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Scintillating Sitar Recital

Tuesday, November 07, 2017
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Hindustani classical music is one of the most demanding arts. One who wishes to achieve some level of performing skills has to have not only abundant talent, but also tons of patience and a lot of will power. One has to leave aside all other temptations and distractions and concentrate one's energies on 'riyaz' which means incessant practice. Only then one can hope to achieve some degree of perfection. Imagine a person who is not only a front ranking tabla player of the country, but also a fantastic sitar player. It seems incredible but Nayan Ghosh, is one such rare musician who has amazing performing ability. It was on spectacular display last week end at the baithak organized by the Tajmahal Tea House at Bandra Reclamation.

Nayan is a recipient of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy award. He trained as a tabla player under his illustrious father the late Nikhil Ghosh, who also was a versatile musician. Nayan was also under the tutelage of the great Ahmedjan Thirkawa, the emperor of the tabla. He learned sitar under his father and also studied the styles of the maestros like Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan and Nikhil Bannerjee. He must have also picked up the finer nuances of their styles while accompanying them on the tabla. What he played at the Tajmahal Tea House was a superb synthesis of all these elements. He began with the raga 'Gujri Todi', which is supposed to be the original prakar of 'Todi'. His alaps and gats had the requisite tonal colours which one associates with 'Gujri Todi'. The consonance between komal rishabh and komal dhaivat was explored and maintained with a lot of dignity and sense of aesthetics. He later switched to the raga 'Alhaiyya Bilawal' which exuded the happy Diwali spirit. As he was about sign off with a 'Bhairavi', the audience requested him to play something more. Nayan Ghosh responded with a lilting 'Bhatiyali' which is a boatman's song. It was reminiscent of the sounds typical of the riverside embankments of the undivided Bengal. His son and pupil Ishaan Ghosh, provided wonderful tabla accompaniment to him. Ishaan has all the potential to become the tabla star of the future.

'Uttung', the cultural organization based in Vile Parle (East) has done commendable work for the last two decades and more. They held a special programme of stage songs of which were composed by the eminent singer Asha Khadilkar at the P L Deshpande Hall at Vile Parle. The hall was packed to capacity and reputed singers of the young generation like Shrirang Bhave, Dnyanesh Pendharkar, Mehendale ,Vedashree Oke and others held the audience spellbound with their rendering of stage songs composed by Asha Khadilkar. All the compositions reflected the best elements of the traditional Marathi natyageet and were thoroughly enjoyable.

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