Sawai 2016 : the Finale

To begin the Final report, first, here is the page from the Sawai Diaries 2016 for the Highlights of Day 5 (Sunday)

The Sunday afternoon in Sawai pandal was different this year. With no concert in the morning session , most Sawai fans had been hanging around at food stalls all afternoon waiting for the evening session to begin by 4pm.
Takahiro Arai , a disciple of Santoor maestro Pt Shivkumar Sharma delighted the crowd with his humbleness , simplicity and more importantly , his Santoor with a soft Madhuvanti aalaap , jod and gat. The crowd cheered him and the audience , connoisseurs and also the typical Sunday evening crowd demanded an encore which was politely denied due to constrains of time and the senior artists that were to follow.
Pt Kaivalya Kumar Gurav was next, who started with Patdeep vilambit “Tumso rang laagi” and continued with a drut “Dhan Dhan baaje” and a Tarana. A thumri “Dekho jiyaa bechaain” and a tappa “Dildara aaja re” followed. He concluded with a Marathi bhajan “Vitthal-Vitthal naamachi”. The highlight of this performance was his demonstration of movement of his voice in three octaves and his quality of voice culture. Suyog Kundalkar’s harmonium was the delightful experience that matched the taans and sargams note to note !

The priced performance of the evening was the Sarod duet by Aman Ali & Ayaan Ali Bangash . Accompanied on Tabla by Satyajit Talwalkar and Tapan Bose, they presented Puriya Kalyan Alaap, Jod and a gat in 45 mins  concluding early for their guru and father Ut Amjad Ali Khan to take the stage. The Ustad of Sarod, started with self composed raag Ganesh Kalyan (that sounded like Gaud Sarang and Yaman) short take. This was followed by Zillaa Kafi , a family of Kanada that included Bageshree and Kafi Kanada. The Tarana followed and Ustadji explained how Tarana is closely associated with the instrument of Sarod for expressing the language of Sound (Music).
Charukeshi short take was a delight where  Ustadji also gave a brief vocal rendition. The concluding item was a Khamaj cheez and a composition in Raag Tilang followed by the quintessential tune of melody of Rabindranath “Ekla Chalo Re”

The Final performance of the day and the festival was by the veteran 82 year old Dr Prabha Atre and her vocal support troupe. She is popular as a vocalist who sings self-composed bandishes as against traditional ones. She began by Shyam Kalyan vilambit “Mangal naam shree Ganesh” , continued with drut “Gajavadanaa he Ganaraayaa, puri karo kaamanaa” followed by a Tarana “Dhim Dhim derena derana”
The next raag was called Bhinna Kauns presented with bandish “To pe vaari jaaun” and a Tarana “Ta na na Dir naa Dir naa taani” . A dadara “Saavaro nandlaalaa , mo pe jaadu daalaa” was followed by her famous bhajan in Bhairavi “Jagat janani bhav tarini, mohini tu navdurga”
The Finale and Festival concluded by 10pm , playing the “anthem” .. a recorded Bhairavi of Guruji Sawai Gandharva “Bin dekhe pade naahi chaain” !


Some Final Observations :

1) Though the number of audience is increasing , The quality of audience has gone down and is going down day by day.
2) The space for “Bharatiya Baithak” (Indian seating area) is reducing every year and the useless stalls of sponsors ,on right flank are taking up the space
3) Dropping morning session is the worst decision. In fact the morning sessions need to be extended on Saturday along with Sunday.
4) The audience is treated disrespectfully by the organizers who lack professionalism in management of event
5) Overcrowding and overselling of tickets / passes in Bharatiya Baithak (Indian seating) area while the couches and chairs are empty.
6) No safety or preparations for any emergencies ! This is a disaster in waiting.

Here are the “Sawai Fan” awards of 64th Sawai Festival , Sawai 2016 :

1) Best day / session of the Festival : Day 2 , Dec 8th , 2016
( Mishras (Jr) , Flute sisters, Manjiri Asnare-Kelkar, Pt Jasraj )
2) The Most promising artist(s) of Festival : Manjiri Asnare-Kelkar , Laksha Mohan and  Ayush Mohan Gupta
3) The Artist(s) of the Festival : Laksha Mohan and Ayush Mohan Gupta 
4) The unique concert(s) of the Festival : Mysore Manjunath & Nagraj , Takahiro Arai 
5) Most Disappointing performance : Shrinivas Joshi & Viraj Joshi , Brajeshwar Mukherjee, The Anchor / announcer Anand Deshmukh for poor professional preparation about Artists,Instruments,classical music information.
6) Most traditional, sincere,heartfelt performance(s): Ut Irshad Khan , Pt Uday Bhavalkar , Takahiro Arai
7) The Best food / food stall of the festival: Jointly ,Pratyushaan and Purnanna for the high quality ,tasty and “saatvic” choice of traditional snacks. Shorba (Tomato Soup) of Purnanna , Sabudana Vada at both , Batate vada and red chatni- Paangi – Mau Bhaat – Sabdudana Vada and fresh coconut chutney of Pratyushaan
8) The Raag(s) of the festival : Bhimpalas and Jog

Sawai Gandharva Music Festival , Pune 2016 concludes but the sadness of final Bhiaravi is lingering in the mind ..Departing is always hard !

Parting after such a wonderful “party” of 5 days is harder !

With teary eyes we bid final farewell, the final dimming of lights and we move on with the priced possessions of treasured memories !
Bye ! Adieu !

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