Short of perfect Straying from tradition Laced with empathy
- Published 14.01.05
Ashis Bhattacharya?s solo Rabindrasangeet programme (Rabindra Sadan, January 9), organised by Dakshin Kalikata Nandaniki, turned out to be a suave, measured and medium-paced presentation of 24 songs ? mostly from Puja and Prem. Despite the flawless rendition of songs, what the discerning listener hoped for was flow and style. Bhattacharya?s melodious and unwavering notes in E moho abaran or Sakhi aandharey ekela would have soared to greater heights had the rendition been more fluid and the tappakari and the meend were a trifle over the brim. Bhattacharya?s timbre was delightfully lightweight, almost resembling the bass notes of a flute when he sang the antara and abhog. It reminded the listener at times of the late Subinoy Roy?s music. Sadly, the tug at the heartstrings was only momentary. Phrases like aandharey and kisher piyashey in Sakhi aandharey were also stripped of meend.
Gallery Kanishka recently mounted an imaginatively curated collection of Mithila folk paintings (popularly known as Madhubani art), separately grouped under their two major styles ? Kachni and Bharni, and various more recent forms practised by the Harijans and other non-caste Hindus. They embody the creative expressions of Brahmin and Kayastha women respectively and relate to their rituals, while Harijans are by and large given to depicting secular themes of everyday life. Eminent seniors such as Jagadamba Devi, Mahasundari Devi, Ganga Devi and Baua Devi have been featured who have produced individual style, straying from traditional iconography.
Poetry has this unique quality of renewing itself on each new reading. As elocutionist Kajal Sur was responding to a felicitation bestowed by Khelaghar (Bangla Akademi, January 4), he chose Shakti Chattopadhyay?s Manush barha kandchhe and instantly the auditorium was soaked in an overwhelming empathy for the tsunami victims. Bijoylakshmi Barman decided to soothe the senses with the juvenile verses of Bimal Chandra Ghosh and Gouri Dharmapal. Earlier in the evening, the tiny tots of Khelaghar, tutored to perfection by Kingshuk Roy Chowdhury, presented a collage of traditional and nonsense rhymes a la Sukumar Ray. Yet another presentation by Smriti-Shruti took a similar vein.