Wholesome devotional experience
A GURU of 40 years' standing in Chennai, Pt. M. S. Kulkarni, proves the dictum that a musical Gharana invariably grows around the genius of a creative master. Pt. Kulkarni commanded unqualified reverence as a teacher and attracted aspirants, admirers and disciples. His final recital on the eve of his departure from Chennai left an enduring imprint on the hearts of his audience. Pt. Kulkarni hails from the northern branch of the Kirana Gharana, the product of musical minds like Abdul Karim Khan Sahib and his nephew Abdul Wahid Khan Sahib.
Pt. Kulkarni began the evening recital in raag Puriya. Like a true Kirana musician, he found the place or `jagah' of the gandhar and the nishad in the scale of the raag, and brought it to life each time he explored it. The thumri in Khamaj, "Rama Ro Pichkari Shaam Main To Ab Hoon Rango'' evoked Shringara rasa and was steeped in Purab ang, true to thumak.
Panditji improvised the bols delineating the komal nishad in avaroha with great finesse.
In the Bhajan in raag Jog, "Nand Nandan Girdhari Bhajo Man,'' bhaavate itee bhaave, that is, the emotion which existed within, was expressed as bhava, leading to a completely fulfilling devotional experience.
The abhang, the traditional Marathi devotional piece in Hamsadhwani, "Dejao Athva Gaavo Pandurangi Dhoond Bhaavo'' was highly appreciated. The last piece in raag Asavari where the rishabha is komal, is a favourite of Bhimsen Joshi's.
"Dev Vithal Thirath Vithal'' was a fitting end to an evocative, poignant and powerful recital. C. Rajashekharan on the violin, Bharat Shah on the tabla and Viresh Madri on the sarod provided perfect accompaniment.
JYOTI NAIR BELLIAPPA
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