Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, December 27
An evening of cozy renditions at the compact Shri Ram Hall of the Shri Devi Talab Mandir marked the 145th Shri Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan which was held on Sunday.
While the world’s oldest Hindustani classical music festival’s 145th edition remained a comparatively small affair this year in the wake of the pandemic, a limited gathering coupled with choicest music from classical maestros made the evening a quaint outing for music lovers.
Started with ‘Mangal Dhwani’ from Sanjeev Shankar and Ashwini Shankar, the evening saw ‘Dhrupad Gayan’ from Prashant Mallick and Nishant Mallick, followed by a recital by three Jalandhar stalwarts – a sitar recital by Pandit Manu Seen, who was accompanied by Ustad Kale Ram on tabla and Pandit Ramakant.
Pandit Lachman Singh Seen’s son weaved sitar magic into chilly evening. Tabla from veteran Pandit Ramakant and Ustad Kale Ram provided a stirring rhythmic high to the soothing recital.
The festival ended with mellifluous strains of ‘Raga Madhuwanti’ crooned by Mishra brothers—Ritesh and Rajnish—with their Benares Gharana magic. Regulars at the festival, the younger Benares Bandhu dressed in traditional blues provided a tinge of much-needed nostalgia to the well acquainted Harivallabh audience. As they joked, they chose ‘Raga Madhuwanti’ for their first recital.
Their rousing voices and seasoned vocals brought the festival to a high as it came to a close. The evening regaled the audiences, which had been looking
forward to a concert of refined art for a long time amid the restrictions.
The warmth of the music provided a balm to the souls starved of fine arts in winter season.
Despite the small gathering and seating as per social distancing protocol – the disciplined audiences seated at equal distances proves a very successful experiment. This example could perhaps be repeated with larger crowd in the coming years. The cozy cushioned gathering in the midst of the winter brought a stirring close to the one-day festival.