It was a day for maestros of the Kirana Gharana, Anand Bhate, Pt Ajay Pohankar and Padmashree awardee Sumitra Guha, to hold the audience (in thousands) in rapture to a thundering applause. Rain washed away the second day of the 62nd Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, and yet the audience clapped before dispersing.
When it started raining, people started walking out, trying to avoid mud at the entrance to the venue. Several spectators continued to be seated, gazing at the stage that showed no sign of activity. “Nothing will happen today, we should leave now,” was the common refrain, from the first row to the last.
The sofas, soaked in water dripping from rooftops, were of no use for the VIPs, and several plastic chairs lay scattered.
Many weren’t ready to budge until organizers made an official announcement. However, as patience ran out people started clapping to show their displeasure at lack of any activity, or announcement. Taking note, the organisers apparently waiting for the weather to improve finally announced that the event has been postponed to January/February 2015.
The organisers added they will not have to pay anything when the event is held next and present tickets will hold good. The crowd started dispersing.
“It is unfortunate. I hope people will understand our situation. I am sure they aren’t unhappy with us, as they waited patiently. It shows their love for music and the festival,” said Shrinivas Joshi, son of late Pandit Bhimsen Joshi adding that fresh dates would be declared soon. “We cancelled the event because there are indications of rain in the next two days from the meteorology department. The show will be in January/February. The same tickets can be used. Some artistes have been informed of the change. We are informing others,” said Joshi.