SEVENTEEN years have passed away since legendary music composer and veteran violinist Bhubaneswar Mishra passed away. But not much has been done - either by the government or the artistes’ fraternity of Orissa - to respectfully remember him and his pioneering contributions to classical, semi-classical, Odissi and film music. Against such a depressing backdrop, the touching tribute that the four-decade-old Bhubaneswar Music Circle (BMC) offered through an exclusive evening of the maestro’s musical compositions - Sangeetayana for Pandit Bhubaneswar Mishra - at Rabindra Mandap on Sunday deserves special mention and appreciation.
Accompanied on tabla by Pandit Umesh Chandra Kar, violinist Baidhar Rout, a disciple of one of the disciples of Mishra, kicked off the concert and set the mood of the evening with rendition of raga Bihag followed by late Mishra’s most favourite tune of the traditional Odissi song sanginire rasa ranginire.
Moving on, six popular and prominent singers - Sikandar Alam, Ramahari Das, Lata Ghosh, Sangeeta Gosain, Bijay Kumar Jena and Mitali Chinara - sang two songs each mostly from the 12th century saint-poet Jayadev’s immortal Geet Govind and a few Oriya film songs as well. Sikandar Alam’s songs - hori range and asara asara pasara - were specially composed for the All India Radio by Pandit Mishra. Mitali Chinara, the next singer, presented a song from the film Bata Abata (tume dayaludata hari) in which Anuradha Paudwal had her debut in Oriya cinema as a background singer. It was followed by another highly popular devotional film number jaya jadu nandana by Lata Ghosh that Suman Kalyanpur had sung for the film.
Now it was the turn of veteran vocalist and Odissi music composer Guru Ramahari Das to regale with kuru yadunandana the famous ashtapadi from the Geet Govind while Sangeeta Gosain, the next singer mesmerised with the film song sanje sakale tuma chhabikhoje (from the film Stree for which Bhubaneswar Mishra and Hariprasad Chaurasia had teamed up as music directors and were known as Bhuban-Hari).
Sangeeta further presented an ashtapadi - sakhi he kaise mathan mudaram . As a fitting finale, Odissi singer Bijay Kumar Jena signed off the concert with two of the ashtapadis - dheera samire and yahi madhaba yahi keshaba. Known for his emotive renditions and tonal clarity, Jena hooked the audience to their chairs even though it was quite late in the evening. Earlier, former Bhubaneswar Music Circle president and cultural archivist Mahendra Mishra and Sikandar Alam - who were quite close to Pandit Mishra - reminisced about the master musician.