Under The Banyan Tree On A Full Moon Night, in the rain
New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) A new monthly series of concerts has opened here aiming to seamlessly blend music and craft in a beautiful setting. The inaugural edition of this new entertainment adda was all things musical, until unexpected rain played spoilsport -- not so much, thanks to the organisers who ensured that the concert reached its rightful culmination indoors.
The evening attracted an almost housefull audience even in its first edition. As one stepped inside the beautiful venue, adjacent to the magnificent Qutub Minar, for a evening full of music and liveliness, titled "Under the Banyan Tree on a Full Moon Night," there was a sense of anticipation in the air. A lot lay ahead but before the music heralds, the bar is where the crowds head to.
The concert began with the young and talented Hindustani classical vocalist Ujwal Nagar setting the mood with his bandish before moving on to Meera bhajan. The soothing vocals of Ujwal paved the way for Indian classical instrumentalist Azeem Ahmed Alvi's "North Meets South Sitar" along with Hafeez Ahmed on the tabla, Sridhar Raghunathan on violin, Vetry Bhupathi on mridangam playing raag Kirwani. Azeem, born into a sixth generation of classical music, concluded with a recital of Vaishnu Vajanto.
As Azeem's sitar was weaving its magic, it was nature's turn to galvanise the event. Right above the Banyan tree, the full moon was in its glory with clouds passing by, a subtle reminder to what was in store. The finale came with Qutbi Brothers, one of India's most celebrated qawwali singers, inheritors of a 750-year-old tradition.
The Qutbi Brothers began their performance with Amir Khusro's "Man Kunto Maula" and their Sufi renditions seemed to move the rain gods and it poured. Very soon enough, it was raining cats and dogs.
After a brief break, the musical setting moved inside the Ojas Arts Gallery at 1AQ and music enthusiasts witnessed an acoustic Qawwali in all its purity. The Qutbi Brothers took the Sufi route to explain the composite culture of the country and in their unique style regaled audience with timeless Sufi kalaam and bhajans.
On the whole, it was an evening full of delight and calmness. It is fascinating that such options are opening up for the residents of the Capital where for a ticket of Rs 1,000, one can actually have a fun-filled time in the company of some soulful music and of course, the liquor too is on the house. More than anything else, this magnificent Banyan tree, spreading its branches in full majesty had long been longing for an audience -- the monthly saga of concerts that was held last Sunday is the fulfillment of that longingness.
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