HYDERABAD: It is an annual ritual that the music aficionados of Hyderabad religiously look forward to Pt Motiram – Maniram Sangeet Samaroh that takes place in the cooler months of the Deccan climate. The last few days of November, twin cities’ music lovers keep the dates blocked to be able to soak in the divine music the festival offers. This has been going on for the last 45 years. This 46th year, Pandit Jasraj is away in the US, but still, the festival took place, continuing the tradition. As it is customary to offer prayers on 30th November to his late father on his “punya thithi”, Pandit ji did it with equal devotion and veneration, singing from thousands of miles away and it was live streamed. Technology does help those who have the will and the determination to do it- what is a mere distance in this vast universe?
With the mild fragrance of “sambrani” wafting in the air, the venue CCRT (Centre for Culture Resources & Training- Madhapur), came alive as the audience filled every seat and eagerly waited for each concert to start but not to end, on all the three days. On the second day, Kushal Das on sitar and Shashank Subramanyam on flute presented a well balanced, competitive, yet complementary “jugal bandi” and received a standing ovation: in Hyderabad, we have the most receptive and responsive audience who are very generous in their appreciation. They stand up after a performance out of great regard to the artist and an equal respect to the art.
The latter part of the evening the scion of Mewati Gharana, Pt Sanjeev Abhyankar took the audience on a most gratifying journey into music. He was a child prodigy who grew up under the loving guidance of Pt Jasraj, trained in every nuance and speciality of this unique gharana. Over a period of time, he blossomed into one of the finest young musicians in country.
Pt Sanjeev Abhyankar opened the concert with Raag Kaushiki Kanada (also known as Kaushi Kanada): if you want to describe this raag in one simple line it is Malkaus on the way up (Aaroh) and Darbari (Avroh) on the way down. But it is much beyond this mundane description. This multihued midnight raag gives the musician a scope for a soul-ward journey to embark upon and that is precisely what happened when Sanjeev Abhyankar sang. His rendition of this beautiful raag was meditative, soothing and emotionally elevating. Later he sang compositions in Bageshree Kanada, Bageshree and closed the concert with his guru’s composition (Pandit Jasraj) “Niranjani Narayani” in Raag Bhairavi, a much- loved bhajan.
Kedar Pandit on the tabla gave his usual brilliant accompaniment, lifting the performance. The young Abhinav Ravande received much appreciation with his enthusiastic support on the harmonium. Pandit sanjeev Abhyankar’s disciple Vileena (who sang along with his guru) is a new addition to Mewati Gharana.