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मेरा अनोखा शिष्य तथा गुरु – “छोटू”

संगीताचार्य एस्‌. सी. आर. भट

श्री. कृष्णा गिण्डे – ‘छोटू’- मेरा न केवल शिष्य ही हैं, गुरु और प्रेरणा स्त्रोत भी हैं। यह बात कुछ अटपटी लग सकती है किन्तु यह सत्य अवश्य हैं और आंतरिक अनुभूति से उद्भूत है। लखनऊ में मैंने ‘छोटू’ को शिक्षा दी हैं अत: वह मेरा शिष्य है और इस प्रतिभावान बालक ने उस समय जैसी साधना की तथा गुरुवर्य श्रीकृष्ण नारायण रातंजनकरजी के निकट सान्निध्य में रहकर निष्ठा एवम्‌ भक्तिभाव से जैसा विद्याधन ‘प्राप्त’ कर गौरवमय भण्डार पूरित किया, उस नाते वह मेरा गुरु हैं और प्रेरणा स्त्रोत भी। ‘छोटू’ की स्मरणशक्ति अद्भुत है, वह एक उच्चकोटि का गायक ही नहीं बल्कि नायक भी हैं। वास्तव में यह कथन अतिशयोक्तिपूर्ण नहीं कि छोटू को आज जितनी बंदिशें याद हैं, शायद ही किसी गायक को याद हो। गुरुवर्य रातंजनकरजी-अण्णा साहब- की चिन्तनधारा के अनुरूप उनकी बंदिशों को स्वर-ताल-बद्ध कर प्रस्तुत करना ‘छोटू’ की सर्जनक्षमता का परिचायक था और इसे स्वयम्‌ गुरुवयें अण्णासाहबने स्वीकार किया था और छोटू को आशीर्वाद भी दिया था, राग-सागर अथवा राग-माला बंदिश की प्रस्तुति इसका एक उत्कृष्ट दृष्टांत हैं। वस्तुत: श्री. गिण्डे ऐसे फूलों का गुलदस्ता हैं, जिसमें विविध रंग और चिरंत सुगरन्ध हैं। यह परम शक्तिमान की असीम अनुकम्पा का फल हैं कि मुझे ऐसा शिष्य और ‘सखा’ मिला।

यह उल्लेखनीय हैं. कि आज मुझे इसलिए भी परम आनन्द की अनुभूति हो रही हैं कि अपने इस अनोखे, प्रतिभावान चरित्रवान, निष्ठावान शिष्य’ की षष्ठीपूर्ति देखने की मेरी आंतरिक अभिलाषा पूर्ण हुईं। संगीत को समर्पित मेरा यह जीवन कई थपेड़ों को झेलता रहा, नादब्रह्म का पुजारी यह मन, सर्वदा यही कामना करता रहा कि मेरे शिष्य-सखा-गुरु की कीर्ति मैं अपने जीवनकाल में देख सकूँ, उस शक्तिमान का परम आशीर्वाद ‘हम दोनों’ को हमारे गुरुवर्य के माध्यम से मिला हैं उसका पल्‍लवित-पुष्पित रूप मैं देख सकूँ। उस चिरंतन शक्ति से प्राप्त मनोबल ने मुझे शक्ति दी और उसी की ज्योति से यह गौरवमण्डित आयोजन देखकर आंतरिक आनन्द हुआ, मैं कृतकृत्य हो गया ।

हमारे छोटू’ के बड़े भाई तथा उसके प्रथम गुरु, प्रख्यात ‘न्यूरो-सर्जन’ स्व. डॉ. राम गिण्डे भी अण्णासाहेब का रियाज़ सुनने रोज आया करते थे। १९३६ का मई महिना होगा, जब कि पूज्य अण्णासाहेब गर्मी की छट्टियों में बम्बई आये थे । तीन महिनों की इन छुट्टियों में गुरुजी रोज शाम को रियाज़ के लिये बैठते थे और श्रोताओं का वही जमाव रहता था। मेरे लखनऊ जाने के पूर्व यानि सितम्बर-अक्तूबर १९३५ से में गुरुजी के रियाज़ के समय यथाशक्ति संगत करता था । डॉक्टर गिण्डे साहब मुझे सदा प्रोत्साहित करते रहते थे । इस प्रकार मैं डॉक्टर साहब के काफी निकट आ गया था ।

