Durgapur celebrates ‘Netaji Jayanti’ with classical music

Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia

Durgapur News Desk, 24 January 2017: The afternoon of 23 January 2017, celebrating “Netaji Jayanti” brought a heavenly aura to Durgapur! Classical music lovers of this Steel City had gathered in thousands at the Kasiram Das ground of the township, defying common notion that Classical music can’t pull crowds.

The ‘Weather God’ too played a positive role in bringing down chilliness of winter with bright sunshine. Curious music lovers were focusing their camera lenses towards the dais, where ‘Godlike’ figures of Hindustani Classical Music offered their Musical prayers.

Just when the clock struck 3 pm, heavenly musical notes of flute flew in the air, heralding the arrival of Pandit Hari Prasdad Chaurasia on the auspicious platform. Magical notes flowing through the flute, accompanied by sounds from Pakhawaj and Tabla were just soaking the audience in devotional mood. Panditji enthralled the audience with his mesmerizing performances for an hour and a half. During the programme, he communicated with the audience in correct Bengali, a pleasing surprise for the Durgapur residents.

The huge turnout of public for a Classical Music programme surprised him also, as once he commented whether the entire audience is from Durgapur only or from outside also. He was given a befitting standing ovation on completion of his programme.

This was followed by vocal singing by Kaushiki Chakraborty, daughter of illustrious classical vocalist Pt. Ajay Chakraborty. Kaushiki is a rising star of Classical Music, well trained by her able parents. She recounted her days of coming to Durgapur long time back with his father. She categorically mentioned that after a very long time Durgapur has organised a Classical Music programme of such a high stature. She urged the organizers of the show to continue with such shows in a regular manner, with special invitation to younger artists like her. Before beginning her singing, she pointed out a flaw in the arrangement of the programme, mentioning that a junior artist like her should not have been allowed to perform after her stalwarts like Pt. Chaurasia, as traditionally junior artists take stage before the senior ones. Expressing such a feeling in front of all simply shows the character of our tradition of respecting elders.

After her masterly performance, the stage was adorned by Sarod maestro Ustad Amzad Ali Khan. He mentioned that he came to Durgapur after a pretty long interval, probably hinting that Durgapur has been lagging behind in inviting big artists in the field. He started his programme with a Gurubandana, dedicated to Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore. He talked about the closeness between Gurudev and his illustrious father Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan. Ustadji delivered melodies one after the other by magical strokes of the strings of Sarod.

The programme was concluded by the popular bhajan “Vaishnava Jan To Tine Kahiye”. During the playing of this bhajan the entire area wore a special look. All the persons present there were holding lighted candles in their hands in a standing position. This act was well planned by the organizers to pay tributes to Late Bhimsen Joshi and Netaji. The maestro was moved by such a show of respect and discipline. He specifically mentioned that he had not seen such a response from the audience, not even at Kolkata. Thus the great show came to a grand end, promising for more of them in future!!

(Special contribution by Mr. Birendra Lal)

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