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कुमार वयातील माझे बहिश्वर प्राण – के. जी. गिंडे

                                          कुमार गंधर्व यांनी सांगितलेल्या आठवणी

                                                                                                               शब्दांकन : रामकृष्ण बाक्रे

          १९३७ सालची गोष्ट आहे. आकाशवाणीचं चेनबुकिंग मला मित्ळू लागलं होतं. प्रथम दिल्‍ली. मग ग्वाल्हेर, मग लखनौं (आणि कधी कधी कलकत्ता देखील ) असं ते बुकिंग असे. लखनौला मी मॉरिस कॉलेजचे प्रिन्सिपॉल गुरुवर्य आण्णासाहेब रातंजनकर यांच्याकडे जायचो. तिथंच दहा एक दिवस मुक्काम असे. ३७ साली गेलों असता छोटू तब्बल चार वर्षाच्या विरहानंतर तिथं दिसला. मला कोण आनंद झाला म्हणून सांगू! बालपणीची मैत्री ही काही अपूर्वच असते समानशील मित्र हा जणू बहिश्चर प्राण वाटत असतो. छोटूला बघताच आपलं काही हरवलं होतं आणि ते गवसलं याचा तर आनंद झालाच, पण संगीतात रमू इच्छिणारा, काही ध्येय बाळगलेला छोटू योग्य ठिकाणी रुज झाला आहे याचा आनंद जास्त झाला

           [हा छोटू म्हणजे आजचे पंडित के. जी. गिंडे.  कुमार त्याच्या संदर्भातच कुमारवयातील आठवणी सांगत होते. ते पुढे म्हणाले.]

          छोटूचं घर होतं बैलहोंगल या तालुक्याच्या गावी. माझे जन्मगाव सुळेभावी असले तरी आमची शेती अमटूर या खेडयात असल्यान आम्ही अमटूरला मठात रहात असू. अमटूर आणि बैलहोंगल यांमध्ये तसं फारसं अंतर नव्हतंच. माझ्या ध्वनिमुद्रिकांची यथातथ्य नक्कल करण्याचा गुण वाढीस लावण्यासाठी माझे वडील मला वारंवार बैलहोंगलला घेऊन जायचे. आणि तिथं गेल्यावर छोटूच्या घरी गेल्याशिवाय बैलहोंगलची भेट पूर्ण होतच नसे. छोटूचं घर हे  गाण्यातलं घर होतं हे याचं मुख्य कारण ! छोटू च्या वडिलांनी त्या काळात १९११ पासून नारायणराव बालगंधर्व यांचं गाणं ऐकलेलं. ते स्वतः घरीच दर गुरुवारी भजनास बसत. ज्येष्ठ चिरंजीव रामभाऊ गिंडे ( हेच पुढे शल्यविशारद डॉ. गिंडे झाले) दिलरुबा वाजवीत. त्यांच्याहून धाकटे गोविंदराव तबला वाजवीत. आपल्या घरात कुणीतरी गायक कलावंत व्हावा असं सर्वांना वाटे. पण विशेषत: रामभाऊ गिंडे यांना. त्यांनी त्या दष्टींनं छोटूचं मन नाट्यसंगीतात गुंतवलं होतं. आमचं घर देखील गाण्यातलंच होतं. (माझी आई नाट्यगीते गायची. माझा मामा गाणारा, वडील तर गाणारे होतेच.) तेव्हा गिंडे आणि कोमकली यांचे ऋणानबंध निकटचे बनणं अपरिहार्य होतं. बैलहोंगलला त्यावेळी मोगूबाईच्या पासून ते पंडिराव नगरकरांपरय॑त सर्वांच्या ध्वनिमुद्रिका येत. पंडित नारायणराव व्यास यांच्या सर्वात अधिक. त्यां ध्वनिमुद्रिका या छोटूच्या धूळपाटया होत्या. माझे साक्षात्कार होते. [जरा थांबून कुमार पुढे सांगू लागले.]

