LIFE

Music in its `purest' form

Pandit Debu Chaudhuri, Pandit Birju Maharaj and Ustad Shafaat Ahmed Khan who will perform in a programme at Kamani Auditorium on Friday.

Pandit Debu Chaudhuri, Pandit Birju Maharaj and Ustad Shafaat Ahmed Khan who will perform in a programme at Kamani Auditorium on Friday.  

HE MIGHT have been awarded the highest honour in the country and be one of the modern pioneers of the classical forms. Ironically though, most people would have heard more of him as the choreographer of "Maar Daala... .'' in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus "Devdas''. While Birju Maharaj has his own special place in the field of dance, he is waiting for "success''.

In a world where even classical music needs to sell, it is all about glitz and glamour. But moving beyond "jhin jhak'', classical musicians are trying to get people to appreciate "na dhin dhin na". And giving people this chance to celebrate music in its "purest'' form, is a special programme being organised by the Ustad Mushtaq Ali Khan Centre for Culture.

Being held this Friday at Kamani Auditorium, the show features sitar maestro Debu Chaudhuri, noted tabla player Ustad Shafaat Ahmed Khan and internationally renowned dancer Birju Maharaj. And it brings together those who still cling to the old traditions and are yet to embrace the gloss of the new.

``Even playing the sitar has become visual. I don't shake my head or do anything like that and so I have to wait a long while for applause from viewers,'' claims Pandit Debu Chaudhuri. But sticking firmly to his "swar'', Pandit Debu Chaudhuri is refusing to give in.

``Ever since Panditji's done "Devdas'', people have been raving about it. It's like he hasn't ever done anything before. It was such a change though to work in cinema, it took us days to do one "jhatka". It would take us from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to film one "jhatka" from each angle. In this programme we've taken a small bit from "Devdas'', but will do it in one go which is the joy,'' says Saswati Sen, a dancer.

Besides crowd-puller "Devdas'' item number, the performance will also include "fusion'' -- the latest "buzz word''. "Fusion should accurately be termed confusion. Instead of "na din din na" people keep saying "jhin jhak" in the mind. What we're hoping is that people should be able to see through the "jhin jhak" and "Devdas'' and realise that reality is just the same,'' she says. ``When you first listen to a song from a new film you might not like it. But after hearing it many times, it grows on you. While lots is being done by colleges and schools, it is important for children to be exposed to classical music and dance even more,'' states Ustad Shafaat Ahmed Khan.

By Mandira Nayar

Photo: V.V. Krishnan

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