Friday Review

Joy sheer joy…

Uma Dogra Photo: S.Siva Saravanan.   | Photo Credit: S_Siva Saravanan

Ujjain, the abode of Mahakaal, witnessed a deluge of devotees rejoicing the holy dip on the banks of river Shipra, on the rare occasion of the Simhastha Kumbh Mahaparva that occurs once in 12 years, based on the celestial line up of planets and the zodiac signs. The month-long festival which concluded on May 21 was also marked with a month-long cultural fiesta “Simhastha Kala Utsav”, showcasing the multi-hued diversity of our cultural heritage. The wide variety ranged from classical and folk music and dances to Ramleela, Yakshagana, Harikatha Kalakshepam, theatre to kavi-sammelan being presented simultaneously at seven venues every evening. The remarkable Kala Utsav organised by the Ministry of Culture, Government of Madhya Pradesh, was also a Maha-Kumbha of arts.

The participating artistes included topmost names like Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Ronu Majumdar and Ajoy Chakravarty to not so known but talented lot from across the country and also from the interior regions of M.P. Largest crowds were seen though, during the Ramleela, presented with a professional finish by the Sanskar Manch Ujjain on Bharat Muni Manch.

Triveni Manch was the open-air stage of the Triveni Museum, which was specially conceived and created for this occasion with an aesthetic display of visual arts and sculptures inspired by the Triveni or trio of the Shaiva, Shakti and Vaishnava philosophy.

One witnessed a captivating Kathak recital by Suchitra Harmalkar of Raigarh Gharana on Triveni Manch. Her striking orchestra comprised mainly women musicians with Sangeeta Agnihotri on tabla, Smita on sitar and Vaishali rendering vocals along with Abhay Manake. Odissi was presented by Meera Das and Kiran Segal group at the Bharata Muni Manch.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Uma Dogra of the Jaipur gharana gave a different flavour of Kathak in her opening “Shiva Panchakshara Stotra” to the concluding Benarsi Thumri. A senior disciple of late Pandit Durga Lal, Uma is known for her impeccable virtuosity, but when asked how she felt performing for such large crowd like this, she confessed: “People here are not bothered about big names or who you are. They are the simple devotees who come for the spiritual bliss or ‘ananda’. One has to forget the ego and become a bhakta, to give them the joy they are looking for”.

The Dhrupad recital by Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar at Triveni Manch opened with a meditative aalap in Malkauns followed by the Dhrupad “Poojan chali Mahadeva….” set to Chautala and “Shankara Girijapati…” in drut Sooltala. There was also a triveni of Dhrupad with the trio of Pandit Prem Kumar Mallick and his sons Prashant and Nishant Mallick from Darbhanga gharana. The Purnahuti of Dhrupad was rendered by Pandit Uday Kumar Mallick, accompanied on pakhawaj by Chitrangana Agle.

Triveni Manch also saw an impressive vocal recital by young Ritesh and Rajnish Mishra, the disciples and sons of Pandit Rajan Mishra. Opening with the sombre evening raga Shree, they presented two khayal compositions “Shankar Bhole Maheshwara” and “Ab mohe pahi Prabho…” The audience were mesmerised with their ‘taiyar taans’. This was followed by a melodious Jhinjhoti on sitar by Arun Morone of Imdadkhani gharana.

The colourful folk dances of the North East at the Bhartrihari Manch were followed by the Bela-Bahaar by Babulal Gandharva and his gifted sons Naveen on tabla and Devanand on keyboard, who gave an interesting presentation in raga Yaman and Jhinjhoti concluding with thumri in raga Pahadi.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 7:02:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/joy-sheer-joy/article8650838.ece

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