It Rained That Evening…

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Media, Music, Slice Of Life)

He seemed not to be noticing anyone who was falling at his feet as he walked into the green room from the back door. Ustaad Rashid Khan was preoccupied with his music as he walked in. He walks in, sits with his accompanists to tune the tanpura, the tabla , the swaramandal and the harmonium. Few individuals already bow their head listening to the preparation in the green room as the audience wait for Rashid Khan to come on stage. Tuning the instruments he occupies the stage of Mangalore town hall. Ustad was in Mangalore after five years on 30 November 2008.

The 42 year old vocalist of the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana started the concert with Raag Shree in Vilambit Laya. It did take few minutes for Ustaad to come to his elements and wipe out the idea in the audience’s mind that Rashid Khan is not very impressive in live concerts. But once he came to his elements after a while, the audience forgot the heat within the hall and flying of the pigeons within the hall. The recital turned heavenly at the end during the ‘thaat’.

Chaaya Nat was chosen by Ustaad as the second raga to recite where he created magic with the ‘sargam’ for which his Gharaana is known. He asked for a cup of tea before he began Chaaya Nat specifying “bina doodh ke” (without milk). This recitation was in Madhya Laya. The widening eyes of Ustad the moving cheek the rhythmic movement of the hand and the flow of the fingers on the swaramandal all were adding to the charm and the magic.

When his next recital in Chandra Khauns came to an end and the hall turned silent after the applause the audience slowly coming out from the trance realized that it has started raining heavily outside. The overflowing sky the melting body in the heat inside the hall nothing was realized until then. The question “Darjeeling gaye hai kya chai lane?” (have they gone to Darjeeling to get tea?) from Ustaad encapsulates the audience again in his world.

‘Farmaayish’ by Ustaad Rafeek Khan, President Sangeet Bharathi Foundation, the organizer, was respected by Ustad Rashid Khan and thus the plan of Bhairavi was changed to raag Sohini after sipping the ‘bina doodh ke’ tea which then arrived.

The text “Bhavani, Dayaani” knitted in raag Bhairavi was the concluding piece by Ustad Rashid Khan to which he gave voice soulfully. He was supported well during the two hours concert by the accompanying artists, Vishweshwar Deshpandey and Ravi Katti on the Tanpura, Satyajeet Talwalkar of Mumbai on Tabla and Mukund Petkar of Pune on Harmonium.

Back in the green room again the history repeats. People are falling at his feet to take his blessings as he is preparing his pan chewing the beetle nut but he seemed to be unaware of the surrounding. He signs autographs and then speaking to a few of them he walks out singing. Standing out and staring at the rain he continues singing still not concentrating much on the ones who are still falling at his feet. He is still preoccupied with his music.

12 January 2009

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