The final day of SwaraZankar Music Festival began late again.. though Ut Shujaat Khan was ready by 5.30pm , due to the poor management of organizers the concert started by 6.30pm.
For me the main attraction of this festival was Ustad Shujaat Hussain Khan , who I like and admire as a true “classical” musician. The concert started by 6.40pm with Yaman Kalyan aalaap for 45 min , where one could feel the various facets of Yaman in a deep contemplative mood. It was followed by jod and jhala , when the Ustaadji had to re-string his instrument. Then came the bandish in Yaman with the accompaniment of Mukesh Jadhav on Tabla. The Ustaadji got into his true mood with the vocal rendition of the bandish “Darshan deho shankar mahadev” ( दर्शन देहो शंकर महादेव ) followed by a drut rendition on sitar. His “najaakat” (नजाकत ) and the gayaki style of playing is felt in every note that he plays, the treatment he gives to every taan short or long !
The gazal / sher rendition of Ustaad began with couplets “जिस चिज पे नजर डाली , पीतल ही चमकता सोने सा लगे ” .. he continued the gazal with more couplets (shers)
“अब लोगों से मिलते हुए घबराने लगा हूँ , पूछे है कोई हाल तो ताना सा लगे है “
… लगता है हर शख्स अदाकारी में लगे है , कातिल भी कम्बखत मसीहा सा लगे है …
सुननी नहीं है हमको किसी और की जुबानी , तेरी सुबह कह रही है तेरी रात की कहानी ..
मेरे खुन्दर्श आंसू उन्हें लगे पानी , उन्हें होश तक ना आया और अब गुजर सी गई जवानी …
मुझे फूंकने से पहले मेरा दिल निकाल लेना , किसी और की अमानत साथ न जाने देना !
Ut Shujaat Khan has already won over our hearts. True connoisseurs of classical music attend such festivals because of concerts of the classy artists like him , who we are privileged to have in Pune. Experiencing the “Mausikhi” of Ut Shujaat Khan live in an open air concert on a Sunday evening of winter in Pune … is bliss. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am thankful to the Ustaadji !
The last concert of the festival was by Hariharan , that started around 8.30pm and went on beyond 10.15. I sincerely feel that Hariharan doesnt belong to the “classical” class and definitely not a good choice to follow Ut Shujaat Khan. There was stark visible and audible difference between Hariharan and Ut Shujaat Khan. Hariharan may be a good gazal singer and playback singer but he doesnt have the class that is needed to perform on the classical stage in Pune ,where Sawai Gandharv Music Festival, is held every year !
The concert of Hariharan was more like a cheap orchestra where the Tablji was playing tabla like a dholki and the harmonium player was borrowed from the quawwali troupe. The two good things on that stage were the sarangi player who played a piece in Puriya Dhanaashree and the good looking babe sitting behind Hariharan (some Chakravarty).
I wasted my time listening to the noise created in tempered scale where gazals were sung in a pretentious style , classical taans , sargam phrases were mimicked and names of classical raags like Kirwani were thrown in , which never sounded in ras and bhaav like Kirwani ! The mediocrity of this gazal singer was exposed and my mind wondered as to why on earth did he get Padmashree from Govt of India ? I must state here that I like gazals and the “performance” that I have heard between 9 and 10.15 pm was no better than a college orchestra. I have heard much better gazal troupes in various hotels in Hyderabad over dinners !
Leaving that concluding “performance” between 9 and 10.15pm , all other concerts were excellent and very well enjoyed. I am looking forward to the Vasantotsav , thats coming up next weekend !