Hyderabad will host a three-day musical extravaganza in which disciples of the Dhrupad gharana promise to deliver striking performances. The Dhrupad Music Festival that begins today will be held at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute Auditorium. Famous Dhrupad music exponents, Gundecha brothers, who started a training centre at Hyderabad, are conducting this festival to showcase the talent of their students from around the world. Their student Manish Jha, who performs with his brother Sanjeev Jha, comes to the city every month to train students. Says Manish, “After this festival, we hope more people from the city bring Dhrupad music into their lives.”
Rupa Amitabh from New Delhi saw an advertisement about a Dhrupad workshop and attended the auditions. Till then she was deeply involved in the Khayal form of singing. Says Rupa, “It took a lot of time for me to understand the meditative form of this music. I know many foreigners who practice Dhrupad music because they like the stillness in it.”
Satyendra Singh Solanki is one of the rare Santoor players who practices Dhrupad music. Says Satyendra, “The depth and detailing of the music has kept me bound to this form. I work in the public sector, but much of my time away from office hours is dedicated to music.”
Supriyo Maitro from Jalpaiguri feels that Dhrupad has a scientific voice training system, which enlightens the spirit and soul of a human. Says Supriyo, “I used to work as an Assistant Professor of Music in Vidyasagar University before I decided to pack my bags and proceed to the gurukul at Bhopal. The gurukul gave me everything and a scholarship to survive.”
Murali Mohan Gowda
Murali Mohan Gowda from Bengaluru used to learn the Bansuri and plays the Saraswati Veena during his free time. He quit his job in a multinational company to make music his full-time profession. After taking up Dhrupad music on Rudra Veena, he always faced the challenge of travelling with the large instrument and maintaining it.
Says Murali, “I have done many duet performances with Heikel. Since we learn from the same guru, our music blends into a beautiful traditional style, even though it comes from two people. Sensitising society on various issues also resulted in my participation in the Art in Transit festival, which took place at the Metro railway stations in Bengaluru.
Amita Sinha Mahapatra
Amita, from Mumbai, took to Dhrupad music at a workshop by Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Khan Dagar. She says, “The purity of sound, rhythm and the words have brought peace in my life. The experience of understanding the philosophy of music can change your perception of life.”
Heikel Ben Mlauka
Heikel Ben Mlauka from Tunisia used to listen to lot of Indian classical music in his childhood. Says he, “I learnt the Sitar and Harmonium. About two years ago, I came to the gurukul in Bhopal with my Sitar. The Gundecha brothers suggested that I start learning the Rudra Veena. The moment I plucked the first note on the instrument, an inexplicable feeling of a different universe of sound touched my soul. I cannot leave it.”
Ahsan Zulkernaeen Niloy
This musician from Dhaka feels that the younger generation is slowly understanding the depth of Dhrupad music and the following is increasing. Says Niloy, “This music integrates very well with the science of Yoga as it has an interaction with the body and mind. It’s very popular abroad and people in India are understanding the importance.”