Ahead of the 75th year of Indian Independence Day, ‘Amar Jyoti’, a musical concert, was organised by the Pandit Chaturlal Memorial Society — named after the late tabla maestro — to pay a musical tribute the country’s unknown martyrs at Delhi’s Kamani Auditorium on August 4. The highlight of the event was a bhajan and Kathak jugalbandi by renowned artistes Anup Jalota and Geetanjali Lal.
The event showcased a special feature — a Vande Mataram-rendition curated and conceptualised by Indian classical singer Swaransh Mishra and the tabla player Pranshu Chatur Lal, followed by the lighting of the ceremonial lamp.
Mishra’s was a fresh take to the national song with new lyrics, with Pranshu having worked on the rhythmic structures of the song.
This was followed by the soulful jugalbandi by Jalota, a renowned musician, and Lal, who hails from the Jaipur Gharana and is an Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee. Jalota presented three of his popular renditions — ‘Aisi lagi lagan‘, ‘Jag mein sundar hai yeh do naam‘ and ‘Shyam piya mori rang de chunariya‘ — and Lal performed on them, with modulations on the tabla by Pranshu.
Mishra told indianexpress.com that Vande Mataram “always pumps [his] heart with patriotism”. “The lyrics were my tribute to all the martyrs. The percussion design by Pranshu gave wings to my composition and lyrics. Performing in front of music lovers and connoisseurs is always a treat for any musician, and I feel grateful that Pandit Chaturlal Memorial Society gave me this opportunity to perform at Amar Jyoti.”
Pranshu told this outlet that Vande Mataram “beautifully highlights the diversity of India with its language, culture, race and musical styles”.
“It is our salute to all the real superheroes, who have given their life for the freedom of our country, and through music and rhythms, we pay them homage. Coming together with Swaransh bhai — with him composing it — felt like a heartfelt effort in the most organic way.”
Shruti ChaturLal, who is the artistic director of Pandit Chatur Lal Festival, said the Amar Jyoti concert marked 25 years since it was first initiated when India was celebrating its golden jubilee.
“The society, under the guidance of Pandit Charanjit and Meeta ChaturLal, left no stone unturned in presenting some iconic jugalbandis, like the first and last duet to ever happen between Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Ustad Vilayat Khan and Shankar Mahadevan, Sivamani with Louis Banks, Rekha Bharadwaj, Suresh Wadekar, and Roop Kumar Rathod.
“We truly believe that much credit goes to music lovers, who have given us the courage to be at this stature to promote Indian culture all across the globe,” she told this outlet.