Clas­si­cal mu­sic makes a come­back at Ganesh pan­dals

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Yo­gesh Pawar p_ yo­gesh@ dnain­dia. net

Mumbai: In the run- up to the 10day siege of the city by loud sound sys­tems blar­ing dou­ble en­ten­drelaced item num­bers, there’s some good news too. At least for res­i­dents of Nel­lai So­ci­ety of Chem­bur’s Swastik Park, who have de­cided to re­vive the for­got­ten tra­di­tion of re­gal­ing the Lord Gane­sha with pure clas­si­cal mu­sic.

Well- known mu­sic afi­cionado Shashi Vyas, who heads Pan­cham Nishad, has or­gan­ised ‘ Trib­hukti - The Con­flu­ence’, which will bring the tal­ented trio of artistes like Abhijit Po­hankar ( key­board), Paras Nath ( flute) & Aditya Kalyan­pur ( tabla) to­gether. Vyas gets nos­tal­gic rem­i­nisc­ing the con­certs of yore many of which saw his late fa­ther renowned vo­cal­ist Pan­dit CR Vyas per­form.

“Those were the days when renowned artistes like Pt Bhim­sen Joshi, Mal­likar­jun Man­soor, Pt Ji­ten­dra Ab­hisheki, Ram Marathe, Hirabai Bado­dekar, Gan­gubai Han­gal, Sawai Gand­harva felt hon­oured to per­form at the Gan­pati man­dals where au­di­ences thronged to lis­ten.”

Prais­ing the ini­tia­tive, Me­wati mae­stro Pt Jas­raj said: “I want to pat Shashi on the back for this. I hope and pray that this will re­vive what was a glo­ri­ous tra­di­tion. Un­like the au­di­to­ria where niche au­di­ences come to lis­ten, th­ese con­certs can ac­tu­ally test and chal­lenge an artiste’s cal­i­bre.”

He re­mem­bers per­form­ing at Ganesh man­dals not only in Mumbai and Pune but also in in­te­rior small towns like Bhu­sawal, Am­ra­vati and Akola. “Shiva is the adideva, and his son Gan­pati the leader of ganas.

He com­mands re­spect from one and all. Which is why we be­gin ev­ery per­for­mance by in­vok­ing him. What bet­ter way to ap­pease this Lord of all the 64 arts than mu­sic?”

Jas­raj wife, film­maker and au­thor Mad­hura re­mem­bers how he was of­ten in­vited by her late fa­ther and film- mak­ing icon V Shan­taram to sing at the Ra­jka­mal Stu­dio. “Hirabai Bado­dekar and her sis- ter SaraswatiJi were my grand­fa­ther Ra­jaram Vanku­dre’s neigh­bours in Pune. I re­mem­ber him invit­ing them to sing at home dur­ing the Gan­pati fes­ti­val.”

An­other con­cert she fondly re­mem­bers is lis­ten­ing to Bal Gand­harva per­form at the Ganesh pan­dal in the Fiat fac­tory premises in Kurla. “Ac­com­pa­ny­ing him was one of the tallest tabla soloists ever, Ahmed Jan Thi­rakwa Khan.”

Suresh Tal­walkar, the tabla mae­stro too re­mem­bers ac­com­pa­ny­ing the who’s who from the world of clas­si­cal mu­sic at Gan­pati con­certs.

“The Brah­min Sabha at Gir­gaum and Ram Maruti Road near Shivaji Park come to mind where I some­times ac­com­pa­nied Bhim­sen Joshi, Ji­ten­dra Ab­hisheki and Ram Marathe on the tabla in the course of the same evening.”

Maybe it’s time for magic to come back.

Aditya Kalyan­pur ( tabla) and Abhijit Po­hankar ( key­board) will be per­form­ing a Hin­dus­tani con­cert at Swastik Park, Chem­bur in Mumbai on Septem­ber 7.

For rep­re­sen­ta­tion pur­pose only

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