There is always a light

There is always a light
Don't be afraid if you are alone or surrounded by darkness. In some part of the world, the day has just begun. There is a always a light waiting for you to find your way to touch its radiance.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Poetry without words..

By Ananya Mukherjee

It starts with a soft feathery stroke that sends the innermost chords of your soul vibrating in a poignant resonance. The next few minutes transport you to another hear the rippling gurgling streams meandering through deep dark gorges, you float in the fluidity of that motion, prancing in circles, tiptoeing over the slippery rocky water bed. Then you hear the soft musings of a distant flute slowly weaving into that trance, further elevating you to a higher platform where each of your pulse is touched by a subtle yet powerful energy that brings you to submission. With each passing moment, the vision of the valley becomes more lucid in your mind. This is what happens when master instrumentalist Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and music maestro Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia perform a Jugalbandi.

It was indeed poetry without words as the celebrated duo Shiv-Hari performed for a packed audience at the Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore, last week.  The magical pair was accompanied by Shri Vijay Ghate on Tabla and Pandit Bhawani Shankar on the Pakhawaj. 

The evening opened appropriately with Raga Yaman, a solo composition played by Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, the undisputed king of Santoor. The raga popularly known as Kalyani in Carnatic is one of the most important and engaging ragas of Hindustani classical music and the composition by Pandit Sharma gave it a distinct character that revealed a sense of tranquillity. The accompaniment on the Pakhawaj added to that dimension. If I were left to translate my imagination in words, I saw myself sitting alone at the ghats of the holy Ganges, somewhere up north, near Haridwar or Rishikesh, watching a flood of floating diyas disappearing in the river after the evening aarti. If you have ever done that, you will know what I mean.  

This evening raga was followed by a solo based on Raga Kirwani from the world renowned exponent of Baansuri (bamboo flute),Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia. Needless to say, the spotless and haunting rendition kept the audience enthralled. Though a strictly Carnatic raga, traces of Pilu could be found in the composition, the treatment was both romantic and passionate. Very easily the music could transcend the territorial limitations of space and take you by the Yamuna river to catch a glimpse of a divine poetry in motion. Vijay Ghate on the Tabla thundered like clouds rumbling in that backdrop and further accentuated the tempo and the mood.

The second session was the more energetic part of the evening as the two maestros left the audience mesmerised by a soulful Jugalbandi based essentially on the elegant late evening Raga Khamaj, skilfully improvised with popular light classical and folk music like Aayo kahan se ghana shyam and Okey aaj chole jete bolona Lolita. As the rendition unfolded phrases for each artiste to follow, the music intensified and the percussion accelerated the rhythm, the cadence conversing matchlessly with the Santoor and the Baansuri.
So spiritually enriching and soul stirring was the musical journey that I had to sit back and think, did I really need words to express myself, to convey my desires or passions, to elaborate on my dreams and fantasies, or to fight the innermost fears of my soul? Most of all, when there is music such as this, don’t I need to rephrase my prayers?

Musically yours,


  1. Sudeshna DasguptaJuly 31, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Very vivid as always....
    Very musical as it is.... :)
    Affectionately yours,

  2. Good One! - Amitabh Dey (Singapore)

  3. Portey aeto bhalolaaglo....saamne dekha must have been a divine experience.....

  4. Great (real) Maestros always leave a memory as strong as existance of Praana, Your review helped me to remember these legendary performances twenty years back, when we often heard them in India... Golden music golden memories.. Thanks Ann for your sparkling notes. God Bless

  5. I am musically challenged myself , made more so by the young ones at home playing on the thudding , mechanical music favoured bymost of this generation . it is indeed good to see intelligent young women dis - proving that "classical music " as my son says is no longer cultural currency . Your write up was very poetic too , especially the last paragraph seemed liked riding on the wings of the song .......