When Pt. Birju Maharaj rendered thumris

Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty and Pt. Birju Maharaj

Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty and Pt. Birju Maharaj

It was a rare treat to watch and hear Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty and Pt.Birju Maharaj at the Tata Theatre, NCPA. In the first half, Pt. Ajoy presented a few thumris. He explained how his guru incorporated thumris in Patiala gharana.

Thumris in raag Khamas and Charukesi were comprehensive melodic sojourns. Pieces like ‘Shyam na ab tak aaye’ and ‘Mora Saiya’ conveyed the pangs of waiting for the lover and waking up all night in his thoughts. The singer praised Yogesh Vamsi, the tabla accompanist, for his sense of taal, calling him his son.

When Pt. Birju Maharaj, assisted by his senior disciple Saswati Sen, came on stage, the audience greeted him with standing ovation.

“Maharaj is an all-time great,” said Pt. Ajoy, recalling their Kolkata connection, but it was for the first time that they had got together in Mumbai, for a singing session. The chemistry between the two maestros was palpable.

The Kathak legend sang a few traditional thumris composed by Bindadin Maharaj. He informed that his grandfather Bindadin had composed over 5,000 thumris. He said that he could not match his genius and recalled how his uncle Shambhu Maharaj’s rendering of thumris and abhinaya were veritable feasts.

The varied expressions in ‘Chhodo chhodo’ when the gopi beseeches Krishna to leave her pot and not to touch her was an emotive experience. His upper torso brought out the beautiful dance ingrained in him.

In another thumri, when the gopi reprimands Krishna for annoying her, Maharaj used minimal hand movements to depict the gopi shunning Krishna.

Maharaj asked Pt. Ajoy to sing a segment with rhythm and came up with suitable abhinaya to every beat.

Maharaj appealed to the audience to take classical arts ahead by training their children.

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Printable version | May 29, 2022 11:59:34 am |