इसी मई महीने में एक दिन मैंने अण्णासाहब के घर पर एक खूबसूरत, हँसमुख बालक देखा | इस गौरवर्ण प्यारे बालक को देखकर मन में उसे लाड-प्यार करने की इच्छा स्वत: जागृत हो गई। पूज्य अण्णासाहब के छोटे भाई श्री. गजाननरावजी से पूछने पर पता चला कि वह डॉक्टर साहब का छोटा भाई कृष्णा हैं ।

ऊपर मैं गायनाचार्य पं. के. जी. गिण्डे के लिए ‘छोटू’ शब्द का प्रयोग करता आ रहा हूँ, उसे यहाँ स्पष्ट करना समीचीत होगा | पूज्य अण्णासाहब का नाम भी श्रीकृष्ण होने के कारण पुराने रिवाज के अनुसार पूज्य गुरुजी की पत्नी तथा घर के अन्य वयोवुद्ध सदस्य उस नाम का उच्चारण नहीं कर सकती थी, अतः पूज्य गुरुजी ने ही श्री कृष्णा गिण्डे का नामकरण ‘छोटू’ किया । तब से हम सभी श्री. कृष्णा गिण्डे को “छोटू या ‘छोट्बा’ नाम से पुकारने लगे। आयु और शिष्य के नाते अथवा प्रिय होने के कारण ‘छोटू’ कहने का मुझे अधिकार है और इसमें एक प्रकार का नैकट्य और आत्मीयता का भाव भी प्रगट होता हैं। इसी कारण मैंने ‘कृष्णा गुंडोपंत गिण्डे’ को, श्रीवल्लभ संगीतालय के प्राचार्य होते हुए भी ‘छोटू’ नाम से ही यहाँ सम्बोधित किया है। इसमें आदर हैं और परम स्नेह भी हैं। अस्तु ।

जब इस बालक के साथ मैंने उसके माता-पिता को नहीं देखा तो मैंने डॉक्टर साहब से इस बारे में पूछताछ की । डॉक्टर साहब ने बताया कि ‘मैंने इस बालक को पूज्य गुरुजी के साथ लखनऊ भजने का विचार किया हैं। कुछ दिन गुरुजी के साथ अकेला रहेगा तो उनके साथ हिलमिल जायगा। यह सोचकर ही मैं इसे अकेला लाया हूँ ताकि वह हँसी-खुशी गुरुजी के साथ लखनऊ जायेगा | डॉक्टर साहब को शंका तो थी ही कि कहीं घर और माता-पिता की याद कर हठ न कर बेठे क्योंकि केवल १० वर्ष की उसकी उम्र थी। किन्तु ऐसा कुछ भी नहीं हुआ । मेरा भी उसी समय (१९३६) लखनऊ जाने का निश्चय हो चुका था । लखनऊ जाने के तीन चार दिन पूर्व डॉक्टर साहब ने मुझे अकेले में बुलाकर कहा कि “यह खुशी की बात हैं कि आप भी संगीत सीखने लखनऊ जा रहे हैं। हमारा  कृष्णा भी गुरुजी के साथ लखनऊ जा रहा हैं। मेरा सम्पूर्ण विश्वास हैं कि पूज्य गुरुजी उसकी अच्छी देखभाल करेंगे, आप भी उसका ध्यान रखना ।” इतना कहते-कहते डॉक्टर साहब की आँखें भर आई-ये स्नेह, ममता और प्रेम के आँसू थे। मैंने कहा कि हम अच्छे काम के लिये जा रहे हैं, परमात्मा हमारे साथ हैं, आप चिन्ता न करें ।

