The third day of the Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav saw the crowds enamoured by the tunes of debutant and veteran Indian classical musicians. The festival is taking place at New English Grounds, Ramabaug and will continue till December 17.
Starting off on a powerful note, Gayatri Joshi, a vocalist from the Agra-Jaipur gharana, began with ‘Pyare piya bina mohe’ in raag Madhuvanti. She is the daughter of Pandit Shankarrao Vairagkar and disciple of renown vocalist Aarti Ankalikar-Tikekar. Her debut performance continued with singing a bhajan composed by the legendary saint, Mirabai, ‘Mhare ghar avo ji’ and ended with an abhanga ‘Janani ke jive lage’.
Training since the age of seven, Joshi has also been touted as the artist to watch out for and has won numerous awards. Speaking to Pune365, she says, “I feel very grateful because legendary artists have performed at this festival. The audience has a very big heart because they have appreciated a new voice like mine. Every artist dreams of performing at this festival. This is like a temple for us.”
Kushal Das, another debutant, took the stage next. As a sitar player, he has been training since the age of five. His father, Sailen Das, was also a sitar player and trained under Pandit Lakshman Bhattacharya and Pandit Ravi Shankar. He began with raag Marva and accompanying him on tabla was Pandit Ramdas Palsule.
The festival also saw the Vatsalatai Joshi Award being conferred to Pandit Nana Mule, a veteran tabla player. Pandit Mule has accompanied stalwarts like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj and Girija Devi among many others. Born in 1939, Pandit Mule has contributed immensely to the field of classical Indian music. He has been a part of vintage classical music dramas and plays.
Returning to the Sawai stage after five years, Samrat Pandit, 35, continues to carry forward the musical legacy of his father Pandit Jagdish Prasad. A Hindustani classical vocalist, he is a Khayal representative of the Patiala gharana. He sang notes from raag Gorakh Kalyan. He was accompanied on stage by sarangi player Dilshad Khan and Pandit Palsule on tabla. He later performed a bandish, ‘Mare saiyan’, from the Patiala gharana. He ended his performance with a thumri in raag Mishra Khamaj.
It was Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar’s performance that concluded the third day of the festival. He is a recipient of several awards including Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and more recently, Tansen Samman by the Madhya Pradesh government. Capturing the audience’s attention, Pandit Kashalkar began with ‘Mare saiyan’ in raag Nanda in Vilambit and Dhrut in teen taal and ended with a bandish, ‘Dhan dhan baje nanda ko’. He was also accompanied by noted tabla player Ulhas Talwalkar. The performance was carried forward by Talwalkar’s request to the veteran vocalist for a khayal in raag Adana, to which Pandit Kashalkar obliged. The last was a soulful performance of ‘Tum ho jagat ke data’ in raag Bhairavi.
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