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Colourful 'Udat Abeel Gulal'

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Holi, the festival of colours is one of the most important occasions in the context of Hindustani music. There is a spirit of celebration in the air and that spirit gets truthfully reflected in the music. All forms of music generally have the Holi festival as the theme around which songs are woven. Even the most austere form like the Dhrupad has 'Dhamar' which is set to the 14 beat taal. 'Dhamar' depicts the play of colours between the mythological God Krishna, his consort Radha and her women friends. Further, there are hundreds of compositions in 'Khyal' music which depict the fun and frolicking of the festival of colours.

Meanwhile, there are forms like 'Hori' which is a semi-classical genre of music. Most of the 'Horis' are in ragas like 'Kafi' and sometimes in 'Khamaj'. One recalls a beautiful composition in the raga 'Bageshri' in praise of the Holikamata. The mukhada of the song is 'Varadayini Hori'.

'Udat Abeel Gulal' is a theme-based concert which is regularly organised by the santoor player Snehal Muzumdar. This was the 23rd consecutive year and the main auditorium of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at Girgaum Chowpatty was packed to its capacity. Santoorist Muzumdar and Carnatic Veena exponent Narayan Mani played an engaging duet (jugalbandi). They had chosen the seasonal raga 'Basant'. The soothing alaaps were picked up on the vocals by Sharaddha who sings Hindustani and Nupur who sings Carnatic. Like in a Brechtian play the audience too participated in the festivities. Further, there was a spectacular jugalbandi between the Kathak dance exponent Bhakti and the Odissi danseuse Tamanna.

Sanjeev Chimmalgi, a highly talented vocalist held the audience spellbound with his 'Bhairav' composition 'Shobhe Jata'. A pupil of Madhav Gudi and C R Vyas, Chimmalgi has also benefited from the guidance received from Satyasheel Deshpande. Obviously, he now looks upon Kumar Gandharva as his role model. He also sang 'Bhatiya' and a Kabir bhajan with intimacy.

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