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An Evening 'Well' Spent

An Evening 'Well' Spent is an event that took place on 30-Nov-2000 in Hyderabad.
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This old well at the CIEFL, with two-storyed corridors surrounded by thick, wild vegetation, had become a dump yard for many years. Until it was discovered (so to speak) and spruced up, so that the unique stairs down the still waters and the arched Deccani verandahs were fit again to host the best of the cultural razzmatazz. Now the Hyderabadi music lovers flock to it in earnest, anxious for the evening to dawn and looking expectantly at the facing arch to be occupied by the music maestros of our time.

Indeed, amidst the crowded cultural calendar of our city, there are but few events that are eagerly looked forward to. "Pandit Motilal and Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh", instituted by Pandit Jasraj over three decades ago, has been the sole regular event that caters to those who devour upon the lilting Hindustani melodies staged by ace artistes of the country. And this year Pandit Jasraj himself appeared along with a host of his disciples. He started off with his favorite compositions from 'Guru'. With much reverence, the music is attributed to the 'guru', and draws parallels with the Almighty.

The ever so earnest Mohe Lage Lagan Guru Charan Lagi and Guruva Jane Nisi Din Rahiyo set the mood for the remainder of the concert that extended till the wee hours of Friday. However, the melodies were often interrupted by elaborate eulogizing comments by the coordinator, Sunita Bhodiraja, who often introduced the music and musicians to the audience and sought to symbolize the music and the performers with Nature. This was something of a drag, and made some restless. Music and Nature, and artists and their acts, have to be felt and valued; verbose descriptions of the same can mar the picture. But patience, for once, seemed to be in abundance.

For the enduring audience, a young Santoor player, Satish Vyas, and Tabla player, Vijay Ghate, elaborated the Hamsadhwani raag with the twinkling sounds of the 100-stringed Santoor, and the base rhythms of Tabla. Guru Jasraj, along with his daughter Durga Jasraj, and disciples Suman, Trupti, Pritam, Chandra and Niraj, again took over the stage in the post-interval show with rag Marubehag. Na Ja Baabul Ke Des… illustrated the pains of separation.

Jasraj's exercising his vocal chords with veritable variations, optimizing the emotional appeal of the music, created just the impact that the crowd expected of him. One wished that we could have him in the city more often.
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