A JEWEL IS LOST
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Jaywant Naidu
In the death of Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Vidushi Malini Rajurkar, the country has lost one of the finest exponents of Hindustani classical music from the Gwalior Gharana. Barkatpura in Hyderabad was the home of Malini Rajurkar ever since she came back from her young days spent in Rajasthan.
She was married to Sri Vasantrao Rajurkar who had served as the Principal of Government Music College at Ramkote.
Pandit Prabhakar Gohadkar (disciple of Pandit Raja Bhaiya and Pandit Balasaheb Poonchwale of Gwalior Gharana) felt that ‘Tappa’ singing was one of the highlights in the music of Malini Rajurkar. " Malini was always in constant touch with me. She would clear doubts about the rendition of a particular composition over phone. When she came to Rewa for a concert, she stayed at our house. Surprisingly, she cooked food for all of us and served us. She was a very humble person but at the same time would interact with a select few."
Hindustani vocalist Pandit Raja Kale says "Very saddened to know that one pillar from the Golden Era of music has taken exit from this world. Malini Rajurkar was an ardent follower of Gwalior Gharana teachings. She was very straight forward, honest and generous vocalist by the profession. Malini Tai was a very loving person.Being a disciple of Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki, I had a special bond with Malini Tai. She was fond of Abhisheki ji’s versatile gayaki singing and special affection for my renderings also."
Says Pandit Biswajit Roy Chowdhury (Sarod Artiste) "It’s a privilege that I met her, heard her in about 15 concerts at different cities. I remember a concert in Pune where the hall was packed, people sat on stage, in the side spaces and did not leave the air conditioning maintenance room space. She was completely adept in also singing Carnatic ragas. Her perception was so simple that she could be the next door sister, aunt or mother. Behind the camouflage of a housewife there was a very complex human being. I am deeply saddened that she never received the highest of National awards."
Recalls Jay Visvadeva of Sama Arts from London "In 1995, we organized a music festival ‘Women through the ages ‘in three venues across London. It was a series highlighting eight women khayal singers from India.And we had Malini Rajurkar performing for us. The arts of South Asia are exceptionally male-dominated, given the inherently patriarchal framework of subcontinental cultures. This festival was organized to give women artists their due."