          छोटूबाबत एक गोष्ट मला आवर्जून सांगितली पाहिजे ती ही की, अगदी प्रथम त्याला मी जेव्हा गाताना ऐकलं तेव्हा मला त्याचा हेवाच वाटला. तो चक्‍क तबल्याच्या साथीत गात होता. मला तोपर्यंत तबल्याच्या साथीत गाता येत नव्हतं. १९३१-३२ सालातील ही गोष्ट आहे. माझं वय त्यावेळी ७ वर्षाचं मानलं तर छोटू माझ्याहून दीड वर्षाने लहान म्हणज साडेपांच वर्षांचा. अर्थात्‌ त्यावेळी तो माझ्याहून इतका लहान हे मला ठाऊक नव्हतं. या षष्ठ्ब्दीच्या निमित्तान प्रथम ती कल्पना आली. छोटू हा अंगापेरानं पहिल्यापानच मजबूत. त्यामुळं तो माझ्याहून मोठा आहे असंच मला वाटायचं. छोटू्ला गायक बनवायचं हे ध्येय त्याचे ज्येष्ठ बंधू रामभाऊ यांनी मनात बाळगलेलं होतं, तर मला प्रकाशझोतात आणावं, थोर गवयानं शिष्य म्हणून पत्करावं यासाठी छोटू्चे वडील खटपटीत असत. (एकदा अशी संधी आली. मलप्रभा नदीच्या काठी गुर्लहोसुर म्हणून गाव आहें. तिथं चिदंबरम्‌ स्वामींचा उत्सव प्रतिवर्षी होई. छोटू्चे वडील त्या मठाचे विश्वस्त. त्या वर्षीच्या उत्सवात वझेबुवा सेवेला येणार हे समजताच छोटू्चे वडील मला गुर्लहोसुरला घेऊन गेले. गंमत अशी की तो मठ होता वैष्णव संप्रदायाचा आणि मी कट्टर शैव. तेव्हा माझं शैवपण लपविण्यासाठी छोटूच्या वडिलांनी मला गळ्यापर्यंत बटणं लावावयास सांगितली. वझेबुवांना मी त्यांचीच ‘बोलरे पपीहरा’ ही ध्वनिमुद्विका सहीसही ऐकविली. वझेबुवा चकित झाले, पण छोटू्च्या वडिलांच्या मनातील हेतू काही पार पडला नाही.) मी हा किस्सा एवढ्यासाठी सांगितला की, छोटूच्या वडिलांना छोटूपेक्षाही माइ्या भवितव्याची काळजी अधिक होती हे कळावे.

          मला वाटतं ३३-३४ सालापासून माझा छोटूशी संबंध तुटला. मी एका वेगळ्या वातावरणात वाढू लागलो. (३५ साली कलकत्ता आणि कानपूर इथं कीर्तीचा महापूरच माझ्यावर आला आणि ३६ सालच्या फेब्रुवारीत गुरुवर्य देवधरांकडे मी दाखल झाल्यावर गुरुवर्य आण्णासाहेब रातंजनकर एक दिवशी देवधरांकडे आले. ३६ सालच्या मे महिन्याच्या सुट्टीत ते बहुधा लखनौहून मुंबईत आले असावेत. माझी त्यांच्याकडे ये-जा सुरू झाली. तरी देखील छोटू त्यांच्याकडे येणार आहे या गोष्टीचा मला पत्ता लागला नाही. निवांत असलो म्हणजे त्याची आठवण यायची. पण त्याचं पुढे काय झालं ? त्याच्यासाठी त्याचे थोरले बंधू अण्णासाहेबांकड़े प्रयत्नशील आहेत की काय वगैरे संबंधी मला काहीही ठाऊक नव्हते. माझ्या पालक मंडळींनाही त्याबदल विचारायची सोय नव्हती. सगळे एकाहून एक जमदग्नी ! त्यामुळे छोटू १९३६ च्या मे अखेरीस अण्णासाहेबांकडे आला केव्हा आणि पुढ़े जुलैत लखनौस गेला केव्हा हे मला काहीही कळलं नाही. ३७ साली जेव्हा मीच लखनौंत गेलो तेव्हा तो चार वर्षांनंतर प्रथम दिसला आणि आमच्या स्नेहाला पुन्हा भरते आले. एक बहिश्चर प्राण पुन्हा गवसल्याचा आनंद झाला.

