Sunanda's recital charms, flattery irks
Sunday, December 30, 2001

Even as the equation of the Union Minister Shanta Kumar with Lord Vishnu and that of Haryana Minister Sampat Singh with Lord Brahma by the organisers proved irksome for music lovers, vocalist Sunanda and Sarangi player Kamal Sabri were successful in weaving magic for listeners at the Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan which took off last night at the Devi Talaab Temple with mystic the presentation of "saraswati" Vandana".

Immediately after "Saraswati" Vandana", the compere started showering praise on Mr Shanta Kumar and Mr Sampat Singh. If Mr Shanta was described an incarnation(avtaar) of Lord Vishnu for being India's Food Minister, Mr Sampat was repeatedly defied as (Avtaar) of Lord Brahma, which made the audience uneasy for a while and force them to wonder as to how anybody could be equated with Gods just for the position he occupied.

They were of the view that there should be no place for such flattering remarks, particularly, on the occasion of such festivals. Similarly, Mr Shanta Kumar, apparently failed to impress the audience with his speech as instead of talking about music to suit the occasion, he repeated the political rhetoric about the deteriorating Indo-Pakistan relations, even as he wished peace between the two countries. He said India would deal with the menace of terrorism on its own. "I will have to leave midway for I have to attend some important meetings at Delhi," commented Mr Shanta Kumar before leaving for the railway station. What proved to be hard to digest for audience were the role of police officials, who forced others to take off their shoes at a distance whereas they defied the sanctity of the place by roaming around the "samadhi" of Baba Harballabh with shoes on.

As comparatively a few music lovers braved the chilly night, Sunanda, enthralled the audience with her performance comprising of "baba khayal", "thumri" and "tappas". The most joyful moment for them came when Sunanda accompanied by Kamal Sabri on Sarangi and Sudhir Pande on tabla, rendered "Mian nazrin nahin aaanda." Her "alaaps" and "taans" were more attractive. Similarly the "jugalbandi" of Kamal Sabri's "sarangi" and "tabla" of Shamsher Mehndi, the brother of pop star Daler Mehndi, made the audience shower applause. Malik brothers presented "dhrupad", while Ronu Majumdar created magic with his flute, This was followed by noted playback singer and Padam Shree Parveen Sultana, who stole the show with her performance, though she started late in the night. She said music could not be chained and confined to some particular region or country.