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Amonkar cremated with full state honours at Shivaji Park

cities Updated: Apr 05, 2017 08:55 IST
Akash Sakaria
Akash Sakaria

The classical music fraternity and artists congregated at Ravindra Natya Mandir in Dadar to pay their last respects to Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar, who passed away at the age of 84 on Monday. Amonkar was cremated with full state honours at Shivaji Park on Tuesday.

Stalwarts like Taufiq Qureshi, Suresh Wadkar, Mahesh Kale, Raghunandan Panshikar, Devki Pandit, Aarti Ankalikar-Tikekar, Shashi Vyas, Anuradha Pal, Pandit Ajay Pohankar and Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, among others had come to offer their last respects to her and condolences to the family at Ravindra Natya Mandir on Tuesday.

Vinod Tawade, state education and cultural minister, was also present at teh Prabhadevi venue. “We thought that she was going to sing more. Her untimely death has left us numb. We wanted her to sing for years to come,” said Vibhas Amonkar, Kishori Amonkar’s younger son.

Noted Santoor player, also a Padma Vibhushan recipient, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, said he had booked a concert with Amonkar earlier on Monday, the day she passed away. “We were supposed to perform together on October 14 and I had visited her at her residence to reserve the date. It still doesn’t sink in that she is no more,” Sharma said.

Sharma also added that Amonkar never compromised with her art and remained sincere towards her music. “She was God’s gift to music lovers. It is almost impossible to get another Kishori Amonkar. Her philosophy of life oozed from her music. Fortunately, there are recordings available online for young people to learn from her renditions,” he said.

Many people offered their condolences in the Prabhadevi hall and hundreds had gathered to catch a last look of her while she was being taken to the Shivaji Park crematorium.

Anuradha Pal, India’s first professional tabla player, said Amonkar redefined many ragas and made her own signature. “She almost made Raag Bhoop, Raag Alhaiya Bilawal and Raag Nand her own and treated them like her children,” Pal said while adding that she was lucky to have shared the stage with Amonkar when she was 16.

Pal also said the discipline and knowledge that Amonkar had about ragas were unparalleled. “She was the epitome of classical music. The way Taai presented her sur and taal was so simple to listen to and yet extremely difficult to sing. I have had the privilege to learn a lot from her. But this is definitely the end of an era,” Pal added.

The last rites were performed by Amonkar’s sons on Tuesday evening. She is survived by two sons and grandchildren.

First Published: Apr 05, 2017 08:44 IST