Raaga Vaibhava, a consortium of music-lovers, presented a Hindustani Classical Music Concert by Pt. Dr. Ram Deshpande, a renowned vocalist from Mumbai, at Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha on JLB Road in city on July 23.
Dr. Deshpande, ‘A’ grade artiste of AIR and Television, has presented recitals at several prestigious venues in India and abroad. He is a Gold Medal Awardee of Nagpur University. He completed his Doctoral thesis on “Mishra ragas” under the able guidance of Pt. V.R. Athavale. One can notice a blend of Gwalior and Agra Gharana traditions in his gayaki. Also, he has successfully adopted some of the patterns from Jaipur tradition. He commenced the recital with Raag Multani, an Oudav-Sampoorna, Paramela Praveshika Raaga usually sung around 4 pm, late afternoon according to the time theory. ‘Pa’ & ‘Sa’ are the main notes of the raaga and is classified in Todi thaat. This raaga is evolved from the Loka geetha of Multan territory. Hence, the name Multani.
He presented three bandishes in raga Multani, ‘kauna desa gaye,’ set to vilambit Zhumra taal of 14 beats, followed by a dhrut teen taal bandhish ‘aaj bajata badhayi barasane.’ The third bandish was ‘Nainana mein aan baan’ set to dhrut-ek taal of 12 beats. He elaborated the raaga in vilambit zhumra with aalap and behelave was enriched with proper gamaka, khata-murkies and meends. His command over rhythm was established in all the three bandishes. He expressed the raaga with various taans. The rasikas were engrossed in the mood of Multani with the progression of the raaga.
The second number presented was a madhya laya zaptaal bandhish ‘Re sakhi aaj nanda nandan’ in raag Bihag, a popular evening melody belonging to Bilaval thaat, an oudav-sampoorna raag with ‘Ga’ & ‘Ni’ as main notes. The second bandhish presented in Bihag was a dhrut teen taal bandhish ‘Ab ho lalana maika.’ He then presented a tarana of Gwalior tradition in dhrut teen taal in which the vivadi swara komal nishad was used rarely to express the raag vaichitrrya as in olden times.
Dr. Ram Deshpande proved himself a complete artiste when he rendered a Thumri and natya geet impromptu at the request of the audience. The Thumri ‘Jamuna kinare mora gaav’ of Mishra Khamaj raaga set to taal Deepchandi caught the attention of the connoisseurs. The rhythmic patterns and firrat taans were expressed nicely in both Thumri and Natya geet. While rendering Marathi natya geet ‘kata rute kunala,’ set to taal Dadra, based on raag Bhimpalasa, he displayed his command over mishra raagas, expressing different shades of raaga Bhageshri and Gorak kalyan, which were apt for the mood of the Natya geet. The concert was concluded, as per the tradition of Hindustani music, with an Abhanga in raag Bhairavi, ‘Ami bighada lo tumhi bighada,’ set to Bhajan theka.
It was a memorable vocal concert which was appreciated by the rasikas and connoisseurs. Gandhar Deshpande, son of the main artiste, gave able vocal support. Pt. Veerabhadraiah Hiremath of Mysuru provided able saath on harmonium, Pt. Udayaraj Karpur of Bengaluru provided saath sangath on tabla while Venkatesh and Malavika provided saath on taanpura. In total, Raaga Vaibhava, true to its name, sponsored a memorable Hindustani vocal concert.
—Shreeranga N. Katti