A ten-year-old Iswari, granddaughter of Pandit Jasraj, takes the mike, and with
her husky-sweet voice religiously renders the guru vandana before elaborating
the 'aalap' in Behag. Her shivering octaves soon smoothen up creating a symmetric
lilt that gradually grows in intensity, culminating with the song Sab Sakhiya
Chalo Prabhu Ke Darshan. The little girl then runs to embrace her 'Dadu' - Jasraj
- even as the audience continues its ovations! And the evening air at the 'well'
once again takes to its compelling hue, on the third day of Surmandali's festival.
Gargi Siddhanth from Assam, another disciple of Jasraj, followed with her seasoned
singing. Holding a Tanpura in one hand with another hand rising and waving in
the air as though tying in with her song, and with her eyes closed, she made a
perfect picture of an austere vocalist. With Shyam Murari Banvari and Mrig Nayani
Rasiyaan, Gargi created the ambience of the classical Rajasthani glory of music
The much-awaited Bharatanatyam recital by Shobana kept the audience delighted throughout, thanks to her choosing a lively repertoire. The dancer performed a Varnam composed by violin maestro Lalgudi Jairam. Here Shobana, with brilliant choreography, enacted a devotee, illustrating the sagas Narasimha, Sudhama and Vamana. Each strip was framed up with clear cult stances and gestures. A unique improvisation was that of the support of Veena artist Rajesh, who followed every movement, gesture and expression of the dancer, enhancing her dramatization.
Nee Maatalu Yemaayenu Raa, a swift Javali, showed the dancer in a sportive spirit, where she, as a heroine, spurns her lover for not keeping the promise of gifts. A lullaby set to a pleasant Neelambari raga has surprising intermittent pieces where mother Yashoda, putting her little Krishna to sleep, narrates excerpts from the Ramayana. Other good parts were an intensifying narrative of Ahalya's relieve from the curse, and the melodramatic 'Sita Swayamvaram' in a humorous accent where the dancer shows many a boastful men, and their efforts going in vain!
The evening was sealed late in the night with yet another pleasant vocal concert by Prabhakar Karekar.