पूज्य गुरुजी और ‘छोटू’ कुछ दिन पहले लखनऊ पहुँच गये थे । मैं कुछ दिनों बाद वहाँ पहुँचा ।

‘छोटू’ बाल्यकाल से ही संगीत के पुनीत संस्कारों से सम्पन्न रहा । उसके पूज्य पिताजी स्वयम्‌ अच्छे डॉक्टर होते हुए भी, परम रामभक्‍त थे और घर पर राम-भजन के कार्यक्रम हुवा करते थे और ऐसे अवसरों पर वे अपने सभी बच्चों को साथ लेकर भजन-कीतन करते थे । ‘छोटू ! सब से छोटा होते हुए भी अच्छा गाता था। इसी कारण घर के लोगों का छोटू को बड़ा प्रोत्साहन मिला । पिताजी अपने बच्चों को उस समय में उपलब्ध ग्रामोफोन रिकार्डों को लाकर सुनवाते थे। ये रिकार्ड सुनंकर ‘छोटू’ पाँच-छ: साल की आयु में ही छोटी महफिलों में गाकर श्रोताओं को आश्चयच्रकित करता था। अत: ‘छोटू’ को संगीत सीखने में किसी प्रकार की कठिनाई नहीं हुईं। लखनऊ पहुँचते ही पूज्य गुरुजीने ‘छोटू’ की स्कूली शिक्षा की व्यवस्था कर दी और लगभग डेढ़ साल तक घर पर ही उसे संगीत की शिक्षा स्वयम्‌ देते रहें। बाद में छोटू’ को संगीत की द्वितीय कक्षा में प्रवेश दिला दिया। उस समय ‘छोटू’ की दिनचर्या यह थी कि सुबह गुरुजी से संगीत-शिक्षा तथा अभ्यास करना, दिन में स्कूल जाना और शाम को संगीत कक्षा में शिक्षा पाना | इस प्रकार छोटू संगीत के द्वितीय और तृतीय वर्ष की परीक्षाओं में उत्तीर्ण हुआ ।

मुझे १९३६ में ही तृतीय कक्षा में प्रवेश मिल गया था और उसी वर्ष दिसम्बर में मैं तीसरी कक्षा उत्तीर्ण हो कर चौथी कक्षा में आ गया था। इसी वर्ष कॉलिज में छात्रों की संख्या एकाएक बढ़ गई थी और शिक्षक कम थे । अत: हमारे गुरुजी ने सोचा कि जो वरिष्ठतम छात्र हैं और जिनमें निचले वर्गों की शिक्षा देने की क्षमता हैं, उन्हें ऐसे एक-एक वर्ग सौंप दिये जाय, तो समस्या हल हो सकती हैं। इस विचार से उन्होंने मुझे प्रथम वर्ष का वर्ग सिखाने को दिया । इस वर्ग में लगभग २० विद्यार्थी थे, जिनमें आज के पाश्वंगायक तलत महमूद भी थे। जिस समय मैं चतुर्थ वर्ष की परीक्षा में बैठा, उसी समय मेरे सिखाये हुए प्रथम वर्ष के विद्यार्थियों की परीक्षा हुई और उनमें से चार-पाँच विद्यार्थी प्रथम श्रेणी में उत्तीर्ण हुए, जिनमें तलत महमूद भी थे। इस परीक्षाफल से प्रसन्न होकर गुरुजीने मुझे बालकों का चतुर्थ वर्ष का वरिष्ठ वर्ग सौंप दिया और इसी वर्ग में ‘छोटू’ भी थे । मेरे लिये यह प्रथम अवसर था, साथ साथ बड़ी जिम्मेदारी का काम था। मैंने परिश्रम कर इस चतुर्थ वर्ष का पाठ्यक्रम परीक्षा के दो माह पूर्व ही सम्पूर्ण गायकी के साथ (प्रति राग में लगभग ४-५ बंदिशों समवेत) पूर्ण कर दिया ताकि दोहराने और अभ्यास के लिए पर्याप्त समय मिल सके। एक दिन प्रत्येक विद्यार्थी को सिखाई हुई बंदिशों में से मैं पूछी हुई एक-एक बंदिश गाकर सुनाने को कहा और मैंने देखा कि ‘छोटू’ के समवेत सभी विद्यार्थियों को कोई भी एक बंदिश पूरी याद नहीं है । मैं हैरान हो गया और मुझे निराशा भी हुई। मैं बहुत क्रुद्ध हुआ, सम्भवतः अपने सांगीतिक जीवन में प्रथम बार। मैंने उसी क्रुद्ध अवस्था में सभी छात्रों को चेतांवनी दी कि यदि एक सप्ताह में सभी बंदिशें याद न हुई तो उन्हें प्रधानाचार्य (अर्थात्‌ हमारे गुरुजी) के सन्मुख खड़ा करूँगा और तब तक उन्हें सिखाऊंगा भी नहीं। मेरी इस प्रकार की नाराजगी देखकर ‘छोटू’ की आँखे भर आयीं । इसका ऐसा परिणाम हुआ कि दूसरे सप्ताह ही छोटू’ ने मेरी पूछी हुई प्रत्येक बंदिश को समाधानपूर्वक गाकर सुनाई और परीक्षा में भी उसने बहुत ही ऊँचे गुण प्राप्त किये, जिससे मेरे मन को शांति मिली। छोटू को प्रवृत्ति ‘खिलाड़ी’ की थी और वह मान बैठा था कि जब बिना परिश्रम सब कुछ मिल रहा है, तो मेहतत क्यों की जाय। किन्तु इस घटना ने उसका चिंतन ही बदल दिया, जो कुछ भी सिखाया जाता वह बड़े मनोयोग से सुनता और उसे आत्मसात करता।

