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Gangubai was like an elder sister: Pt Joshi

The music fraternity in the city has reacted with shock to the passing away of Gangubai Hangal,who enthralled music lovers for six decades.

Written by Tanvi Salkar | Pune |
July 22, 2009 4:43:30 am

The music fraternity in the city has reacted with shock to the passing away of Gangubai Hangal,who enthralled music lovers for six decades.

“It is a shock to the Indian Classical music. Hangal was like my elder sister and a part of my family. Feroz Dastur passed away recently and now with Gangubai’ s death it is a big loss to the Kirana Gharana,” said Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Her husband had organised my first public concert. It is a big shock for the lovers of music,he added.

Gangubai Hangal,a doyenne of Hindustani vocal music,passed away of cardiac arrest in Hubli on Tuesday. She was 97. Hangal was an Indian classical singer of the Kirana Gharana and a disciple of Sawai Gandharva.

“It is a great loss to the Indian classical music and Kirana Gharana. She was like an elder sister to my father and a very senior artiste beginning her career in the thirties. She maintained the purity of the Kirana style and infused it with her original tonality. She was also very affectionate towards my father. She was like a family member and encouraged even a junior artiste like me,” said Shrinivas Joshi,son of Bhimsen Joshi.

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Hangal had earlier performed consistently during the Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav in the city.

Srikant Deshpande,classical exponent of Kirana Gharana who had a strong association with her said,“She was an icon but never a hint of it was shown. Whenever she came to Pune,she stayed with. Shopping at Tulsi Baag was something she would invariably do. Besides the mehfils at Sawai Gandharva Music Festival,Tejapal Auditorium and other places,it is also her utmost simplicity that forms a part of the memories. It is a huge loss to the Kirana Gharana and the world of classical music.”

A Padma Vibhushan recipient,Hangal had given her last concert in March 2006. Said Meera Panshikar of Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana,“I was tremendously influenced by her style. Her sur was too precise and perfection was always seen in her music. She had a unique voice. She will be remembered as one of the most influential idols of our music.”

Anand Deshmukh who has been compeering Sawai Gandharva festival since last 20 years,knew her very closely. “Even at this age,she was extremely lively. And her respect for Pandit Bhimsen Joshi knew no bound. Simplicity personified,till the end,she kept saying ‘I am yet to learn a lot’,” he added.

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