khusro to the ‘Vaishnav jan’ of Narsi Mehta.

Raga as a tribute

Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya opened the next evening with his santoor recital accompanied on tabla by Jyotirmoy Roy Chowdhury. A brilliant Santoor player of Maihar Gharana, Tarun obviously chose raga Janasammohini created by Pt. Ravi Shankar as a tribute to him. He has devised his santoor for executing meend, but whenever he reached Pancham the volume would go higher.

Tarun is brilliant in the technical aspect but his focus sounds more towards the rhythm. Jyotirmoy on tabla enjoyed reciprocating him, especially in the sawal-jawab sequence. Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya concluded his vibrant recital with a Bhathiyali Dhun.

Malini Awasthi reached the two-day festival to its climax with her vocal recital, making an instant rapport with the enthusiastic audience. Opening with a Chhota Khayal in Bhupali as an invocation of Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of Omkareshwara and Mahakal; she regaled the audience with a slew of selection from thumri, dadra, chaiti, hori and the folk songs of the Gangetic belt explaining their nuances.

The delicate touches of Pt. Dharmnath Mishra on harmonium and the brilliant Banarasi Laggi of Ram Kumar Mishra on tabla enhanced her recital with full gusto. Sanjay Narhari Patel did an admirable job of an anchor.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 4:28:32 AM |

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