          देवधरांकडे आल्यावर मला आणखी एक बहिश्चर प्राण मिळाला, तो म्हणजे बंडू जोग. आजचा विख्यात व्हायोलिनिस्ट व्ही. जी. जोग तो हाच. देवधरांचा क्लास त्यावेळी बनाम हॉल लेनमध्ये होता. तिथं बंडू व्हायोलिन शिकत असे. पुढ लखनौहून अण्णासाहेबांती देवधर मास्तरांकडे मागणी केली की, मॉरिस कॉलेजला एक व्हायोलिन शिक्षक हवा आहे. तेव्हा माझा हा बहि:श्चर प्राणही लखनौला गेला. चेनबुकिंगचं निमित्त साधून लखनौं आणि ग्वाल्हेर या दोन ठिकाणी रहावयास मिळे याचं मला जास्त आकर्षण होतं. ‘नित्य नवे काहीतरी संपादावे’ हे सूत्र त्यावेळीही माइया नजरेसमोर असे. यादृष्टीने ग्वाल्हेरीस राजाभय्या पूँछवाले आणि लखनौस अण्णासाहेब ही ठेहराव ठिकाणंच होती म्हणाना त्या दोघांनाही मला भरभरून द्यावे असं वाटायचं आणि मलाही घ्यावं असं वाटायचं. गुरुवर्य अण्णासाहेबांनी त्यांच्या हस्ताक्षरात त्यांनी बांधलेल्या बंदिशी लिहून द्याव्यात आणि मी त्या कागदावरील शाई वाळावयाच्या आत मुंबई रेडिओ-केंद्रातून त्या ऐकाव्यात, असेही कित्येकदा घडलेले आहे. सालग-वराळीमधील अण्णासाहेबांची बंदीश सबंध देशाला मी अशीच मुंबई केंद्रावरून ऐकविली. त्यावेळी मुंबई केंद्र भारतभर ऐकले जायचे. कारण बहुतेक सर्व चांगले कार्यक्रम याच केंद्रावरून व्हायचे.

           लखनौ आणि ग्वाल्हेर येथे मी रमे, याची आणखीही कारणे होती. माइ्या दोन बहिश्चर प्राणांचा मी वर उल्लेख केला. आणखी तीन बहिश्चर प्राण मला मिळाले ते लखनौलाच. एस. सी. आर. भट, सदाशिव गुरव आणि दिनकर कैकिणी. दिनकर सर्वात लहान. सदाशिव हा उत्तम तबलापटू होता. माझी अनेक गाणी त्यानं वाजवली आहेत. आज तो हयात नाही याचं मला दुःख होतं आणि भट यांच्याबइल मी काय सांगू? अहर्निश अभ्यासात रमलेला, एकाच वेळी       विनीत विद्यार्थी आणि उत्तम अध्यापक या भूमिका सांभाळणारा असा मित्र मला लखनौला लाभला हे मी माझं भाग्य समजतो. भट आणि जोग दोघंही एका खोलीत राहात. मॉरिस कॉलेजच्या जवळच त्यांची खोली होती. माझा मुक्काम त्या खोलीवरच असे. संध्याकाळचा फेरफटका आटोपून आम्ही यायचों व लगेच तंबोरे काढून बसायचो. मध्यरात्र होईपर्यत आवृत्ती चाले. देवाणघेवाण होई. तिथून मग जेवण. त्यानंतर अंथरुणास पाठ टेकीत अस्‌. या कार्यक्रमात छोटू नसे. तो अण्णासाहेबांकडे असे. त्यांचा पी. ए. ही तोच. सगळे हिशेबठिशेब तोच ठेवी. पण अण्णासाहेबांचे आणि भटांचे छोटूला सतत मार्गदर्शन असे. छोटूचा दृष्टिकोण गंभीर बनायला कारणीभूत आहेत भट. अण्णासाहेबांचे गाणे कसे समजून ध्यावे याचे मार्गदर्शन करणारे भटच. |

          ग्वाल्हेर काय किवा लखनौं काय, अण्णासाहेब, राजाभय्या ही मंडळी मी लहान म्हणून माझे लाड करीत. आमचा तांडा सिनेमाला जात असे. मला भाड्यानें सायकल घेऊन देत. किती म्हणून सांगावे ! या मंडळींचा माझ्या बाबतीत परकेपणा असा नव्हताच.

          उन्हाळ्याच्या सुट्टीत अण्णासाहेब दीड महिना मुंबईस येत तेव्हा पुन्हा हे सर्व बहिःश्चर प्राण एकत्र येत. रविवारी सकाळी आणि संध्याकाळी अण्णासाहेब गायला बसत, तेव्हा भट, मी, जोग, छोटू असे सर्व असायचोच. ती संधी घालवायची नाही म्हणून मी बेळगावला जाणेही रद्द केले. यामध्ये अण्णा साहेबांकडून नकळत आमचे केवढे तरी शिक्षण होऊन जायचे. त्याशिवाय प्रत्यक्ष चर्चेतून होत असे ते वेगळेच. अण्णासाहेबांचा स्वर बारीक पण अति सुरेल. सारंगिये देखील वचकून असत. रागप्रभुत्व कमालीचे. वादवच नाही. आणि विश्लेषण इतके छान करीत की सांगून सोय नाही. उत्तम बंदिशी अशी बांधत की, पं. जगन्नाथबुवा पुरोहित यांनीही एकदा पंचम रागातील विलंबित बंदीश करून द्या अशी विनंती माझ्या करवी अण्णासाहेबांकडे केली. ‘चंद्र जाके भाल’ ही विलंबित बंदीश या विनंतीतून निर्माण झाली. त्या आधी मी “आवो गावो गावो रे’ ही द्रुत तेवढीच गात असे.

