Meditation through concert
Pulak Lahiri's sitar recital in Thrissur enthralled listeners.
MELLIFLUOUS REFLECTIONS: Pulak Lahiri on the sitar and Dinesh Shenai on the tabla.
The one-hour sitar recital at `Naalukettu' in Cherpu, near Thrissur, was a demonstration of what Indian classical music needs in terms of ambience for its recital and appreciation. Neither was there the glare of electric lamps nor blaring loudspeakers as Pulak Lahiri (sitar) and Dinesh Shenai (tabla) settled down to give their performance in the naalukettu of the centuries-old mana.
The dim light shed by two traditional lamps lent an aura of serenity to the ambience. There was hardly a whisper from the audience that had gathered for the performance. Incidentally, `Naalukettu,' the centuries-old mana in the sleepy hamlet has evolved into a venue for select cultural programmes over the past two years.
Fan of Kerala
For Prem Manasvi, the German citizen who is the owner and occupant of the mana for the last 10 years, the fascination for Kerala culture is unparalleled.
A regular witness to cultural events in and around Thrissur, Manasvi's style of living bears ample testimony to his desire to promote the performing arts of Kerala. He came to India in 1991 for the first time as a visitor to Osho's Commune in Pune. Manasvi explained that his tryst with Kerala was quite accidental.
"I had never heard about this place on earth. I came here on an invitation and fell in love with the land, and settled down in an old mana with a lot of nature around and started becoming a part of this country full of contradictions," he says.
Pulak Lahiri opened the concert with a vibrant alapana of Yaman, the much sought-after evening raga.
His style was typical of the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana that laid much stress on the Gayaki Ang.
The notes, most of them prolonged by skilful technique, evoked the mood of the raga.
He also rendered Puriya Dhanasi and essayed Bhairavi. Embellishments employed in Bhairavi, the equivalent of Sindhubhairavi in Carnatic music, were more enjoyable. Shenai's support on the tabla was in the right measure.
Noted harmonium exponent Nalin Moolji's short explanations of each raga and the nuances of Hindustani music were befitting the occasion.
The concert marked the denouement of the three-day Osho meditation camp at the mana. Further, it proved how music itself was a form of meditation. Also it reminded one of the `chamber concerts' of yore that were genuine expositions of classical music.
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