A mesmerizing Classical Music evening

Rajeshwar Singh Raju
“I have to listen to Indian Classical music,
Because it calms me down and my nerves down…”
A famous quote reads.
It is said that Indian Classical music which owes its origin to the primordial sounds of the Vedas and to the organic sounds of nature has such a magical touch that it helps a lot in offering solace to souls. From these were born the seven basic notes of classical music, which later evolved into the ‘raaga’.The Indian Classical music is one of the oldest unbroken classical traditions in the world. Historians suggest that origin of Indian Classical music goes back to the Vedic times i.e around 2000 B.C. It is said that during that era the sages used to sing and their wives used to play instruments like veena. It’s the reason that when we talk of our cultural heritage, Indian Classical Music finds a significant place.
It will be rational to add here that our Jammu, the Temple City has always offered platforms to the experts of the field so as to promote this cultural heritage. Almost all the prolific artists whether classical singers, instrumentalists or dancers have spellbound the inhabitants of this region with their captivating performances and are in their everlasting memories. The list is long one and includes Pt. Bheemsen Joshi, Kumar Gandharav, Bismillah Khan, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Pt. Jasraj, Rajan Mishra, Sajan Mishra, Nirmala Arun, Pt. Kishan Maharaj, Sabri Khan, Kishori Amnokar,etc. Even world fame tabla player Ustad Alla Rakha and santoor maestro Pt. Shiv Sharma belong to this region which shows the impact of Indian classical music on this soil.
When Dogri Sanstha Jammu and Bharatiya Sangeet Sansthan Jammu organized ‘Shastriya Sangeette Nritya di Surmei Sanj’ at Kunwar Viyogi Auditorium, Dogri Bhawan Karan Nagar Jammu recently, the past memories were revived. The program started with local talent Ridhima Vajpayee presenting two ‘bandish’ of raag madhukouns followed by a Dogri bhajan written by Gyaneshwar and composed by VK. Sambyal. Thereafter Dr. Hari Prasad Paudyal presented classical performance of flute through two bandish of Punjabi adhaTaal and Drut Teen Taal in raag Desh. Anand Bhardwaj presented a dhun in raag kirwani on sitar whereas Dr. Priyavanda Tiwari Paudyal mesmerized the audience with four performances of bharatn natyam through Ganesh Pushpanjali, Shiv Panchakshar, Ram Thumak Chalat Ramchandra and Tillana.
Dr. Hari Prasad Paudyal
Dr. Hari Prasad Paudyal basically hails from Nepal and came to Banaras for studying Sanskrit. Although he used to play flute at his native place but while studying in Gurukal at Banaras he got fascinated towards it and started learning classical music. He is doctorate in Indian Classical music from Banaras Hindu University (BHU)Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh India and is also B-High approved artist from Aakashwani and empanelled by Indian Council for Cultural relationships (ICCR) Government of India.
He is indebted to his Gurus Pt. Ravindra Narayan Goswami, Vinod Prasana and Dr. Prahlad Nath who shaped him as an artist with all hard work. His dedication and devotion has paid to fulfill his ambition to carve a niche in Indian Classical Music. For his contributions in the field of music he has been honored by many reputed organizations that include Fellowship from Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Government of India, Gold medal from Banaras Hindu University, Ex-president Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma Gold medal, Gold medal from President of Nepal, Uttar Pradesh Gaurav Rattan Award etc. He has performed not only throughout India but has also exhibited his potential in different music concerts organized in different countries including Nepal, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Italy and Greece. At present he is a performer, teacher and composer also and is serving Indian Classical Music with all commitment.
Dr. Priyambada Tiwari Paudyal
Dr. Priyambada Tiwari Paudyal is an eminent Bhartnatyam practitioner, one of the forms of Indian Classical Music. She hails from Banaras and started seeking training in classical dance when she was in high school. But it was her sheer dedication towards this form of dance that she made up her mind to have expertise in it. Although she loved dancing right from her childhood but Bharatnatyam gave her new direction and she decided to make her growing passion her profession too. She has learnt classical dance from Guru Mala Humble, Guru Prem Chand Humble and Dr. Smruti Vaghela for more than 16 years.
