Pune: Mahesh Kale Captivates the Audience During His Solo Performance During the first half of Day 3 of Vasantotsav

Mahesh Kale performing at the 17th Edition of Vasantotsav (1)
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Pune 21st January 2024: The first session of the concluding day of ‘Vasantotsav’ witnessed a captivating solo performance by National Award Winner, Vocalist Mahesh Kale. The 17th edition of Vasantotsav was held at the Suryakant Kakade Farms, Kothrud, Pune.

Dignitaries like Bapu Deshpande of Vasantrao Deshpande Foundation, Neha Deshpande, Deepti Mate, State Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil, former Mayor Muralidhar Mohol, Ajit Gadgil, Tejas Upadhyay and Rajas Upadhyay of P N Gadgil were present on this occasion.

Mahesh Kale began his performance by seeking the blessings of all the seniors in the audience. In his first performance, he presented a bandish ‘Eho More Sai Kanwa’ in Raag Madhuvanti set followed by his composition ‘Kaise Rijhaoo Ab Manako.’Offering his prayer to Lord Ram on the eve of the historical event of the enshrining of Lord Ram in Ayodhya tomorrow, Mahesh sang a Bhajan ‘Janaki Nath’ followed by the pious rendition of the evergreen bhajans ‘Paayo ji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Paayo’ and ‘Raghupati Raghav Rajaram.’

He was accompanied by Nikhil Phatak on Tabla, Milind Kulkarni on Harmonium, Prasad Joshi on Pakhawaj, Apoorv Gokhale on Violin, Amrut Chanewar, Ankur Chande and Kishori on Tanpura and Rohan Vanage on Percussions.

Mahesh Kale’s performance was followed by the digital release of Rahul Deshpande’s new song dedicated to Lord Ram and his enshrining at Ayodhya. The song was released at the hands of the Minister of Higher and Technical Education of Maharashtra- Chandrakant Patil and BJP State General Secretary Muralidhar Mohol. The song has been composed and sung by Rahul Deshpande, lyrics are by Sameer Samant, and is produced by Sarang Kulkarni. The song is available on Rahul Deshpande’s official YouTube channel.

Post the song release, the second solo session began with the rendition of National Award Winner Rahul Deshpande, the grandson of legendary Pt. Vasantrao Deshpande. He began his performance with Raag Shankara and performed a traditional bandish ‘Jaanu Re Jaanu’ set in Vilambit Teen Taal. After this, he presented the Bandish of Pandit Kumar Gandharva. He then sang Saint Kabirs Bhajan ‘Ram Niranjan Nyaraa Re’

Speaking to the audience, Rahul Deshpande said, “I have been trying to do something new for the past few days. I have had mixed reactions and people think that I am getting into light music only. However, the truth is that I love to sing in all formats and I would be honored if that is accepted by you all as I don’t want to regret it later. Katyar Kaljat Ghuli was one of those experiments and that courage gave me a friend like Mahesh”

Adding further he said, “After years of performance in classical music, I decided to do something different. I learned that one can adapt to different singing styles and I try to bring to you all what I like to see and hear myself”

Rahul Deshpande was accompanied by Dr. Chaitanya Kunte as Harmoniumi, Nikhil Phatak on Tabla, and Prasad Joshi on Pakhawaj.

The day began with the 10th edition of the Vasantotsav Awards, instituted by the Vasantrao Deshpande Pratishthan. This year the awards were bestowed upon senior artist Vidushi Meera Panshikar, a vocalist and Guru from the Jaipur Gharana, and Sanjay Sant, a gramophone record collector. The young talent award ‘Yuva Vasantotsav Award,’ was presented to Yashwant Thitte for his finesse on the Harmonium. Vidushi Meera Panshikar and Sanjay Sant were presented with a cash award of Rs 51,000/- and a memento each, while Yashwant Thitte was presented with a cash award of Rs21,000/- and a memento. All the awardees were honored at the hands of Bapu Deshpande of the Vasantrao Deshpande Pratishthan. 

This year’s Vasantotsav is being presented by the Punit Balan Group. It is supported by Venkatesh Buildcon Pvt. Ltd. – Ankush Asabe Venture, Bharati Vidyapeeth, P N Gadgil and Sons, Suhana Masale, Lokmanya Multipurpose Co-Op Society, Girikand Holidays, Khaitan & Company, Mascot, Don Studio, and L & Realty