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Literature & melody medley

Patna, Feb. 15: Music took the centre stage amid the hide-and-seek of sun and rain on the second day of Patna Literature Festival today.

Not on many occasions book lovers find themselves tuned to thumri, that too in the morning. The day’s first session, “Life of Music Maestros”, saw participation of Vijay K. Kichlu, Kumud Jha Diwan and Vikram Sampath.

While Pandit Kichlu, a leading vocalist of the Agra gharana, came up with his memories of Ustad Faiyyaz Khan, Vikram, trained in Carnatic classical, talked on the life of Gauhar Jaan along with playing a thumri she recorded in 1905. Vikram also noted that Jaan’s first concert was held in 1887 at the behest of Darbhanga Maharaj in Bihar.

The Bihar connection in the classical music, especially of the Gaya gharana, was appropriately summed up by Kumud, who traced its roots to the Nawab Wajed Ali Shah of Lucknow. Soon after the nawab was sent to Calcutta on exile, Gaya formed a triangle of classical music with Varanasi and Calcutta. Largely influenced by Varanasi, tawaif (court musician) Dhela Bai and Pandit Ramprasad Mishra championed the Gaya gharana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Before the afternoon session with poet-lyricist Piyush Mishra, the literary enthusiasts had two interactive sessions on media. While Raghavendra Dubey moderated a Hindi session with Harivansh, Shravan Garg, Shahid Latif, Srikant and Sundeep Bhutoria, the English one saw Sankarshan Thakur, Tripurari Sharan and Priyanka Sinha Jha talking with Sushant for around 40 minutes.

Piyush Mishra, known for his Gangs of Wasseypur number, Ik bagal mein chand ho, had to sing quite a few other songs, including his popular composition Husna, on audience demand. Alok Dhanwa launched two books by Piyush — Jab Shahar Humaara Sota Hai and Natak Ki Sangam.

Amid the musical journeys, a discussion, “Dilemma of Fiction”, brought the audience closer to two young English fiction writers — Piyush Jha and Pankaj Dubey. Pankaj, whose book What a Loser was also released during the session, focused on the “Bihari identity”. Piyush said as a writer he wants to grow with his readers. On what made him to write, pat came the answer: “I write for my wife.”

His wife, Priyanka Sinha Jha, could not but blush and the audience was left simply amused to witness the bonding in books also.

The day ended with “Kuchh Saaye Kuchh Parchhaaiyaan”, a poetry reading session with Gulzar moderated by writer Pavan K. Varma. Certainly, this was the biggest crowd-puller as the Urdu poet was seen mobbed for autographs throughout the day. People from all walks of life descended on Buddha Lawns to listen to Gulzar, who was reading from his recent books.


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