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Magical breath of master Magical breath of master

Jan-14-2015 | 0 Comments

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AHMEDABAD: In one of the earlier Saptak editions, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty - a Patiala-Kasur Gharana notable - had told the audience that singing was an inalienable right of humans. The very act of breathing, he had hinted, revealed our capacity to express ourselves in a song. Pandit Chakrabarty was being kind to rasikas.

His monumental stature in the Hindustani pantheon gives him the compassion to encourage us tap into the same inspirations and urges that masters like him harness. In truth, music lovers would much rather suspend their breathing just to let him rule the baithak. Just as book lovers would tell James Joyce that they will feel fulfilled by just reading his text, even if he were to tell them reassuringly: "Go on, write. Take a sentence and make it long." On Monday, Day 12 of Saptak, Pandit Chakrabarty did more than just sing - he gave redemption to Amdavadis who nourish a patch of classical tradition called Saptak, amid modern encroachments. In fact his presentation, which included Kaunsi Kanada and Lalit Pancham, enlarged the rich Saptak patch.

The Monday audience was composed of a substantial group of young people. Pandit Chakrabarty's bighearted genius was as affecting for them as it was for the purists.

"The pristine nature of his classical rendition is a joy in itself," Manju Mehta, the Saptak guardian, told TOI. "But he also enraptures us. When he sang the bhajan "Hariom", I could experience bliss."

Pandit Chakrabarty gave an insight into his devotion to authenticity when he spoke to TOI during the 2012 Saptak. A raga he presented then was Kafi, into which charming thumri jewellery can rustle in - if a musician isn't careful. "One has to be mindful of the raga's purity," Panditji had told TOI.

On Monday, Panditji showed that integrity of art again. But also on evidence was unexampled individual flair. For instance, he often made his notes descend like pilgrims immersing themselves in piety. In the same breath, he made the notes shoot like a lover's hope. Rasikas were happily breathless.

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