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Strings exude melody

THE SECOND and closing day of ?Anushruti? series saw two noted State artistes performing to a meagre audience at Ravindra Bhavan on Tuesday evening. But this didn?t quite dampen the spirits of the two performers, Dr Varsha Agrawal (hailing from Ujjain) and Dr Asit Kumar Banerjee (from Bhopal), who went on to exude sheer melody with their ?santoor? and ?sitar? recitals.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2006 01:42 IST

THE SECOND and closing day of ‘Anushruti’ series saw two noted State artistes performing to a meagre audience at Ravindra Bhavan on Tuesday evening. But this didn’t quite dampen the spirits of the two performers, Dr Varsha Agrawal (hailing from Ujjain) and Dr Asit Kumar Banerjee (from Bhopal), who went on to exude sheer melody with their ‘santoor’ and ‘sitar’ recitals.

The presentation took off with Varsha’s rendition in raag ‘Vihaag’ with Aalaap-Jhod-Jhaala. This was followed by compositions inserted into ‘Teen Taal’ that were segregated into three parts in ‘Vilambit’, Madhya and Dhrut.

But Agrawal’s command over the instrument came out with the third recital that displayed some beautiful and pleasing tempo variations (laykarian), which instantly struck a chord with the listeners.

The most enjoyable part of the harmonic arrangement was the last piece called the ‘Ladant Bhidant’ or the ‘Nok Jhonk’. This portion exhibited some exquisite rhythmic progressions emanating out of ‘tabla’ beats and the strokes of the santoor that matchlessly fought to spellbind the addresses. While Varsha’s  ‘kalam’ (santoor stick) continuously moved fast- forward on the strings, her guru Pandit Lalit Mahant provided adequate accompaniment on the tabla.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Dr Varsha Agrawal said that her romance with the santoor began as early as when she was merely five and  happened to listen to Pandit Bhajan Sopori on the AIR, which instantly attracted her to the instrument.

“Its lasting impression inspired me to take up ‘santoor’ even after knowing that it was a domain largely ruled by male exponents. Now that I have a made a mark as a solo female instrumentalist (on santoor) gives me lot of satisfaction and courage, keeping in mind that it is rarely taken up by the fair sex on account of the labour and ‘riyaaz’ it demands”, she said. 

The concluding virtuoso recital on sitar came in from Dr Asit Kumar Banerjee who weaved a musical web with Raag ‘Hemant’ to begin with. He also enthralled the listeners with a 16 beat ‘Maseethakhani’ and ‘Razakhani gat todas’. Earlier, in the evening, Assistant director Directorate of Culture H R. Ahirwar greeted the artistes.