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Pandit Dr Ram Deshpande Concert At Shadaj-Baithak

Rajesh Godbole
05/17/2017

After a long time, indeed a very long time, we were fortunate to witness a "memorable" concert. Pandit Dr Ram Deshpande, Sanjay Deshpande and Ajay Joglekar left the audience spellbound. It was an absolute privilege to be able to hear artists of this caliber in an intimate Baithak setting. 

I woke up today morning humming his vilambit bandish "एरी काहे कोकत बैरन" in ShivRanjani. It was hard to get over it, absolutely hypnotizing. Who knew raag "ShivRanjani" could be presented as a bada kayal the way RamDada did? It was followed by "कैसे कैसे बोल" in raag Nat-Bihag. Another masterpiece. His training and virtuosity in the three gharana's Aagra, Gwalher, Jaipur was on full display. The special Agra Gayaki "ढंग" and "बोल बनाव" was a treat to the ears. It was story telling at its best. As if he was pleading with the audience ..."कैसे कैसे बोल"! Second half started with the majestic "Malkauns", with its aalapi showing glimpses of Kirana influence. Such was the the serenity in his "aalapi" that it erased the impact of the previous raag and took the audience along on a new journey. Malakaus was followed by "Paraj-Kalingada" and a beautifully crafted "Vande Mataram", a raag-mala with 24 raags.

The concert was an exposition of truly "रंगदार" and "ढंगदार" gayaki. Yet, as they say in movies, "The part you play should project the character, not the actor"; although Ram Deshpande's gayaki was evident, the listeners carried home the impressions of the "Raag" that he presented. 

Such was the impact that some of the first timer classical baithak attendees were awestruck by the treasure they had found unexpectedly. The ambiance, spontaneous "दाद" and interaction between the artists and the audience created an energy that is so hard to find in the large scale "events".



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