         भट आणि गिंडे या जोडीचा अभिमान मला अनेक कारणांसाठी आहे. एक तर कलेच्या क्षेत्रात जी बदमाषी चालते तिच्यापासून ते अलिप्त आहेत. शिवाय पूर्ण ज्ञानी आहेत. मला कुणी एखादा कूटप्रश्न विचारला तर मी त्या माणसाला या दोघांकडें धाडतो. समजावून देण्याचा, पटवून देण्याचा गुरुवर्य अण्णासाहेबांचा गुण यांनी सही सही उचलला आहे. गुरुशी इमान राखण्यासाठी प्रसंगी चांगली नोकरी सोड़्न द्यावी लागली तरी द्यायची हा स्वाभिमान छोटूने दाखविला आहे आणि मित्रप्रेमासाठी आपली अर्धी भाकरी मोडून प्रथम मित्राला द्यायची हे भटांनी दाखविले आहे. या दोघांनाही वललभ संगीत विद्यालय ६० आणि ६३ सालापासून लाभले हा त्या विद्यालयाचा मोठाच लाभ झाला आहे.

          छोटू मंच कलाकर होण्याच्या, एक परफॉर्मिंग आर्टिस्ट होण्याच्या ध्येयाने या कलाक्षेत्रात आला आणि एक थोर शिक्षक हे त्याचे पहिले धिरुद बनले याबदल त्याने उगाच’ खंत करू नये. परफॉर्मिंग कलाकार ठरवून होतोच असे नाही आणि तो झाला तरी त्याच्यातील शिक्षक नाहीसा होता नये. शिक्षक म्हणून मोठं होणं हेही कमी नव्हे. गिंडे, भट हे त्याअर्थाने अधिक मोठे आहेत. सहज हिशेब केला तर दोन हजार बंदिशी दोधांनाही मुखोद्गत आहेत. मला वाटतं दिनकरच्याही जवळजवळ तितक्याच. कधी एखादी बंदीश आठवली नाही तर मी सरळ त्रयीपैकी कुणाला तरी फोन करतो आणि मंच कलाकार म्हणूनही यांची योग्यता कमी नव्हे. कित्येकदा मी पाह्मलंय, भट-गिंडे ही जोडी, ही दोन डिपेल इंजिन तापली म्हणजे अप्रतिहत गतीनं आणि बुद्धिप्रभावानं मैफिलीचा संपूर्ण कब्जाच घेतात. छोटूस आता छोटू म्हणणं योग्य नव्हे. कृष्णा ही खाजगीतील हाक झाली. पण मास्या- सारख्या गेली ५० हून अधिक वर्ष मैत्री टिकलेल्याच्या मुखात डॉ. के. जी. गिंडे हे शब्द कसे यावेत ? छोटूस यापुढेही संगीत सेवेसाठी प्रदीर्ध आयुरारोग्य लाभो असंच मी म्हणणार.

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“CHHOTOO” AS I KNOW HIM By MOHAN NADKARNI

I think it was the summer of 1945.  The place was Belgaum. I was then a college student, as much involved in music as in my academic studies. Those were the days when I also nursed an ambition to be a vocalist and used to devote much of my leisure to listening to radio and concert music without, of course, neglecting my academic studies!

Belgaum then (as also hopefully now) abounded in public and private concerts, at which local and visiting artistes treated the local rasikas to wholsome music and sent them home with gladdened hearts.  I have haunting memories of many concerts, at which were featured stalwarts like ,Rambhau Gulavani, Vishwanathbuva Jadhav, Azmat Hussain Khan and Sureshbabu Mane, to name but a few. There also were drawing-room programmes held by well-to-do families, at which younger talent came to be given opportunities to perform before a compact but discerning group of invitees.

It was at one such private baithak that I chanced. to hear a young Marathi-speaking vocalist. He appeared then to be in his twenties, but his two-hour performance, covering well- known and less-known melodies, sounded too good for his age. What specially struck me was the natural ease and skill with which he managed to unfold and project his rare ragas. His style bore the umistakable impress of the Agra gharana, made so famous by the late maestro Faiyaz Khan, one of the all-time greats whose radio concerts I seldom missed.

