This was a performance that didn't just speak music - it spoke the language of human emotions as well.
As Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj, in the city as part of the Saptak music festival, rendered an intensely melancholic Krishna bhajan, several of those in the audience burst into tears - clearly mirroring the level of artistic excellence that Pandit Jasraj is known for.
Panditji said, "Bhajans of Lord Krishna make for an apt homage to Pandit Nandan Mehta. Krishna bhajans contain intense agony within them, which matches the grief that the music fraternity feels at Mehta's loss."
Pandit Jasraj is a contemporary icon of North Indian classical vocal music. He performed at the Saptak festival on Monday to pay homage to late tabla maestro Pandit Nandan Mehta. Panditji first entertained the audience with delicate nuances of raga Darbari Kanda, known as a midnight melody. However, when he concluded the concert with notes of raga Bhairavee and a rendition of a bhajan titled 'Krushna chandra ne ... Chhode diyo', many in the audience burst into tears.
The said bhajan is a 'bhakti pad' by Surdasji, with the words 'Shri Krishna chandra ne Mathura se Gokul aavino chhod diyo'. The bhajan creates a mood of divine grief, exactly like the deep longing that gopis endure after Shri Krishna leaves Gokul for Mathura and never returns. "The anguish that the gopis suffered after their separation from Krishna, matches the anguish and loss I feel (and the whole music fraternity feels) at Pandit Mehta's demise," elaborated Pandit Jasraj.
He concluded Monday's music concert with notes of raga Bhairavee. Pt Jasraj was accompanied by his disciples Ratan Mohan Sharma and Vikas Parikh, and Shanank Subramaniam on the flute, Sridhar Parthasarthy on the mridangam and Mukund Petkar on the harmonium.