03 June, 2013

Sampradaaya Ganaanjali (2nd show) in praise of Lord Guruvayoorappan on 1st June 2013

(Pic courtesy : hindudevotionalblog.com via Google)

Having attended the 1st show of Sampradaaya Ganaanjali on 16th May, we simply could not imagine missing the 2nd show on the 1st of June, 2013.
It is often said that God works His/Her magic in mysterious ways.  Little did I realize, every single time I heard this comment, that no one has ever spoken or wondered about the kind of impact this magic has or about its ability to sway and dominate one’s emotions and psyche. 
If May had been a culturally rich month for the Indian community in HK, the beginning of June heralded and pointed towards yet another ethnically, artistically and aesthetically opulent month.  With Sampradaya scheduled to have three shows in June, there could have been no better way to begin the month.
Even though I’ve been trained in the Carnatic style of classical music, my leanings had essentially been towards Hindustani classical music.  The only other person in the whole family who loved Hindustani music was my father.  All through my childhood, as far as I can remember, my days used to begin early in the morning to glorious Hindustani music by maestros like Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Kishori Amonkar, Monghibai Kurdikar, Pt. Jasraj or the equally wonderful semi classical versions of Sudhir Phadke, Ajit Kadkade, Suresh Wadkar and many more artistes who lent the magic in their voice to people throughout the country.  Those morning hours were nothing short of magical.  I never used to try and figure out what raga it was or what taal – I simply used to lose myself in the magical web that their music never ever failed to weave. 
The second edition of Sampradaya began with a beautiful number by Preeti Padmanabhan, a young child definitely destined to leave her mark in the world of music.  With her opening number, she completely enchanted the audience and rightly so, for her voice is nothing short of divine and she sang without being conscious of the fact that she was performing in front of so many people. 
Then there was Suresh with a sublime, moving Malayalam song which was an early morning song as it glorified Lord Guruvayoorappan and the Nirmalya Darshanam – which is considered highly auspicious.  Legend has it that during the night, after the temple doors have closed, the devas come to Earth to worship the Lord.  When the temple doors open at 3 am for the Nirmalya Darshanam, the Lord is still adorned with the previous day’s flowers and Suresh’s rendition of the song (originally sung by none other than Yesudas) took me back to that day when, as a child, I ran through the temple at Guruvayoor for the magic that was the Nirmalya Darshanam. 
Poorna Mysoor sang two beautiful numbers, Meera Bhajans and yet again transported the audience into a different world altogether.   
There was Narayanmoorthy with a lovely song from an old Hindi movie, singing the praises of the Lord.
Kaustubh Paranjape, with his exquisite and superb rendition of an absolutely beautiful bhajan (originally sung by Pt. Bhimsen Joshi), sent me literally rolling down memory lane and in my mind, transported me far far away, back to those early mornings during my childhood.  Revelled in that bhajan, I did, on Saturday and without even realizing it, somewhere along the way I guess I’d started smiling because it brought back a whole lot of good memories.  I, for one, did not want that bhajan to end that day.
Jairam made sure I was still hovering around in my childhood days with a beautiful rendition of the timeless, age old classic Alaipaayuthe Kanna.  Beautiful beautiful song this and one could feel the music pouring right out of his heart.  It was magical.
Just when I thought things could not get any better, came  in Shruti Pendharkar and what she sung that day was a musical feast to my ears.  One of my absolute childhood favourites (originally sung by Ajit Kadkade) Vrindavani Venu Vaje (a Marathi Abhang by Sant Bhanudas).  As I just gave myself up to the musical magic that she was weaving, my heart leapt and probably did a few crazy loops and leaps within me – for this was one song that was an absolute favourite.  In fact, truth be told, as I drum this post up, I have my earphones on and am listening to Ajit Kadkade’s rendition of this very abhang on Youtube.   I have been listening to this abhang for quite a while now and I have been getting a few weird looks from the other teachers in the staff room because I guess I’ve been nodding enthusiastically, with my head flying in all directions.  Let’s not mention my hands flying all over the place in rhythm with the music and that grin that has been plastered on my face.  If anyone out here thinks I’ve lost my marbles, I’ve got you to thank, Shruti Pendharkar J.
I was in a very very happy place but little did I imagine how memorable the final abhang was going to be.  Prasad Patil, with his exemplary, energy filled rendition of the age old abhang from Gora Kumbhar “avaghe garaje pandharpura” was a fitting finale to this second edition of Sampradaaya – a musical evening par excellence.  That final abhang well and truly made me cross the line from very happy to deliriously happy. 
The surprise package of the evening was absolutely mind-blowing.  Jairam had mentioned over phone that he had a surprise in store for everyone that evening but no one, I’m sure no one must have seen this one coming.  He introduced to the audience a little boy genius who has such an in-depth knowledge of music theory that it was absolutely astounding.   Like I said at the start of the post, God does work in mysterious ways.  Here was ample proof.  A little child who has been born with the ability to decipher music down to its itty bitty notes and he does it so nonchalantly that one is simply left gasping, absolutely gobsmacked.   It must have been a hugely humbling, sobering experience for all the adults in that recital hall that night.  It definitely was, for me.
For having taken me down a long trip down memory lane to relive some of those lovely memories, my heartfelt thanks to all the artistes who performed that day.  Wonderful voices, enchanting transcendent songs, beautiful, sublime music. 
Divinity, that evening, was virtually palpable.

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