Its Friday late afternoon and Ramanbag is already filled with young and old alike. As the clock strikes half past three, a young lady in bright red is ready on stage to win the hearts of Sawai fans. This is her first appearance on this acclaimed stage but her bright,confident and resounding voice, sargams have already ensured a place in classical connoisseur’s hearts.
The Patiyala gharana dame , a disciple of Pt Ajay Chakrabarty, Suchismita Das began her performance with Raag Shuddha Sarang vilambit “Chalo re dhanuaa” (चलो रे धनुआ ) continued in madhyalay with Ut Bade Gulam Ali Khan bandish “Beg darasavaa deh ho saajanava” ( बेग दरसवा देहो साजनवा ) With typical aggressive sargams and taans , one could not help comparing her with younger Begum Parveen Sultana and Kaushiki Chakrabarty.
She displayed her taaleem in drut bandish “garaj bin laage do gaj jeena” ( गरज बिन लागे दो गज जीना ) . The icing on the cake was a Ut BGAK dadra “Yaad piyaa ki aaye” (याद पिया की आए ) . She was ably supported on Harmonium by Milind Kulkarni , on Tabla by Sandip Ghosh and on Sarangi by Dilshad Khan.
The next performer was a Kirana gharana prodigy Amjad Ali , shagird of Ustaad Mubarak Ali Khan , who had mesmerized the audience at previous Sawai. Amjad Ali started with Puriya Dhanaashree vilambit bandish “Chaitada jagataa” ( चैतडा जागता ) . His classic slow progression with badhat creating the mood of twilight. The melodious alaap taans of Kirana gharana were sweetness to ears ! The drut bandhish “Aavan ke gayoo agan pathikvaa” ( आवन के गयो अगन पथिकवा ) was filled with superb alaap taans and a likeable pathos of twilight-sunset.
He concluded with a short Bihag bandish “Aali ri alabeli surnaar , kari kari jiya ko lubhaave” ( आली री अलबेली सुरनार , करी करी जिया को लुभावे ). On the request of vociferous audience for a “Once more” the organizers had to give few more minutes to this young Kirana prodigy, when he presented a nagma “Yaad teri bhula deu kaise, saavariya karam naa maane” ( याद तेरी भुला देऊ कैसे , सावरिया करम ना माने ) . The accompanist on Harmonium was Avinash Dighe on Tabla was Prashant Pandav and on Sarangi was Dilshad Khan. This performance is one my favorites in this year’s Sawai till now.
In the featured artist of the day, Niladri Kumar on Sitar accompanied by Vijay Ghate on Tabla took the stage by 7pm. He started with Shuddha Kalyan aalaap , jod and jhala that demonstrated his mastery , control and ease with Sitar. The gat in teentaal mesmerized the audience with a jugalbandi of tabla and sitar. The performance concluded with short Mishra Kafi – Khamaj gat that mesmerized the audience. In spite of “once more” requests from audience, the organizers could not oblige because of award presentation function where Pt Vijay Koparkar was presented with “Vatsalabai Joshi Puraskar” at the hands of Pt Jasraj.
The concluding performance of the day was by Pt Jasraj and his troupe. He started with alaap in Darbaari-Kanada and continued with a vilambit bandish in Kaunsi-Kanada “Rajan ke sartaaj” ( राजन के सरताज). He tutored all his disciples sitting on stage behind him with various taans and badhat. The drut bandish “Kaa naa karat mose batiya” ( का ना करत मोसे बतिया ) was playful. There is a size-able number of people who are Pt Jasraj Fans and always want to hear him on Sawai stage in health or otherwise. They were treated with his presence and bhajan “Om namo bhagavate vaasudevaaya” ( ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय ) , that stretched for half an hour to conclude day 2 of Sawai.