NOTED HINDUSTANI classical musician Lakshmi Sriram recently sang at the Hamsadhwani. Sabha on the 6th of April She began her concert in the sombre and mystical raag Miyan ki Todi. It is said that when the sun is seen the horizon, it is time for Miyan ki todi. This Raga raag allows the use of `pancham' in its scale, albeit sparingly.
Lakshmi rendered the vilambit in ektaal - "Ja Ja Re Pathakwa" - and dwelt on the komal gandhar and komal dhaivat, bringing out its meditative mood.
The piece in dhrut in teen tal - "Patiya Pathakwa More Piya" - was embellished with fast taan patterns showing good practice and tayyari. Lakshmi presented the Tarana with the same finesse, and excelled in jabra taans.
The two-and-a-half hour concert flowed with ease and fluidity. Lakshmi next presented Raga raag Vibhas of the Marwa Thhaat where shudh dhaivat is used against Vibhas of the Bhairav Thhaat where komal dhaivat is used.
"He Nar Har Narayan" in Roopak taal was a true presentation of the khayal - a Persian term meaning idea, or flight of the imagination. Her original and imaginative improvisations were good. This was followed by a chota khayal in teen taal, "Kaisko Harwa Jai Na Hamra'' exhibiting aesthetically woven and imaginative sargams. The Thumri in Piloo, "Pyare Rana Bihari Sun Lo Binti Hamari'' brought forth khatka and murki in a leisurely pace.
A Kabir bhajan, originally sung by Veena Sahasrabuddhe, "Man Lago Yaar Fakiri Mein'' followed in a mixture of Bhairav and Nat Bhairav. In Lakshmi's rendering, one could find traces of Veena's gayaki. Lakshmi concluded her recital with an Abhang, a devotional Marathi song, in Bhairavi, "Deva Adideva Panduranga'' sung two decades ago by Manik Verma.
In her gayaki, Lakshmi shone through as a student of the Gwalior Gharana, which is famous for its emphasis on taal and khayal, rhythm and melody, where rigorous training in both is the ideal and neither takes precedence over the other.
Occasionally Lakshmi's rendition showed traces of Carnatic music. R. Suresh on the tabla and A. Raj on the harmonium provided good support.
JYOTI NAIR BELLIAPPA
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