I do not recollect, at this distance of time, the entire fare I heard from this youngster. But I still have the vivid memory of one melody, which was explained as Kedar-Bahar. It was the raga I had heard for the first time. I surmised that it was a combination of two time-honoured ragas delightfully familiar to my ears. But what swept me off my feet was the emergence of a new raga the hue and character of which sounded so delightfully different from that of its components. Here, indeed, was the originality and virtuosity of the composer, as also the singer, seen at their best!

Somehow, in those days I could not have the nerve to approach and get to know any performing artistes. All I did was to obtain the particulars about them through more knowledgeable friends and also local artistes.  That was how I also missed meeting this Lucknow vocalist at that programme. I was simply content to keep humming the Kedar-Bahar tune on my way home after the baithak.

I learnt  that the name of the artiste was K. G. Ginde, a senior pupil of Pandit S. N. Ratanjankar at the Marris College of Music at Lucknow. I also learnt that Ginde also belonged to Belgaum district and came from Bailhongal, and that he had come down to his native place during the summer vacation.

I also gathered that he was then only 19 and had come of a respectable cultured family and that he had decided to devote himself to music as a full-time profession. This was at a time when pursuit of music as a profession was out of bounds to even gifted youngsters, if they happened to belong to educated and cultured, families. As one who also came of such a family, my reaction to Ginde’s career  was one of both admiration and envy.

Nearly a decade ha d to go by before I came to know Ginde. That was when he left Lucknow for good, and came to this metropolis to settle down and pursue his vocation.  It took little time for our casual acquaintance to mature into lasting friendship.

Krishna Gundo Ginde was born at Bailhongal, on Saturday, December 26, 1925. He was one of the nine children of his parents. They were in all six brothers and three sisters and Krishna was the eighth child-which is Why he was named after Lord Krishna. Gundopant came of a humble family and had to go: through the mill before Ice became a medical practitioner. He set up his general practice at Bailhongal and emerged as a successful physician. He was also a keen lover of classical music and Marathi musical stage and had built up a fine” collection of recorded music of many reigning masters of the time. He also encouraged his children to share his interest in music right from their early childhood.

Gundopant’s eldest son. Ramchandra, who later rose to be one of the world-famous neurosurgeons. was the first to lead his younger brothers and sisters in the pursuit of the joyous hobby of their father. But it would seem that it was Krishna who showed his. extraordinary sensitivity to the sounds of music and rhythm even while yet an infant. Gundopant correctly sensed the child’s propensities and gave him opportunities to listen to the records. He would even encourage his child to imitate some of the masters. So much so, that Krishna gave his first private jalsa before a group of his father’s friends and relatives when he was only six years old. He sang for two and a half hours and elicited unstinted admiration from his listeners. A photograph taken on the occasion has been preserved by the Ginde family. Krishna’s brilliant debut struck the keynote of his future career and the credit for shaping it goes to his eldest doctor brother, himself a musician by choice.

Krishna, as also his other brothers, had their primary education in Kannada at Bailhongal, after which they were sent, one after another, to Belgaum for further studies at their uncle’s residence. During this time, Krishna met Shivaputra Siddharamayya Komkali, who later became famous as Kumar Gandharva

On his uncle’s transfer to Gadag, in Dharwad district. Krishna also moved with him and got himself enrolled in a secondary school where he happened to meet Bhimsen Joshi, who was also to become a musical luminary, like Kumar Gandharva, in later years. Krishna has many interesting stories of his early association and friendship with Kumar and Bhimsen-of occasions when they had opportunities to sing before maestros like Ramakrishnabuva Vaze and receive their blessings.

Meanwhile, Ramchandra Ginde continued to divide his time between his medical studies and musical pursuits. In the process, he came to Pandit Bhatkhande who helped him a great deal in learning and appreciating Hindustani music. Bhatkhandeji also gave him his textbooks so that he could learn ragas on his own during his holidays.

