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Pandit Kumar Bose - Of romance and spirituality

Making classical riveting: Begum Parveen Sultana

Making classical riveting: Begum Parveen Sultana  

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At the 18th annual soiree of Nadam in Kolkata, stars of classical music brought out different emotive aspects of ragas

The contribution of Pandit Kumar Bose in the field of music, especially in the world of tabla, is immense. As the lifeline of Nadam (Northern Association of Dance Art and Music), he fulfilled his long cherished dream to link the glorious past with brilliant future by paying tributes to his musician parents — gurus Pandit Biswanath Bose and Vidushi Bharati Bose and by bringing the students of the organisation under arc lights through collaborative ventures with veteran artistes of classical genres. Supplemented by the active involvement and inspiring bonhomie of his worthy disciples, many of whom are celebrated artistes and gurus in their own rights now, Nadam has risen to be one of the most prestigious platforms in Eastern India.

Recently at north Kolkata’s Mohit Maitra Mancha, the 18th annual soiree glittered with star-studded itinerary that climaxed on the opening day with the recital of seasoned flautist Ronu Majumdar. He sprang a surprise by choosing Darbari Kanada, a heavy grandiose midnight raga, but the reverence with which he treated its meend and andolan laden swaying movements in an elaborate alap, literally awakened its soul.

In an exemplary move, he left the raga at its hallowed high pedestal and chose to flaunt his hard-earned entertaining skills through another raga, Abhogi. This is where fast-rising tabla exponent Rohen Bose joined in and together they also served a lilting dhun as tempting dessert.

Begum Parveen Sultana, accompanied by the singing tabla of Kumar Bose, staged the grand finale of the two-day event. The star vocalist also commenced with the depths of spirituality of raga Jog (Parama sukh paayo, slow Ektal) and leisurely graduated to exhilarating heights to evoke the mood of the lyrics ‘Sukh-dukh dono haath tihaare’ set to medium-fast Teental. She closed with a thumri composition of her guru Chinmay Lahiri.

Earlier another celebrated vocalist Pandit Kaivalya Kumar Gurav evoked the romantic character of raga Gawati (Gaoti) that was aesthetically packed with emotive passages which inevitably got exited whenever they got the whiff of sam’s arrival. This heady blend of Kirana and Jaipur was beautifully handled by Ujjwal Bharati’s perceptive tabla and Hiranmay Mitra’s alert harmonium.

However, just as the ‘ye’-based voice-throw of Pandit Kumar Gandharva created a stir once, Gurav’s innovative explorations with new vowels and ensuing facial expressions also irk conservative listeners like this writer.

Nonetheless, his clarity of expression, enunciation and varied grains of taans speak very high of his mastery. He concluded with a perky dadra of Multan ‘Maar daala najariya milay ke.’

Well-known vocalists Sandipan Samajpati (raga Megh, Desh thumri with Abhishek Chatterjee’s tabla) and Anjana Nath (raga Madhuwanti with self-composed tarana, Kirwani dadra with Vinod Vaishnav’s tabla) are admired for their evocative interpretations of melody and grip on rhythm. Both delighted their listeners with remarkable artistry. Sitar maestro Partha Bose expanded the limited boundary of raga Patadeep very patiently and convincingly during alap and enjoyed the gatkari with Chiranjit Mukherjee’s agile tabla. Petite Hetal Mehta amazed all with her confident, power-packed tabla-solo. With steady support of Hiranmay Mitra’s harmonium-lahara, she opened with dhamar replete with complex rhythmic variants such as ‘sawai’ or ‘aatth-jhoola’ of her Benares Gharana. She also gave her teental dramatic twists and turns with an array of compositions.

The sparkling presentations by younger exponents Shiraz Ali Khan (sarod, raga Hembihag), Bishnupriya Chakraborty (vocal, raga Shree) Amarendra Mishra (sitar, raga Rageshri) and Koyel Bhattacharya (vocal, raga Bhimpalasi) promised bright future. Barring two, all the tabla accompanists were Bose’s disciples and both the days commenced with group tabla lahara by the gen-next groomed at Nadam.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 1:44:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/of-romance-and-spirituality/article29584458.ece

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