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Colourful Rendering of ‘Gujri Todi’

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

The raga 'Gujri Todi' is one of the most appealing morning melodies of Hindustani music. It is most difficult too. The note komal rishabh and komal dhaivat make it a difficult raga. Over and above that there is teevra madhyam and shuddh nishad. To accurately judge and then master the spaces between these notes of the raga is a big challenge and musicians spend a lifetime over it. Delhi-based classical singer Dr. Nabnita Chouwdhury has commendable control over her vocal chords. With her unerring sense of melody she melodiously projected the exact character and mood of the raga 'Gujri Todi' at a morning concert organised by 'Kalabharati' and 'Khayal Trust' at Karnataka Sangha.

Nabanita is a pupil of the famous duo Rajan and Sajan Mishra. The leisurely alaps of the raga were extremely pleasing to the ears. Her taans had an admirable clarity and her interaction with the tabla player Mukund Pandit was quite lively. Pandit is a pupil of the inimitable Nayan Ghosh. Nabanita has also learned from the late Shobha Gurtu. From Gurtu she has learned semi-classical songs. She sang one such thumri in style. Vinod Padge on the harmonium lent superb support to the singer.

It was a full house which lapped up everything that was presented at the three hour 'Ragdari programme'. It began with a glowing tribute to sitar maestro Halim Jaffer Khan who has played sitar pieces in the song 'Jindagi Usiki Hai' from the flick 'Anarkali'. Later on, the audience cheered every song whether it was based on morning ragas like 'Jogia' or 'Todi' or evening ragas like 'Maru Bihag' or 'Shankara'. C Ramchandra's use of ragas was actually demonstrated with live singing of ragas which was highly appreciated. Mukta Raste on the tabla and Rajan Mashelkar on the violin lent superb support.

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