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Month after she passed away, Kishori Amonkar’s ragas heard once more

On Friday evening, the pentatonic raga was heard yet again, this time rendered by an emotional Nandini Bedekar, Amonkar’s most senior disciple

Written by Suanshu Khurana | New Delhi |
May 6, 2017 4:06:56 am
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Sahela re… Aao mil gaaye. When Kishori Amonkar would touch the tenderness in this bandish in raag Bhoop, many who came to listen would hear in awe the beautiful permutations and combinations of notes she created and improvised upon.

On Friday evening, at Nehru Park, the pentatonic raga was heard yet again, this time rendered by an emotional Nandini Bedekar, Amonkar’s most senior disciple, who opened the tribute concert to Amonkar, the iconic Hindustani classical artiste who passed away last month.

Bedekar went off key a couple of times, but what reminded one of Amonkar was the texture in her voice, and the famous vocal style of Jaipur Atrauli gharana that Amonkar represented.

Her peformance was followed by that of 88-year-old Girija Devi, who came from Varanasi to pay her respects in a concert titled ‘Mharo Pranam’, organised by SPICMACAY.

The title was derived from Amonkar’s eponymous bandish in raag Yaman. Many in the city gathered to attend the recital.

“In the past, I have sung tributes to musicians older than me, paid odes to them, never to those younger. But I have made an exception for Kishori, a musician who looked after her mother’s music, our music. My voice today is a tribute for a wonderful girl who’s gone to live with the gods. Hum bahut bhaghyashaali hai, ki usko suna (we are really fortunate that we heard her),” said Girija Devi, who began her recital with a Namdev bhajan and touched on Amonkar’s favourite Mirabai and concluded with a Shankar stutee.

“She was not only an iconic musician, but also my younger sister, a tapaswini. The gods are so blessed to have her among them,” she said.

Those who paid tribute included sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, vocalists Pt Rajan and Sajan Mishra and former MP N P Singh.

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