Saturday, February 24, 2007

An evening to remember

The evening of 24th February 2007 saw new additions to my favourite singers' list. The occassion was the Carnatic Classical Festival called Indradhanush Mahotsav 2007 organised by the Fine Arts Society, Chembur.

The artists in question were the sisters Ranjani and Gayatri. Brilliant, melodious, uplifting are some of the words that I can come up with to describe the music of these ladies. The alapanas, the gamakas, the choice of songs and ragas were just right.

I simply loved the last bit, a Marathi abhang composed by Sant Tukaram which in the words of Gayatri is, "..a ninda-stuti..." (prayer by way of criticism). Somehow managed to locate the lyrics for this song from here:

Pandhari Che Booth Mote
Aalya Gailya Zhadapi Vaatay
Bahu Ghethalicha Raana
Bagha hey Veeday hoya Mana
Thethay Jaavu nakaa konnee
Gailay Nahi aalay Parathoni
Tuka Pandhari see gailaa
Punha Janma Nahi Aalaa

Roughly it translates as: (courtesy Gayatri...)

"There is a demon in Pandharpur; Those who go there never return; Please don't go there... Tukaram went to Pandarpur, And never came back to this earthly life"

Before the last line was quoted, I was under the impression that she was referring to a ghost being tamed by Tukaram; but turns out that Lord Vitthal himself is being referred to as a ghost to suit the style of poetry...

There was also some Tamil poetry and a Purandhara Dasa 'rachane' (composition) in addition to the Carnatic numbers.

Some other facts also presented themselves before me:

1. The true meaning of the music 'Rasika' hit me only today when a majority of the huge audience followed the lyrics in addition to the tune and were able to appreciate the finer nuances of the song, while I was left just appreciating the tune.

2. Listening to Gayatri sing and speak has led me to this generalisation, "Any female who sings should be the emcee of any function." Her voice was kinda magical. Sweet, rich and commanding attention at the same time.

All said and done, this evening should motivate me to get back to my violin!!! Lotsa catching up to do.

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