Monsoon raga

Sarod recital

Monsoon raga

Monsoon made its way to Delhi much before time. Upcoming sarod player from Durgapur, West Bengal, Sayak Barua recently performed in Delhi rendering some earthy, monsoon-beckoning seasonal ragas.

All those present at India International Centre could not but remember the inviting, romantic aura of Delhi’s rains.

Sayak was born to artist parents. As it happens in Bengali households, he was also encouraged to pick up a musical instrument and he chose the sarod. Under the tutelage of his guru Ameena Perera (daughter of the late maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan) Sayak has swiftly risen in the world of Indian classical and instrumental music.

After receiving a Master’s in instrumental music from Rabindrabharati University, Sayak was appointed Junior Research Fellow for sarod by the Ministry of Culture. His passion for education led him to tour extensively throughout India, performing his ragas in diverse and remote regions of the country.

Sayak has consistently ranked high in national classical music competitions for his solo and ensemble work, and continues to expand his repertoire.

He has eagerly sought to experiment with non-traditional instrumentation, including guitar and electronics, adding unexpected reverberations
to his entrancing recitals.

At the IIC event, though, Sayak stuck to traditional notes. He began with his favourite Raag Miya ki malhar. After months of searing heat, when even the scorched earth begs for rain, dark clouds gather and raindrops start falling. Not just humans, but even peacocks start dancing in the rain. One could experience all these emotions in Sayak’s music.

Then came raag Megh with the audible effect of wind blowing, thunder rumbling and lightning cracking. He rendered it in jhap taal (10 beat cycle), followed by raag Jinjhoti. Jinjhoti is the late evening/night raag when the rains have exhausted leaving only a blissful feeling of cool environment and an assured good harvest.      

Sayak says, “The early Indians are said to have created many musical instruments but sarod, I feel, is the one which truly touches the heart. It is like praying to God, it connects you to a higher power, the universe, and at the same time soothes your soul. I find it most therapeutic while playing the sarod and feel my audience
experiencing the same.”

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