इसके कुछ ही समय पश्चात्‌ मुझे गरुगृह में ही रहने का अवसर मिला, जहाँ परमपूज्य गुरुजी के अलावा ‘छोटू’, दिनकर कायकिणी, मोहनराव कल्याणपूरकरजी भी गृरुजी के साथ रहते थे।

वास्तव में गरु-सान्निध्य ही शिक्षा कीं जड़ हैं। गुरुजी हमें प्राय: कहते थे कि तुम लोग अपने कमरे में (जो उनके कमरे से लगा हुआ था) यथावकाश रियाज़ करते रहों और अगर कोई बात मुझे खटकी तो मैं तुम्हें तुरन्त सुधार सकूँ तथा तुम्हारी भूल समझा सकूँ। इस बात को सुनते ही हम लोगों ने बिना किसी विलम्ब के अपना रियाज़ शुरू किया। यह रियाज विद्यालय का समय समाप्त होने के बाद रात को ८-९ बजे शुरू होता था। कोई भी सीखा हुआ एक राग हम ले लेते थे और उसके सम्पूर्ण अंगों के साथ दो-ढ़ाई घण्टे रियाज करते थे । पास के कमरे में बैठे गुरहणीरुजी का हमारे रियाज़ पर पूरा ध्यान रहता था। जब भी गुरुजी अनुभव करते कि अब इनका ‘स्टॉक’ प्राय:समाप्त हो चुका हैतो उनमें स्फूर्ति जागृत होती और स्वयम्‌ हमारे बीच आकर नयी-नयीं कल्पनाओं के साथ हमें ‘प्रकाश’ दिखाते । फलत: हमें नयी दृष्टि मिलती, दिशा मिलती l वस्तुतः: यह दृष्टि ही हम सभी के बौद्धिक विकास में अत्यंत फलदायक रही और रहेगी । यहाँ एक और बात उल्लेखनीय हैं कि शिक्षा दी अवश्य जाती है किन्तु शिक्षा ली जाने! का भी महत्व हैं। पूज्य गुरुजी कई बार अपने कमरे में आराम कुर्सी पर बैठकर दिन भर के कार्यभार को हलका करते हुए कोई राग गुनगुनाते रहते थे। में और ‘छोटू’ चुपचाप उनका यह गुनगनाना सुनते और तुरन्त अपने कमरे में जाकर उस स्वर में तानपुरा मिलाकर तथा एक बाँया साथ लेकर चुपचाप उनके कमरे में जाकर तानपुरा छेड़ना शुरू कर देते। जब उन्हें इसका भान होता तो उन्हें आनन्द होता और आश्चर्य भी । किन्तु शिक्षा देने को उन्हें प्रेरित करने की बात इसमें निहित थी और गुरुजी भी शिष्यों की निष्ठा पर गर्व अनुभव कर प्रेम से सिखाते ।

