All the artists featured on Day 2 of the Gaan Saraswati Mahotsav were exceptional ! I was particularly interested in listening to Bhuvanesh Komkali, son of Pt Mukul Shivputra and grand son of Pt Kumar Gandharva. Though younger of the list of artists in the lineup , at the end of day , he proved to be the one who had won over the audience and connoisseurs of classical music.
Starting the concert around 5.45pm , with Multaani vilambit bandish, “Gokul gaav ka chora” ( गोकुल गाँव का छोरा ) he presented some of the most soulful taans and gamaks to quickly bring in a peaceful , soulful and spiritual ambiance. The drut bandish was “aari re aali ri” (आरी री आली री ) that was quickly followed by a composition in raag Shri Kalyan ( a creation by Pt Kumar Gandharva) with lyrics “dekho re utar laagi fulan laagi” (देखो री उतर लागी , फूलन लागी ) . At the request of audience he sang a spiritual hori lokageet composed by Pt Mukul Shivaputra “aaj nij ghat beech faag machay ho” ( आज निज घट बीच फाग मचाये हो ) . He was well supported on Tabla by Prashant Pandav and on Harmonium by Niranjan Lele.
The next 30 min session consisted of a function to felicitate Tabla accompanist Bharat Kamat with “Gaan Saraswati Yuva Sangatkaar Puraskar” and Dr Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande with “Gaan Tapasvini Mogubai Kurdikar Puraskar”.
Second concert of the evening was by Niladri Kumar playing classical Sitar accompanied by Vijay Ghate on Tabla ( both of whom had insisted that they may not be called “Pandit”) . The alaap in Raag Hemant started and continued for few minutes when the artists saw the Gaan Saraswati herself arriving in the audience. Niladri Kumar instantly stopped the concert and came down in the audience to bow at her feet in respect and then continued the alaap further ! A gesture very much appreciated by the audience.
The style adopted by Niladri Kumar during the alaap on Sitar sounded more like being played on Surbahar in Dhrupad Style in lower octave. He demonstrated 5-7 notes on single fret and a long meend with a single strike lasting 1.2 seconds ! The long alaap of around 30 mins was followed by Jod and Jhala with a complementary tabla accompaniment by Vijay Ghate. The choice of raag Hemant ( also called Pancham / Bhinna-Shadaj ) was unique as it was kind of tribute to the Gaan Saraswati famously known as Bhinna-Shadaj after the documentary by the same name. The playful duo presented two bandishes in drut tempo to conclude the concert. The constrain of time and the following concert by featured artist of the day, left the audience longing for more.
Final concert of the day by Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande , a Jaipur-Atrauli stalwart, started with Bihagada traditional vilambit bandish “E Pyari Pag Hole” (ए प्यारी पग होले ) accompanied by her pupil Dhanaashree Ghaisas on Vocal Support , Bharat Kamat on Tabla and Suyog Kundalkar on Harmonium and presented the “Traditional Jaipur Gayaki” . The second raag chosen was Jaijavanti with a bandish “Devi Durge Bhavani” ( देवी दुर्गे भवानी ) . The concert concluded by 10.30pm with a Kabir Bhajan in punjabi teka , ” kachu lena na dena , magan rahanaa” (कछु लेना न देना , मगन रहना )
Connoisseurs are eagerly looking forward to the concerts on Sunday ,day 3 , the final day of festival (today) , starting with a morning session by Jaipur gharana stalwart Pt Dinkar Panshikar , Vid Malini Rajurkar and the evening session with promising young singer of Jaipur-Atrouli , Manjiri Asnare-Kelkar , the Ganesh-Kumresh Carnatic violin duo and the featured artist of the evening Ut Rashid Khan.