Sunday, March 16, 2008
Silsila Suron Ka
I experienced a rare treat yesterday, two of the greatest instrumental maestros of Indian Classical Music performing together after seven long years.
Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma on the Santoor and Pandit HariPrasad Chaurasia with the flute created magic yet again like in their album "The Valley Recalls".
It was quite by chance that I was able to go and I really thank the heavens for it. Each of these maestros are synonymous with the instruments they play. They have elevated the status of their respective instruments and classical music world over and also retained the sanctity of their art.
The performance was organized by CRPIM(Center for Research and Promotion of Indian Music) along with Perfect Octave at Shanmukhananda Hall, Matunga. The program was divided into three one hour segments.
First there was performance by Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma on the Santoor accompanied by Ustaad Bhawani Shankar on the Pakhawaj, a percussion instrument- ancestor to the tabla. The rippling river like sounds of the santoor and the resounding sharp beats of the pakhawaj complemented each other beautifully reminding one of a river with a rocky bed close to a waterfall.
Shiv Kumar Sharma started an aalaap in raag Madhuvanti which Ustaad Bhawani Shankar built up to a jod, slowly leading the concert into a beautiful cresendo.
The second performance was by Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia accompanies by Vijay Ghate on the tabla and Santosh Shank supporting on the flute. Panditji played a beautiful composition in raag Maruvihaag, which he jokingly proclaimed as "mera vihaag". The bansuri (flute) sounded like molten jaggery with all its sweetness overflowing. He led tabalchi Vijay Ghate a merry dance when they began the jugalbandi, but the latter manfully held his own to hearty applause.
The third and final segment was indeed a treat like I have earlier called it. Shiv Kumar Sharma began, sitting beside Chaurasia, dedicating the jugalbandi and performance to their age old friendship, claiming that it was not restricted by mortal life. There was an expectant taste in the body of the audience. The stage looked like a gathering of old friends, Sharma, Chaurasia, Ghate and Bhawani Shankar, great instrumentalists in their own right playing together creating a symphony, yet giving each other space. It was an hour and a half of pure rapture indescribable in words. They played primarily in raag Khamaj keeping it lightly classical with a little mixing of raagas. They teased, challenged and complimented each other drawing the audience completely into their performance. They enjoyed themselves thoroughly and that same joy was transmuted to the audience.
They received a unanimous standing ovation from an audience of around 15oo.
This was undoubtedly one of the most memorable evening of my life.