Masterful melodies by Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra

The Hindustani vocal duo by Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra was sublime and soulful

The Bengaluru chapter of SPIC MACAY organized a memorable concert of Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra, veteran exponents of the Benaras Gharana at the J.N. Tata Auditorium in Bangalore, recently. “Please join in our prayer. We are blessed to be sitting in this lovely auditorium of a reputed research institute and perform our pooja of music,” said the brothers.

As it was raining in the evening, Mishra brothers began their Hindustani classical vocal recital with the monsoon Raga Miyan-ki-Malhar, known for its intimate association with the torrential rains. Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra chose the classic vilambit ektal bandish “Kareen naam tero “ composed by Adarang in this Raga for an expansive delineation. The bandish glistened in their masterful hands. The deeply contemplative deportment matched the gravitas demanded by the Raga. The brothers gently explored every nuanced strand , their refined musical sensibilities and sublime ‘alaap’ and ‘bol alaap’ cyclical sequences, creating a truly immersive atmosphere. ‘Sargams’ alternating with speedy, effervescent ‘taans’ created the reverberating effect of thunder and lightning. This was followed by a lilting drut teen tal composition in a rhythmic cycle of 16 beats, “Barsan laagi badariya ritu savan ki”, marked by scintillating ‘taankari’. Tabla maestro Pandit Ravindra Yavagal’s wizadry was mesmerizing, creating ripples of excitement among the connoisseurs .

After their sublime exposition of raag Miyan ki Malhar, it was in their delineation of the Raag Jhinjhoti that the brothers truly excelled, bringing alive the poetry musically in a Khayal. The roopak tal bandish “Karat Langadayi Mose kahe ko Kanhaye” in a rhythmic sequence of seven beats was the piece de resistance of the entire concert. The exquisite ‘sanchars’ in this raaga, the ‘nyasa’ on ‘nishad’, produced a magical effect evoking the mood of “shringar” and “lasya”. The chota khayal composition, “Roko na gaiar mohan mohe jaane do” in drut teen tal was drenched in lyrical intensity of an uncommon kind, glowing in its emotive appeal and raaga bhava. Pandit Vyasmurthy Katti on the harmonium, matched the fervour of the vocalists, captivating the audience with hauntingly beautiful improvisations.

In the interaction session with the audience, Mishra brothers handled many queries from their connoisseurs with admirable aplomb and resourcefulness. Talking about the 300 year old legacy of their Benaras Gharana, they narrated the saga of their stupendous musical journey over the past five decades . Alluding to their enviable repertoire of innumerable compositions in several ragas and rhythmic cycles, the brothers said that it was a rich legacy bequeathed to them by their father, Pandit Hanuman Mishra, their grand uncle Pandit Bade Ramdas Mishra and uncle Pandit Gopal Mishra. They described their arduous ‘taleem’, the apprenticeship period during which they were taught meticulously to accentuate the ‘sahitya’ of the bandishes and render them coherently by emphasising the stylistic nuances in these compositions, thereby kindling a unique ‘Rasanubhava’. They also shared with the audience, their experiences of travelling across the Indian sub-continent and their globe trotting adventure with their musical creation, “Bhairav se Bhairavi Tak – a journey through Ragas” and the transcendental moment of giving a music recital in the legendary ‘Angkor Wat temple’ premises of Cambodia. Replying to a query from the audience about the relevance of time theory in the classification of Ragas in Hindustani classical music in our technology driven times, the brothers remarked : “The raga- time cycle has an inherent affinity for Nature, human mind and emotions. Our Rishis, Munis and Sadhus have conceptualized it with scientific precision based on sound logical principles. We want to look deeper into the traditions we have inherited from our gurus.” Expressing their reluctance to transgress the Time theory of Ragas, and vindicating the relevance of the ‘Prahar’ theory of Ragas, the brothers said that they would be very uncomfortable singing morning Ragas in the night and vice versa.

Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra concluded their concert with the Bhajan, “Sadho eisa hi guru Pave” as a tribute to their gurus.

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Printable version | May 23, 2020 9:59:14 AM |

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