In rhyme with the divine
MUSIC Delhi recently got a whiff of the divine with artistes from far and wide performing at Nehru Park.
QUAWWALI: Hussaini Brothers from Pakistan performing at the Bhakti Utsav in New Delhi.
THE SERENE Nehru Park was just the perfect venue for a communion with God in a three-day Bhakti Utsav organised jointly by the Delhi Government, the Government of India's Ministry of Culture, the NDMC and Seher recently. It brought together some of the best exponents of devotional music from both sides of the Indo-Pak border.
Celebrating the diverse ways of reaching out and beyond through music, the rich and varied fair comprised traditional chanting of Vedic mantras to classical and folk music, sopana sangeet and Carnatic music from the South, haveli sangeet from Gujarat, gondhad from Maharashtra, Malvi and Chattisgarhi bhajans from Madhya Pradesh and Dhrupad and Sufiana quawwali. It was a treat to experience the divine through devotional music of such high quality.
The festival started with the Vedic chant by K. Malola Kannan and his group in chaste Sanskrit, with flawless pronunciation, and concluded with the Sufiana quawwali rendered soulfully by Fareed Ayaz Al Hussaini and brothers from Pakistan that left the audience in a state of trance.
Food for soul
Fareed belongs to a family of musicians where quawwali has sustained itself nearly for eight centuries claiming lineage to the first disciple of Hazrat Amir Khusrau. They belonged to the Delhi gharana of Tanras Khan, also known as quawwal bachchon ka gharana. Fareed believes that pure music is food for the soul - `rooh ki ghiza' - and the foundation of pure music is `sur' which is the essence of quawwali. They started with a detailed alap of `nom tom' in the raga Bhairav followed by the composition "Allah Ho Allah" in Jhap tala, a 10-beat cycle, a very rare treat for a quawwali.
The famous composition of Hazarat Amir Khusrau, "Chap Tilak... " had shades of Bihag, Jaijaiwanti and Tilak Kamod that added charm to the base raga. Each and every composition showed their command on raga and tala, apart from the devotional element. Slated for an hour, they kept the audience spellbound for more than two hours.
Another attraction of this evening was Malwi bhajan by Kalapini Komkali from Devas, daughter and disciple of the great Kumar Gandhrava. Kalapini has inherited a rich and unique repertoire, which brings together the classical grandeur with folk exuberance. Malwi nirgun bhajan consists of a body of poetry, which is addressed to the self rather than the `other'. This genre was one of Kumar Gandharva's most startling musical discoveries. The Gundecha Brothers presented in Dhrupad style an invocation to Hanuman and Shiva in the ragas Bhimpalasi, Purvi and Malkauns. Haveli sangeet by Bhagavati Prasad Gandharva of Vadodara was the other attraction of this evening.
Madhup Mudgal's soulful rendering of sagun and nirgun bhajans of Tulsi, Sur, Meera, Kabir and Nanak were notable for their meditative quality. Coming from an illustrious family of classical musicians, Madhup was also groomed by Kumar Gandharva, which is quite evident in his nirgun bhajans. His Bhimpalasi, Yaman, Jog, even the Kafi compositions, proved his versatility as a creative composer as well. The Carnatic classical of Bombay Jayashri was a delightful performance. Her rendering of the eternal compositions of composers like Muttuswami Dikshitar, Sadashiva Brahmendra and the kriti "Tung Tarange Gange" in raga Hamsadhwani was marked by a clear enunciation and tunefulness. Her grooming in Hindustani classical has given a rare chaindaari to her swaras, which is normally uncommon in Carnatic concerts. The main attraction of the first day was Pandit Channulal Misra. He sang in praise of Lord Ganesh and Ram in raga Yaman and Hamsadhwani. His chaiti, sung in the month of Chaitra - the current month in Hindu calendar - depicted the birth celebrations of Lord Ram, who was also born in this month. However, his rendition of Ram-Kevat samwad in typical katha-vachak style stole the show. The audience were mesmerised by the emotional rapport created by his captivating katha-vachan.
The innovatively conceived and flawlessly executed Bhakti Ustav drew thousands of rasiks every evening who stayed till late night enjoying the rich variety of devotional music.
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu