Monday, January 11, 2010

The Sawai Experience- Day 3

After an awe inspiring 2 days of Sawai Gandharwa, I was in a restless mood for the third day to begin. Infact, I was so restless, that i was hoping that I be present at the Sawai Mandap rather than any other place! However, this was not to happen. I had gone out for lunch, and, unfortunately, lost track of time, and as a result got half an hour late.However, bad starts always finish on the high, and as the evening progressed, the performances just kept on crowning one on top of other! I was under the impression that i would have to stand since I was late. Fortunately, and quite unexpectedly, there were a lot of free spaces right in front of the stage, at the "Balcony" Baithak, which i was able to get.

On getting quite a cozy place to sit, I focused my attentions on the performance by Chandrashekhar Vaze, which, clearly was Raag Marwa. What a start to the session!! Marwa is one raag id listen to anytime! Ofcourse, when it comes to Marwa, we are all reminded of the tear inducing performances of Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande. Todays performance was somewhat similar.It was in the right mood, and was performed in one of the best throws. Chandrashekhar ji enthralled the audience with his Marwa, and rightly earned the accolades. Infact, he was given a Once more! On this note, he performed a thumri in raag Jogiya. Chandrashekhar ji ended his performance with the bhajan "Adhi ka maja lavali savay"

While we were still wondering about our thoughts, created as an effect of the Marwa, Pt. Srikant Deshpande, grandson of Late Sawai Gandharwa arrived on the stage. He was to perform Raag Puriya Dhanashree.It was one of the most relaxed and leisurely puriya dhanashree i have heard!(Considering I have only heard Bhimsen Joshis!) Never the less, it was very catchy. Shrikantji also performed Payaliya jhankaar mohi, which again brought out memories of Bhimsen Joshis marvellous voice! The puriya Dhanashree was followed by Mishra Kirwani and then a Bhajan, "Kanhoba tuzi godhadi changali re" which was very well sung.

This paved way for Pt.Biswajeet Roy Chaudhari. He started off his performance by Raag Chhayanat, which he said is the foundation for many Hindi and film songs. true to his words I could make out a number of songs based on the raag. while his performance was good, i personally thought it was a bit noisy. thats probably because the only other person i have heard play the sarod is the legendary Ustad Amjad Ali Khan himself. so obviously, I was comparing with him. Nevertheless, Biswajitji got a once more, and performed Raag Adana(Again!), which was very well recieved.

The sarod was followed by the vocals of Samhita Nandi. well, being a new artist, many people took this opportunity for a dinner break, and that included me. However, after a quick dinner of 10 minutes, when I realised she was singing raag Bageshree, I hurried to my spot, and listened to in utmost attention. Samhitajis Performance was extremely straightforward and unfussy. I really enjoyed it. More over, she had a very soothing to the eye performance. What was more catchy was her smile whenever there was a good "jagaa" taken. The performance reminded me of a television performace of Kaushiki Chakravarty. People may like it or not, I really enjoyed the performance.



And then, there was THE performance by Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar,Taalyogi Suresh Talwalkar and Dr.Arvind Thatte. Panditjis voice is amazing! I mean, I was fortunate enough to hear him at a private concert, but yesterday was simply out of this world! When he declared that he was to perform Malkauns, the whole place arose it seems. It was an extremely extremely beautiful rendition of Malkauns-Ive never quite heard such a thing! It had both the power and the tenderness thats essential! I am totally speechless. He followed Malkauns by singing Raag Sohani! Another gem of a perfomance! It was a grand grand performance. Probably the standout performance of all os Sawai Gandharwa. Quite extraordinary. Panditji wrapped up the proceedings by singing his famous "Aayo Phalgun Maas" in raag Bhairavi. I am quite speechless the the entire performance. Id rather not write anything on it. I am completely and absolutely overwhelmed!

All in all, it was a briiliant day for me. Marwa, Puriya Dhanashree, Bageshree, Malkauns, Sohoni and Bhairavi- all raags that i really enjoy! Plus the last performance was an icing on the cake!

You can refer to Raags sung today below:

1) Raag Marwa- Chandrashekhar Vaze
2)Raag Jogiya- Chandrashekhar Vaze.
3)Raag Puriya Dhanashree- Pt. Shrikant Deshpande
4)Raag Kirwani- Pt. Shrikant Deshpande
5)Raag Chhayanat- Pt. Biswajit Roy Chaudhari
6)Raag Adana- Pt Biswajit Roy Chaudhari
7)Raag Bageshree- Samhita Nandi
8)Raag Malkauns- Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar
9)Raag Sohoni- Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar
10)Raag Bhairavi- Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar

(P.S.- I didnt post this yeterday, as I had to rush early for sawai. Ill post on yesterdays two sessions in the afternoon.)

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