In time to come Ramchandra Ginde grew closer and still closer to Bhatkhandeji and it was at his suggestion that the young doctor became known to Pandit Ratanjankar, his most devoted disciple. Soon there grew a closer friendship between the two families. In response to a suggestion from Dr. Ginde, Pandit Ratanjankar, popularly known as “Annasaheb”, said that he would first like to see the boy. Accordingly, Krishna was brought to Bombay and introduced to Panditji. Krishna, who was fairly well-trained by his eldest brother, impressed his future preceptor by his talent. And he gladly agreed to teach him even during his summer stay in the city. This was in May 1936, Krishna, by his qualities of head and heart, so endeared himself to the Ratanjankar family that he was treated as one of their own. Krishna came to be nicknamed “Chhotoo” by Annasaheb, because he himself happened to be his namesake (Shrikrishna) and, for that reason, his wife could   not call the youngster by his name under the orthodox Hindu custom! The nickname has since stuck to Krishna, and he is fondly called as “Chhotoo” by all his relations, colleagues as also his vast circle of friends and admirers.

Annasaheb’s initiation of Chhotoo into classical music began with the raga  Bhairav. But he was also allowed to accompany his erudite guru in the rendering of many other ragas which he had learnt earlier from his brother. Sensing the boy’s musical potential, the guru decided to take Krishna to Lucknow with the permission of his elders.

The years of Chhotoo’s grooming at Lucknow truly laid the foundations of his future career. The boy was too young to realise that the Marris College was a residential institution, that Annasaheb was its Principal  and  that it  had a staff of several teachers like Shri G. N. Natu, Balaji Pathak and others. It was here that he met S. C. R. Bhat, a senior student, and Dinkar Kaikini who joined the college a little later.

Chhotoo’s stay at Lucknow for a decade and a half was marked by intensive grooming in the art and science of Hindustani music. During this period, he benefited from the guidance of not only Annasaheb but also his other colleagues and senior disciples like Bhat. In time to come, he acquired a sound command of technique and excellence in the presentation of dhrupad, dhamar, Khayal, tappa and thumri. He won the college distinction of “sangeet nipun”, bagging a gold medal for his proficiency.

What is more, Chhotoo benefited immensely from his association, in one way or other, with several  stalwarts  like  Rajabhayya  Poochhwale, who kept visiting the college almost round the year. Such visits were always marked by baithaks in the college premises and also enlightening discussions on various topics concerning the classical tradition. Precocious Chhotoo made the best of such rare   opportunities of exposure to the wider world of music. These, coupled with his traditional grooming amid an utterly homely environment, shaped his personality and character.

Even in the midst of his round-the-clock schedule of musical grooming. Chhotoo managed to pursue his academic studies.  He passed his matriculation examination in 1942, side by side with his Sangeet Visharad examination. It was a measure of Annasaheb’s confidence that he entrusted to him even the responsibilities of looking after the accounts matters. It would be no exaggeration to say that Chhotoo was always with Annasaheb like his shadow, ready and willing to do anything at his guru’s bidding. With his prodigious memory. he set a record of memorising a whopping figure of over 2,000 chijas from the vast repertory of Bhatkhandeji’s and Annasaheb’s monumental works. Little wonder that the guru was justly proud of his shishya!

During the last few years of his stay at Lucknow, Chhotoo served on the   teaching   staff of his college and also became a popular broadcaster. But, in obedience to his guru’s wishes, he moved to Bombay and joined the teaching staff of the Bhavan’s college of music in 1951. Already, his senior colleagues, the late Chindanand Nagarkar and Bhat, were there to manage the affairs of the newly-started institution.  He served the college for five years.

In 1962, Chhotoo and Bhat were invited by the erudite scholar-musician, Swami Vallabhdasji to take over the responsibilities of his newly founded Sangeetalaya at Sion, in Eastern Bombay. Since then both have become synonymous with the institution. In the intervening years, the gurubhais engaged themselves in giving private tuitions, Chhotoo also worked with the Rev. Fr. Proksh to score the music for his Biblical numbers and visited Germany with the dignitary. While there, he earned appreciation and recognition from the Pope who presented him with a medal.

A regular broadcaster and telecaster, Chhotoo has participated in almost all major musicaI events in India. As a performing artiste, he has won accolades from leading cultural institutions. He is connected with several universities all over the country in various capacities and has also conducted music workshops and lecture-cum-demonstrations, besides participating in important seminars and symposia. More recently, he has taken the lead in the establishment of a registered charitable trust in memory of his great guru with the object of preserving and perpetuating his missionary work.

And who does not know the uniqueness of his partnership with Bhat on the musical stage? The duo has few peers in this difficult art. Their partnership in stage performance is but one aspect of their exemplary spirit of comradeship in whatever they undertake. And vidya daan is, above all, their life’s mission.

