Classical transcends the language barrier

Classical transcends the language barrier


Fragrance of mogras merged with the traditional sur of Punjabi music and soothed those present at IIC on Tuesday as Punjabi Academy and Department of Art, Culture and Languages inaugurated the two-day long ‘Festival of Traditional Music of Punjab’.

Punjab has always been renowned for its melodious bandishes (compositions) that have enriched the repertoire of Hindustani classical music. Highlighting the state’s rich lineage of classical music, a few traditional bandishes were presented by maestros Bhai Mohan Singh - Sukhdev Singh and Tushar Dutta.

Rendering the pure and unadulterated form of classical bandishes, Bhai Mohan Singh-Sukhdev Singh’s jugalbandi mesmerised the audience with almost 400 year old notes that are rarely heard in the present times.

Starting with bhijurian chamkan ghoran ghatayat kalian…. in Raag Malkauns, they moved to Raga Kedar and sang Seekhe ho tum and followed it by a composition in Raag Desh with “Hey Maa gharaj gharaj barsariyan boondanya.”

With a unique enunciation of each and every composition, they gave a befitting beginning to the festival.

The artistes were infused with magical energy at the sight of their guru Pt Rajan Sajan Mishra, who entered the auditorium during their performance. “Our guruji’s presence gave us immense energy and made our performance memorable,” said Bhai Mohan Singh-Sukhdev Singh.

Dressed in white robes, the humble artistes appeared like sufi saints to many among the audience who said that they rendered peace through their notes. Explaining the significance of classical music, the artistes said, “Humare guruji kehte the ki Western mann ko bechain karta hai aur classical dimag aur ruh ko shanti deta hai.” Absolutely true!

A similar classical tradition was followed by vocalist Tus­h­ar Dutta from Kolkata. The distinct and mellifluous blend of Kirana and Agra Gharanas were remarkably visible in his renditions. Also, his compositions struck a perfect balance between emotional and technical qualities of Hindustani classical.

However, a few among the audience found it difficult to understand his pure raags and left but the rest who stayed back remained engrossed till the end. Rajinder Bali, an audience member and banker by profession said, “Classical does not appeal to everybody. One should have a sense of appreciation and knowledge of the language in which the music is composed, so as to absorb the real essence of the Hindustani classical raags.”

The festival brought back the golden era of Punjabi classical music. Punjabi is the only language apart from Brajbhasha, in which khayal bandishes have been written. It is undoubtedly a resource of the true spirit of Indian music.

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