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Pt Ravishankar relives old charm

The ageing Sitar maestro gave his age a beating when he enthralled a gathering in Pune with his magical performance.

art and culture Updated: Dec 17, 2007 20:17 IST

Betraying his debility, the world famous Sitar maestro Pandit Ravishankar wove his magic spell over the audience at a recital here. The 87-year-old maestro urged the gathering to "bear with him" as he has become weak due to his illness.

"I was sick for a whole year. I will try to satisfy you with today's performance. But let me tell you I have become very 'durbal' (weak)," he told a jam-packed auditorium here last night.

But the first resonant notes escaping from his Sitar convincingly proved that the preceding words were nothing but an exercise in modesty on part of the legendary musician. <b1>

Accompanied by daughter, Anoushka, whom a day earlier he had described as his "best disciple", Ravishankar sent the audience into raptures as he played the instrument with an uncanny mastery. Beginning with Raag 'Hamir', Pandit Ravishankar later unfolded the melody of Raag 'Tilakshyam' and rounded up with 'Rangila Pilu' in a mellifluous finale to the two-hour performance, in which the Sitarist father and daughter duo complemented each other to perfection.

The accompaniment on tabla was provided by Kolkota base noted artiste Tanmoy Bose, who ably matched the musical effervescence of the octogenarian in some remarkable pieces of a pleasing 'Jugalbandi' to the delight of connoisseurs.

Ravishankar's performance, titled 'Chirantan' was held in the city after a gap of two decades, under the auspices of Prashant Damle Foundation.