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A Worthy Disciple's Debut

Tuesday, October 03, 2017
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

About fifteen years ago there was a grand event at the St Xavier's College quadrangle to celebrate the 75th birthday of the celebrity singer Bhimsen Joshi. The person who was chosen to felicitate Bhimsen was none other than the tabla maestro Alla Rakha Khan. Bhimsen, in his characteristically humble speech, recalled how Alla Rakha Khan had sung the Todi cheez 'Change Nainwali Kudiya'. Bhimsen later popularized it through his recitals and recordings. One was reminded of this sweet little incident as one sat listening to the same 'Change Nainwali'at the Karnataka Sangha, sung by Rameshwar Dange.

Dange is a pupil of the popular singer Jayteerth Mevundi. Mevundi is a singer who comes closest to Bhimsen as far as the ability to emulate is concerned. Dange who is a warkari from the family of pilgrims has music in his veins. He faithfully follows Mevundi in his raga rendering. His 'taan' patterns and 'alaps' are in the Bhimsen Joshi mould. He also sang 'Yeri Mai Aaj Subhmangal Gaun' another composition on which there is an indelible Bhimsen stamp. He followed up with 'Lalit'.

Maitreyee Dadarkar, a scholar from the ITC/SRA was another performer. She sang the raga 'Shudh Sarang'. She is a pupil of the senior singer Arun Bhaduri. It was a leisurely development of the raga theme in a voice which is as strong as it is melodious. She sang a light classical piece which she has learned from veteran singer Girija Devi. Dnyaneshwar Sonawane on the harmonium and Abhay Datar on the tabla lent superb support.

The prestigious Bhimsen Joshi Memorial Award, instituted by the Government of Maharashtra, was bagged this year by the senior classical singer and teacher Manik Bhide. Bhide is the mother and guru of the well known singer Dr Ashwini Bhide. She is one of the devoted disciples of the late Kishori Amonkar. Musicians belonging to different strata congratulated Ms Manik Bhide on her achievements.

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