As the hands of Sukhwinder Singh, 20, touched the tabla dayan, the environment went musical and sounds of tabla resonated the hall. Everyone was transfixed. The notes were powerful enough to pull the audience inside the Shri Ram Hall where the Shree Baba Harivallabh Sangeet pratiyogita is taking place.
Singh performed ‘teen taal’ on tabla and was getting huge response from the audience as the public could not resist but keep on applauding in between his performance.
As the 141st Harivalabh sangeet sammelan has started, the three-day music competition is being held with young artistes from all over the country.
‘Ajhu na aae sham’, the moment Deblina Ray crooned this ‘raag thumri jogiya bhairav’, the audience got mesmerised.
Ray, 19, who is from Kolkata, came here in the city to perform in the category of senior vocal. She won the first prize in the competition.
“I have come here for the first time and performing here is like a dream coming true.”
When asked if she knew about the Harivallabh Sangeet samellan, she replied, “Who doesn’t know about it? My grandfather had always told me and encouraged me to perform at the most respectable platform.”
The performers came from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal, and Maharashtra and presented various ragas.
Ragini Deole from Ujjain, who was here for the first time, performed on Tappa Kaafi and Mishra Pahari.
Ragini Deole, 20, won the second prize in the competition. She said that performing at the Harivallabh competition is an achievement in itself.
“I had waited for this moment for long, and it’s a proud and emotional moment for me and my family,” said Deole.
Shruti Sharma from Bikaner performed Mishra Khamaj. Started in 1875, Harivallabh Sangeet Samellan, is the world’s oldest music festival dedicated to Indian classical music.
Baba Harivallabh started it in the memory of his guru, Swami Tulsagiri, and hermits would attend it then. Baba Harivallabh ran the event for 10 years till his death in 1885, after which it was renamed after him.
Purushottam Kumar, an old regular, said, “I wait for the event. Nothing else has ever given me more peace. I even listen to music of young artistes with love and dedication and when doyens of classical music come here and perform, that scene becomes the one which is out of this world.”