Captivating performances enthrall audience
Sunday, December 30, 2001

SUR AND SAZ mesmerized music aficionados at the 126th Shree Baba Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan to such an extent that even the biting cold could not make them leave the "pandal" at the Shree Devi Talab Mandir.

The Sammelan, the biggest classical music concert in entire northern India, commenced on Friday amidst a thick envelope of fog and a severe cold wave. Few artists could not arrive in time as trains were running behind schedules. But, this did not effect the enthusiasm of music lovers.

Renowned vocalist Begam Parveen Sultana stole the limelight with her splendid performance. Ronu Majumdar, the Mallick Brothers, Sunanda Sharma and Kamal Sabri added to the musical extravaganza.

Music enthusiasts could be seen waiting eagerly for Begum Parveen Sultana, who was to perform at around 11p.m. but her performance was postponed to about 2p.m. But when Begum Sultana occupied stage and began her performance, suddenly it all seemed worth the wait. Her soulful performance of Raag Rageshwari in Vilambit and Drut Khayal and her rendition of Tarana and Bhajan left the audiences spellbound.

Earlier, the Mallick brothers known for their Dhrupad Gayan, sang 'Ban mor mukut natvar par babhu Shyam Sunder' in Raag Darbari Kanrra. Flautist Ronu Mojumdar presented various 'sur' and 'laya' before the captivated audience.

Sunanda Sharma from Pathankot, presented Khayal, Tappa and Thumri in the Banaras Gharana Shailey. Beginning with Raag Puriyakalyan, 'Baalam morey karo na manmani' in Vilambit and Drut Khayal, she went on to draw accolades for her recital of the Punjabi Tappa in Raag Mishr Kafi.

Kamal Sabri, who had given his first performance at the Harballabh Sammelan at the tender age of 13, created various musical hues during his performance of Raag Mehroobiya on the Sarangi. Accompanying him on the tabla was Shamsher Singh Mehndi.

Earlier the Sammelan was inaugurated by union Minister for Food and Supplies Shanta Kumar, who lit the ceremonial lamp. In his brief address, Kumar wished the tunes of the soulful music could reach the ears of the neighbouring countries and take across to them the message of universal harmony, brotherhood and love.

He hastened to add that there is a limit to patience, and if patience is tested time and again, war is bound to take place. The war can be without shedding blood, he added. Students of the Kanya Mahavidyalaya also presented Saraswati Vandana on the occasion.