In this inspiring rendition, versatile singer Indrani Mukherjee captures vignettes of the morning raga Lalit. She is accompanied by Gurdain Rayatt on the tabla who gives her fine support with a panache that shows his mastery over both pure and semi-classical forms. Milind Kulkarni threads together the melodic elements on his harmonium, doling out dazzling solos and providing receptive accompaniment.
Present in the audience amongst other musicians were Anoushka and her mother, Sukanya Shankar, who were deeply appreciative of the performance and made it all the more special for the musicians on stage.
Mukherjee introduces Lalit with a brief alap. In dignified, smooth movements, she promptly establishes its pleasing, serene countenance. Both the compositions set to vilambit Ektaal and drut Ektaal have been composed by her maternal grandfather, Pandit Sunil Banerjee. Mukherjee’s tenacious timbre is pleasing to the ear. She pauses on notes with confident stance and delivers gamaks in delightful, stately and rotund waves. She elaborates the raga in the slower tempo in unhurried strides, painting Lalit in its most pleasing persona. The chromatic use of both the Ma (pure and sharp 4th) are revealed with judicious application, brightening up moments with stark melodic intensity.
In the faster composition, Mukherjee explores the upper octaves with crisp, electrifying taans. Kulkarni’s solos glow through the interstices, entwining the vocals and tabla with seamless ease.
Her next presentation is a traditional bhajan which was written by Surdas, the visually challenged devotional Hindu poet and singer from the 16th century. The tune in Raag Hemant has been composed by Mukherjee’s guru, Vidushi Manju Sundaram. Mukherjee continues the semi-classical section with a ‘jhoola.’
‘Jhoola’ literally means a swing and its lyrics depict scenes of romance or devotion from tales of Hindu deities. ‘Siya Sung Jhoole Bagiya Me Ram’ chronicles a devotional eulogy to Lord Rama and his wife, Sita. The song is set to Raag Pancham se Khamaj, a variant of Raag Khamaj.
Mukherjee wedges in a Bengali devotional song, also written and composed by her maternal grandfather, after this. The song depicts the universal force that shapes and rules the world in its mysterious ways.
She concludes her recital with a dadra in Raag Bhairavi. It is a traditional composition that she characterizes brilliantly and ends on a ravishing, ecstatic note.
Indrani Mukherjee (khayal)
Gurdain Rayatt (tabla)
Milind Kulkarni (harmonium)
Raag Lalit, Thaat: Poorvi, Samay: dawn
Bhajan in Raag Hemant, Thaat: Bilaval, Samay: late evening, Written by Surdas, Composer: Vidushi Manju Sundaram
Jhoola, traditional composition in Raag Pancham se Khamaj, Thaat: Khamaj, Samay: Late evening
Devotional Bengali song composed by Pandit Sunil Banerjee
Dadra in Raag Bhairavi, Thaat: Bhairavi, Samay: early morning