In reply to a question, chhotto once candidly said that it was not his intention to be a teacher. But he honestly wanted to preserve the music he was taught and be a performing musician. It was his devotion to his guru that inspired him to take to teaching. And, to the manner born, he has emerged as an ideal acharya in his own right, who remains immersed in the holiness of his mission, following in the footsteps of his illustrious guru. Happily married with two sons, who are already well settled in life, Chhotoo endears himself even to strangers as much by his affability as by his spartan simplicity. He carries his scholarship and eminence lightly. A man of clean habits (pan-chewing is his only weakness, if it can be so called), he keeps himself aloof from petty jealousies and rivalries that beset his profession. But this big-sized chhotto is an interesting raconteur, humorous and sunny by disposition. Meeting him any time is always a happy experience. And I am one of those who proudly cherish his friendship and goodwill for me.

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Pt. K. G. Ginde as Musicologist

Time Theory in Hindustani Ragdari Sangeet… By Pt. K. G. Ginde

The question is invariably asked that in Hindustani Ragdari Sangeet, why do you sing a particular ‘raga’ at a particular time?

Let us understand what is time theory and how it came into existence.

Our music was first nurtured in temples. If you follow the history of music, from temples, music came into our social, religious ceremonies and then the court tradition started. In the seavices of the deity, certain melodies were sung at certain hours. Consequently, people were used to listening to those melodies at those fixed hours. The tradition continued and we got used to follow a certain ‘raga’ at a certain time. This is the origin of time theory.

Now suppose you are in a closed, air-conditioned hall, where we are almost cut-off from outside environment. You do not know whether it is morning or night. Suppose you are locked in this particular room with a musician for few days. How will you judge whether he is singing in the morning or in the evening or in the night?

After giving thought to this fact, various musicians. musicologists have found that the mood of the artiste, the temper of the artiste is suited to a particular mingling of swaras at different hours.

‘Laxangeet’ specifies three catagories of  ‘ragas’.

( a) Ragas having  ‘Shuddha Rishabh’ and  ‘Dhaivat’.

( b) Ragas having ‘Komal Rishabh’, ‘Dhaivat’.

( c) Ragas having  ‘Kamal Gandhar’ and  ‘Nishad’.

Again, ragas having ‘Rishabh’ and ‘Dhaivat’ as ‘Kamal’ with ‘Shuddha Gandhar’ are under special category known as ‘Sandhiprakash Ragas.’

‘Sandhiprakash’ means twilight. It occurs twice a day. Around sunrise and around sunset. So, ragas having ‘Komal Rishabh’, ‘Kamal Dhaivat’ and ‘Shuddha Gandhar’ are ‘Sandhiprakash ragas’. It means ragas derived from ‘Bhairav, Poorvi, Marwa’ are categorised into ‘sandhiprakash ragas.’ They are sung during twilight hours, followed by ragas having ‘Shuddha Rishabh’ and ‘Dhaivat’ with ‘Suddha Gandhar’ are derived from ‘Kalyan’and ‘Bilawal’. Then comes ragas having ‘Komal Gandhar’ and ‘Nishad’, where you have ‘Kafi, Asawari, Bhairavi, Todi’.

The time cycle is devided into two parts. Day and Night. From noon to midnight,

we take it as ‘Poorvang Pradhan’ (पूर्वांग प्रधान) and from midnight to mid-day is Uttarang (उत्तरांग). Where uttarang is dominant (उत्तरांग प्रबल) we sing it after the midnight. Therefore we hear ‘Vasant’, ‘Paraj’ and similar ragas after midnight. Then comes ‘Bhairav’ and associated ragas up to mid-day. They slowly you come down and come te the lower octave.

Suppose the cycle starts say from ‘Sandhiprakash’ evening; where you have ragas derived from ‘Poorvi’, ‘Bhairavi’ and ‘Marwa’, where ‘Poorvang’ is dominant (पूर्वांग प्रबल), ‘Rishabh’ and ‘Dhaivat’ are usually dominant and ‘Gandhar’ is of course ‘Shunddha’.

Another factor is Madhyam Tivra (मध्यम तीव्र). You will find it more in the evening ragas than in the morning ragas.

In the morning ragas you will mostly find   ‘Madhyam Shuddha’ (मध्यम शुद्ध) – exception is ‘Todi’. Ragas with ‘Tivra Madhyam’ (तीव्र मध्यम) are sung in the evening followed by ragas with ‘Rishabh’ and ‘Dhaivat Shuddha’ and then followed by ‘Gandhar’ and ‘Nishad’. Now if you take ‘Multani’ it comes under ‘Gandhar, Nishad’ catagory.

