Pune: Day Two of the 69th Sawai begins With Heart-Warming Vocals and Soulful Sitar Chords!

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Pune, 14th December 2023: The second day of the iconic Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav’s 69th edition witnessed stellar performances of a noted vocalist of the Kirana Gharana; Pt. Upendra Bhat including two first-timers; Ankita Joshi and Partha Bose from Mewati and Maihar Gharanas respectively. This legendary classical music fest is being held at the Maharashtriya Mandal Krida Sankul, Mukund Nagar.

The first session began with the performance of Ankita Joshi; an emerging vocalist and disciple of Mewati Gharana’s maestro Sangeet Martand Pt. Jasrajji. She started with a Vilambit Bandish ‘Gokul Gaon Ka Chora’ followed by another Bandish ‘Aaye More Sajanwa’ both in Raag Multani. She also performed an extremely well-known composition ‘Dil Ki Tapish’ in Raag Kirwani from the film ‘Katyar Kaljat Ghusli.’ She concluded her performance with an Abhang ‘Naam Gau, Naam Gheu.’ Ankita’s performance was lauded with a “Once More!” with a standing ovation by the audience. She was accompanied by Abhay Rawande on Harmonium, Ramkrishna Karambelkar on Tabla, Aditi Rawande and Manasi Mahajan on Tanpura and Dhananjay Kandharkar on Manjira.

Ankita’s enthralling performance was followed by a captivating maiden performance by Sitar exponent Partha Bose disciple of Pt. Monoj Sharma from the Maihar Gharana. He started his performance with Raag Marva. Though it was a little early in the day to sing this Raag, his performance made the audience feel like it was dusk. The mechanical aspect of Meend and Kheechkam in the Sitar was an asset in the Jod part of the Raag presentation. His performance ended with a mixture of Raag Khamaj and Raaj Mishra including Gat Mala of four Bandishes, each of a different flavour in Teen Taal. He was accompanied by Ramdas Palsule on Tabla

The third performance of the evening was by renowned vocalist Pt. Upendra Bhat, a disciple of the legendary Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi from the Kirana Gharana. He started with a beautiful rendition in Raag- Shuddha Kalyan followed by Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi’s famous classical Hindi film song ‘Ketaki Gulab Juhi’ from the movie Basant Bahar. He then got everyone into a devotional mood with Bramhanand Swami’s Bhajan ‘Ram Dasharath Ke Ghar Janme’. Continuing his Bhajans he presented one verse each of two Kannada Bhajans, ‘Hey Shrinivasa Hey Venkatesha’ composed by Pt. Madhav Gudi, also a Guru of Pt. Upendra Bhat. Madhav Gudi was a senior disciple of Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimesn Joshi. The second Kannada verse was from the much-loved bhajan ‘Soubhagyada Lakshmi Baramma’ made famous by Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. Offering his homage to legendary Marathi writer Pu.La Deshpande for his birth centenary year, Pt. Upendra Bhat ended his session with ‘Indrayani Kathi’ sung by Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi.

He was accompanied by Niranjan Lele on Harmonium, Mandar Puranik on Tabla, Mauli Phatak on Pakhwaj, Vishwas Kalamkar on Taal, Tanpura and Vocal accompaniment by Dhananjay Bhate, Anmol Thatte and Devvrat Bhatkhande.