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Kirana Stalwart Enthralls

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Hindustani music has survived through centuries thanks to the existence of various 'Gharanas'. 'Gharana' literally means family. Our society, since it was based on a neat although oppressive division of castes and their occupations, music was one profession which was hereditary in nature. Since music related skills were transmitted through kinship connections, the term 'Gharana' came to be used. 'Kirana' is one of the major gharanas of Hindustani vocal music. The name has its origins in the place 'Kairana' which is in western Uttar Pradesh.

The pioneer of the 'Gharana' is supposed to be Nayak Dhondu who was a 'dhrupad' singer. The legendary Ustad Abdul Karim Khan is often regarded as the founder of this style of music as it is known and practiced nowadays. Popular singers like Hirabai Badodekar, Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai Hangal were products of this branch.

There is another branch which is directly linked with Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, who was a brother of Abdul Karim Khan. Ramesh Jule, senior exponent of this school, lives in this metropolis and has been performing and teaching music for well over five decades. Jule is a pupil of the elder musician Maniprasad and is a grandson of the late Sukhdevprasad. Jule is so well versed in this style that a singer of the eminence of Asha Bhosale has also trained under him. Jule was featured by the NCPA recently in an evening program. He began with the raga 'Anandi Kalyan' which is more popularly known as 'Nand'. It is a beautiful raga which instantly casts a spell on the listener if it is sung in the right manner. Jule managed to do precisely this when he sang 'Dhundu Baare ', the slow 'Khyal' followed by the imperishable 'Aajhu Na Aaye Shyam'. Jule skilfully tackled the twists and turns of the phrases typical of the raga.

There are many ragas of 'Carnatic' origin which have been adopted by the Hindustani system. 'Jansammohini' or 'Jansammohini' is one of them. It is deceptively close to the more popular 'Kalavati'. Jule sang it with feeling and interacted well with the tabla maestro Nayan Ghosh who is one of the most versatile musicians.

NCPA also featured senior Jaipur 'Gharana' singer Jayashree Patanekar. Although she is a pupil of Gajananrao Joshi and Nivruttibuwa Sarnaik, she has modeled her singing after the great Mallikarjun Mansur. Her 'Poorvi' was full of 'Khatka' embellishments. She followed up with a melodious composition in 'Maru Bihag'. Patanekar is a very lively performer and deserves to be heard more often in the city. Suyog Kundalkar on the harmonium and Bharat Kamat on the table offered steady support.

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