She joined prestigious M.S University Vadodara in Gujarat and completed Ph.D.After completing her education she continued practicing Bharatnatyam and taught at IIT Banaras Hindu University for 6 years, IIT Khadagpur for 6 years and also taught Bharatnatyam for 6 years in her Guru’s classical dance classes.
Dr. Priyambada has also written several write-ups on Indian Classical dance and attended many national and international seminars and workshops as well as directed Dance Workshops at different places. She is also honored and awarded for her contributions to Indian Classical dance Bharatnatyam that include Bharat Gaurav Ratan (BIO), Rani Laxmi Bai Award, Ex- Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajapyee award, Avantika Award and Prerana Stambh etc. She has performed in many National and International Dance Festivals, Dance and Drama Competitions, Youth Festivals throughout India and abroad like at Nepal, Thailand etc. She has performed in Sanskrit dramas like Karnabharma, Malvika Agnimitram, Umaparanayam and others. She is a performer, teacher and choreographer presently.
Anand Bhardwaj
Anand Bhardwaj was an IT professional but search for self, inspired him towards Wellness Profession. When he was working as an IT professional, he used to experience that he was not content with his job and it was not his way of life. When he started reading Osho literature and explored his vision of a content life, he realized that meditation could serve the purpose. Through this meditation he got a connection with music. He decided to learn Sitar as according to him it was the perfect instrument for meditation.
He is very much passionate about Indian Classical music and has been studying Sitar from the renowned Sitar maestro Pt. Rabindra Narayana Goswami of Varanasi for the last few years. Music can be an effective bridge to meditation is the philosophy Anand firmly believes in.
Ridima Vajpayee
Ridhima Vajpayee is a young vocalist hailing from Temple City Jammu who has earned name and fame in Indian Classical Music at such a young age, She , a student of 12th standard has been seeking training in vocal from eminent classical singer Vijay Kumar Sambyal popularly known as Rangele Thakur for the last 8 years under ‘Guru-Shishya Parampara’. She has performed in numerous festivals at very prominent platforms that has raised hopes that Indian Classical music has still roots in the Temple city.
Appreciable Collaboration:
The collaboration between Dogri Sanstha Jammu and Bharatiya Sangeet Sansthan Jammu is an appreciable step. Vijay Kumar Sambyal well known as Rangele Thakur and an eminent classical singer who is also Managing Trustee, Bharatiya Sangeet Sasthan Jammu while complementing the performers said that it was in fact a dream cum true. He said that in the past also prominent performers visited the temple city and amused the music and dance lovers with their spectacular performances. He hoped that the trend of past will show its existence in present also with good future prospects. The performances in Indian Classical Music and Dance by the reputed artists will inspire the youths to realize their existence through own cultural heritage which needs to be preserved and promoted.
Prof. Lalit Magotra, President Dogri Sanstha Jammu says that such programs help in getting attached to our roots. Indian Classical Music and Dance are our identity which should be preserved and promoted. At this time, when western influences are quite evident in music and dance, we need to realize that we have some responsibilities towards our roots also. He further added that there is no malice with other cultural traditions but when it comes to survival of our own, then, undoubtedly, we are bound to be accountable. He was confident that such positive steps will yield promising results and Sanstha will always be at forefront when such initiatives will be taken.
It is a fact that the comfort we experience while listening to Indian classical music cannot be described in words, it’s a feeling which is experienced. For centuries together, it has been imparting entertainment cum peace of mind to art lovers and also inspires them to preserve and promote own cultural traditions.
The evening organized by Bharatiya Sangeet Sansthan in collaboration with Dogri Sanstha Jammu, a pioneer literary organization working for promotion of mother tongue Dogri and cultural traditions is in fact revival of past. One should be positive that in this corner of the country, if there is an effort for consolidating roots of Indian classical music, then one should hope that it will not end up as a onetime affair but will become a continuous process.Indian Classical Music and Dance has a magic and is capable of hypnotizing art lovers. Let us enjoy that spellbound experience and rise up to the occasion thus working hard with an honest approach to revive the glory of past. After all the goal is common and efforts should also be common.