Enjoyable in parts
First things first: it is always desirable that people organizing tributes be careful about the sensitivities that go into making an evening a memorable one. So, when Purobi paid tribute to the legendary Suchitra Mitra on the occasion of her seventh death anniversary at Sisir Mancha in a show titled Samarpan, one wished they were a little attentive towards sound balance, handouts, announcements and behind-the-curtain chit-chat.
Back to the music. The group began with the traditional Yade Mee shloka followed by " Aguner poroshmoni" and "Anandaloke mangalaloke". The voices of the female chorus overpowered the male singers and the sound technician had clearly overlooked this aspect. The men strained to get themselves heard and failed in parts.
The main event of the evening was a solo recital by Mandira Mukherjee - a disciple of Mitra - who, while retaining some of the trademark bold nuances of her guru, was not in the best of form. Her voice would often crack while negotiating higher notes, leaving a tinge of embarrassment in what could otherwise have been a good recital. The tail section of some of the lines would dither and sound incomplete as well.
However, of the many songs she sang - " Likhon tomaar dhulaye hoyeche", "Pathe chole jete jete" and "Sukher majhe tomaye dekhechi" - were nice on the ears and created an aura that found several audience members soaking in the mood. Slightly disappointing was "Dhaye jeno mor", where Mandira failed to pass muster in the clincher lines. Given the gharana she comes from, it was strange that she rendered the song rather listlessly. The esraj's opening refrains from "Dariye acho tumi amaar" did not match initially - they were clearly meant for a later song.
However, overlooking such issues, the show was enjoyable in parts with its simplistic settings, and Mitra's audio readings from the archives would often bring in a twinge of nostalgia. The singers were accompanied by experienced musicians such as Subrata Mukherjee (keyboards), Kanchan De (tabla) and Anjan Basu (esraj).