Prior to ‘Multani’ you sing ‘Bhimpalasi’ where ‘Madhyam Shuddha’ is prominant. In ‘Bhimpalasi’, ‘Nishad’ is very high. If you make that ‘Nishad’ more towards ‘Shuddha’, ‘Madhyam’ looses its importance and gives way to ‘Tivra Madhyam’ (तीव्र मध्यम). So you enter into ‘Gandhar, ‘Nishad Kamal’ catagory and lead towards ‘Multani’. (‘Bhimpalasi to Multani’)

In ‘Multani’, ‘Gandhar’ becomes ‘Shuddha’ and you get ‘Kalyan Thaat’. Then comes ‘Madhyam Shuddha’ which we find in ‘Poorvi’. Though it is taken as occidental note (विवाटा), it is weaker than ‘Tivra Madhyam’.

Then comes ragas like ‘Jaijaiwanti’, where ‘Kamal Gandhar’ starts showing its presence.  This leads to Gandhar, Nishad Kamal ragas. Such ragas are known as Paramel Praveshak (परमेल प्रवेशक). Here you travel from Khamaj to Kafi. Marwa is also one of such raga. If in Marwa you use Shuddha Rishabh it becomes yaman.

If you go on this way Gandhar, Nishad Kamal becomes prominant. After ‘Darbari’ Gandhar goes on rising and becomes again Shuddha after midnight ragas. The cycle goes on…

I don’t mind singing ‘Todi’ in the evening – but after Todi you must follow ragas following Todi. You may ask, ‘Puriya’ is a Sandhiprakash Raga. Why do you sing it at night?

But to achieve asthetic effect for a successful Puriya you have to start with Yaman or Bageshri and then follow it up by Puriya. Then only the effect of Puriya will be maximum. The cycle has to be completed in some way so even if you are singing in the ·evening, start a cycle with morning ragas, it does not matter only when you follow the cycle, you will be able to keep up the tempo. Not vice-a-versa. For example, if you start with Yaman and then come back to Bhimpalasi, you will be able to see the effect by yourself. Another aspect of time theory is a physical aspect. In the morning, our voice is heavy. It is not supple. So you have to sing ragas showing the other lower tetrachord (मंद). Mandra means the repeatation of Uttarang in lower octave.

As you progress, gradually your voice gets tuned and you go on to another Poorvang and carry on.

That is why even in ragas you will find in morning melodies we do not have many ‘taans’. If you indulge in taans in Bhairav, the spirit of Bhairav will not remain there.

Todi is suitable to ‘alap’ singing. Kamal Rishabh Asawari is also very much suitable for ‘alaps’.

On the other hand, in the evening, your voice is more free, you can use taans and fast delivery.

So this is a basic assumption, which our ancient musicians had established for time theory in Hindustani Ragdari Sangeet. I have been told by many musicians that the same is followed in Karnatic Music. But unfortunately, the ‘Kacheri’ (कचेरी) is held mostly in the evenings and they were deprived of listening to morning melodies.

In Karnatic music, there is also a specific convention. which theyfollow .A Kacheri starts with a Varnam (वर्णम),followed by a short Kriti (कृति). Then Kirtanam (कीर्तनम) then you come to Pallavi (पल्लवी) – the main part – the peak.

You follow this with Kirtanam, the Jawali (जवाली), then Ragamalika (रागमालिका) then Shlokam (श्लोकम) and then with Mangalam (मंगलम). You can not start with Mangalam first or Pallavi first  and go on with Kriti.

By the time you sing Varnam, your voice gets warmed up and you establish yourself with Pallavi, in short, there also is a convention.

I have heard musicians saying that they don’t believe in time theory. But I have not heard them playing ‘Todi’ in the evening not ‘Bhairav’ in the evening, nor ‘Yaman’ in the morning. Why not, I wonder?

The temperament of the listener also counts a lot. This is because, he is used to hear a particular raga at a particular hour. However tuned I or a musician may be, if I start singing ‘Todi’ in the evening hours, I think 90% of the people will be pretentions against me and will not be able to conceive what I say.

The main theme of Ragadari Sangeet is to establish or to magnify a personality. Each raga has a personality and each musician is a worshiper of that personality.

The worshipper worships a ‘raga’ and unfolds its image before his audience, He makes you experience what ‘raga’ is like according to his own interpretations. And only when it is done in the true sence, then only we can enjoy a ‘raga’ through various styles and forms of ‘Ragadari Sangeet’ ie. Right from Dhrupad, till Khayal and Thumri. Beyond it is all applied music.

The article is complied from Lecture

Demonstration series given by Pt. K. G. Ginde