Few turn up to pay tribute to Gangubai, Pattammal

But barely around a hundred of its citizens could spare a couple of hours on Wednesday to pay tribute to Gangubai Hangal and D K Pattammal, two legends of Indian classical music who passed away recently.

The occasion was a special tribute to the two legends, organised by Sangeet Natak Akademi at its Meghdoot Bhawan premises at the heart of the city, and the event was well announced in the print media through advertisements in leading dailies for two consecutive days.

But the city with a population of over 1.5 crore, whose denizens are known for their legendary expertise in getting free passes to cultural events, apparently did not have time to spare for the two legends.

Die-hard music lovers

Noted singers Tejpal Singh of Singh Bandhu duo, Shanno Khurana and Madhup Mudgal, Lalit Kala Akademi chairman Ashok Vajpeyi, officials of SNA and a few scores of die-hard music lovers were among the few who turned up to pay their tributes. None of the ubiquitous private electronic media cameras were also visible at the venue, with the function covered by only a handful of print media journalists.

Rare persona

But those present were given a rare peek into the person behind the singer that was Gangubai Hangal, by her close associate and academic Sushila Ambike, who shared with the gathering her long association with the legend.

“She was such a great person that she would never complain even though organisers of concerts would never pay her as high as other big names singing in the same concert,” Ambike said.

She also recalled how Hangal had sung the Marwa Raga following a request from a huge gathering in Ambala despite the fact that the difficult rendition would leave her with a back ache. Leading classical singer Shanno Khurana said both Hangal and Pattammal laid the foundation for women classical singers by overcoming societal obstacles at an age when women were not encouraged to sing in public.

“Hangal was a pillar of our music, and today’s generation must learn from her life and singing,” she said.

Equally glowing tributes were paid to Pattammal at the memorial, in which a special visual presentation on the two legends, prepared by SNA, was also screened.

DH News Service

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