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The Charm of the Bansuri

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

There are scores of competent bansuri players in the country today. Each one has his own merits. Sunilkant Gupta who was recently featured by the ITC/SRA in collaboration with Shivaji Park Nagarik Sangh stands out among the crowd of bansuri players as a studious and serious  performer. He has worked on the design of the instrument and its mechanics as well as production of sound. All his thinking does reflect in his playing.

Sunilkant had chosen the raga 'Puriya Kalyan'. This raga is very popular with singers as well as instrumentalists. Especially, the Kirana gharana singers often sing this raga. It is a combination of the two full scale ragas like 'Puriya' and 'Kalyan' which is the Sanskritized name of the more popularly known 'Yaman'. It neither projects the sombre mood of 'Puriya' nor the joyous mood of 'Yaman'. Sunilkant captured the mixed and colourful mood of the raga through his alaps and jod. Amit Chaube, a leading tabla player provided excellent accompaniment to him while he was playing his gats. In tune with the spirit of the season, he played the raga 'Basant' which  is a springtime melody. The composition was set to ek taal and was a creation of the veteran the late Govindrao Natu. Sunilkant played it with the requisite zest.

The evening began with a vocal recital by Meher Paralikar who is an ITC/SRA scholar and a pupil of the maestro Ajoy Chakraborty. He sang the raga 'Yaman' with sincerity and devotion. He does have a pool of talent and under Ajay Chakraborty's guidance should flower into a good artiste. He also sang a natyageet. Vinod Padge on the harmonium and Tejovrush Joshi on the tabla lent superrb support.

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