Reminiscing the greatest musical 'khayaliya' of our times
Photo credit : Avinash Pasricha
After an arid hiatus of live concerts, normalcy in the world of the arts is returning with a bang in the city of Pune. A mammoth, never before attempted three-day festival of 38 vocalists singing in tribute to who is, in-arguably described as the greatest 'khayaliya' of our times - Bharat Ratna Bhimsen Joshi - will be held from February 12 to February 14.
Starting from 7 AM onwards, the concerts will also be available online and ticketed. Every artist will be singing for around 45 minutes and the day's 'khayal yagna' will conclude late in the evening.
This extravaganza is being organised by the Pune based Sangeetacharya D V Kanebua Pratishthan, who will be celebrating the 100th birth year of Bhimsen Joshi with a yearlong celebration in various cities.
Vocalist and main organiser Manjusha Patil, (who incidentally does not belong to Bhimsen ji's Kirana 'Gharana') shared, "Bhimsen Joshi gave me such huge support and inspiration when I started my career."
"He was a man who learned from many Gurus. Initially, he was trained in the 'dhrupad' tradition, which is why the festival starts with a 'dhrupad' recital by Uday Bhawalkar," said Manjusha Patil. Projecting unbiased objectivity in her selection of artists, she has creditably included singers from all over, not being bound by considerations of age, 'Gharana', popularity or region. There is no attempt to confine the selection to only popular 'star' artists who are perceived as selling more tickets.
It will be interesting to hear a new generation of singers under one platform with artists - Nagesh Adgaonkar from the Rampur Sahaswan tradition, Arati Thakur Kundalkar from Kirana 'Gharana', Vinay Ramdasan and Saurabh Kadgaonkar from Jaipur Attrauli and Sandeep Ranade from Mewati 'Gharana'.
The who's who of the world of vocal music will be singing, including Rajan Sajan Mishra, Ajay Pohankar, Vidushi Padma Talwalkar, Venkatesh Kumar, Vidushi Alka Deo Marulkar, Vidushi Shruti Sadolikar, Vidushi Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Vidushi Arati Ankalikar and Ustad Rashid Khan.
Erudite singers like Vinay Koparkar, Shaunaq Abhisheki, Ram Deshpande and Madhup Mudgal will be singing as well, along with 'stars' including Raghunandan Panshikar, Rahul Deshpande, and Devaki Pandit.
Also included of course are popular singers of the Kirana 'Gharana' - Kaivalya Kumar Gurav, Jayteerth Mevundi, Sawani Shende and Dhananjay Hegde.
Music runs in the families of Ritesh and Rajnish Mishra, sons of Rajan Mishra, who will be singing. Similarly, there will be concerts by Kalapini Komkali and her nephew Bhuvanesh Komkali and one by mother in law Padma Talwalkar, another by her daughter-in-law Sayalee.
For many, it is going to be the first live concert after many months of isolation.
Mumbai based Dhananjay Hegde said, "It is wonderful that my first concert to a live audience will be a tribute to my dada Guru."
As the leading khayal singer today, Padmashri Ulhas Kashalkar said, "Today for all of us, Bhimsen ji is truly a great figure by whom we have all been inspired and influenced. He is such a towering figure and the ideal singer. Every aspect of the presentation and every 'ang' (aspect) of his were perfect. It is wonderful to see such widespread and heartfelt felicitations in his name."