‘छोटू’ अद्भुत प्रतिभासम्पन्न संगीतज्ञ हैं, जिसे कोई भी बंदिश एक बार सुनते ही याद हो जाती हैं। बंदिशें याद करना और उनके सही स्वस्थ स्वरूप को आत्मसात करना, उनकी प्रवत्ति का एक अंग है। बुजुर्गों का यह कथत सत्य है कि जिन्हें एक राग की अधिकाधिक चीज़ों का ज्ञान हैं, वही प्रतिभाशाली कलाकार होते हैं। आज ‘छोटू’ को जितनी बंदिशें याद हैं, हम लोगों में से शायद ही किसी को याद हों । उनका राग-ज्ञान इतना गहन हैं कि आज वे उच्चस्तर के गायक हैं। यह बात अतिशयोक्त पूर्ण नहीं है। मेरे लिये यह आनन्द की बात है। आज यदि वे स्थायीरूप से उत्तर प्रदेश में बस गये होते तो किसी विद्यापीठ के, यहाँ तक कि अपने ही भातखण्डे संगीत महाविद्यालय या विद्यापीठ में उच्चतम स्थान पर होते ।

‘छोटू’ को पूज्य गुरुजी का बहुत ही निकटतम साज्निध्य प्राप्त करने का सौभाग्य मिला।, वैसा शायद ही किसी को मिला हो, क्योंकि बाल्यकाल से ही वे उन्हीं के घर लगभग १५-१६ वर्षों तक उनके साथ रहे । घर में चलनेवाली संगीत चर्चाओं का ‘छोटू’ को पूरा लाभ मिला। पूज्य गुरुजीने अपने जीवन काल में लगभग ७००-८०० बंदिशों की रचना की, जो उच्चस्तर की हैं। वे शिर्ष कवि थे, किसीनें उनसे एक आध बंदिश की फरमाइश की और तुरन्त तैयार हो जाती । उसकी प्रथम प्रति छोटू’ को ही मिलती और ‘छोटू्‌’ को ही यह देखना होता था कि वह किस ताल में बिठाने के योग्य हैं। उन बंदिशों की पाण्डुलिपि तैयार करने का भार छोटू’ को ही सौंप दिया जाता । इतना ही नहीं गुरुजी अपनी स्वरचित बंदिशों को छोटू’ के कण्ठ से सुनना-सुनवाना अधिक पसंद करते थे। इस प्रकार छोटू’ को गुरुजी की सभी बंदिशें कण्ठस्थ हुईं। पूज्य गुरुजी के सांगीतिक चिंतन का पूरा ज्ञान ‘छोटू’ के पास समग्ररूप में पहुँचा हैं। ‘छोटू’ जब गाने बैठते हैं तो मुझे ऐसा अनुभव होता हैं कि पूज्य गुरुजीही गा रहे हैं । इसका एक दृष्टांत यहाँ देना उचित होगा । उस्ताद मुष्ताक हुसैन खाँ अपनी महफिलों में प्रायः रागसागर’ गाते थे, जिससे उस समय ‘रागसागर का काफी बोलबाला हुआ था। उसी कालावधी में एक दिन गुरुजी ने रागसागर’ के अनुरूप एक काव्य की रचना की और ‘छोटू’ को देते हुए कहा कि इसकी प्रतियाँ बनाकर उसके साथ शिक्षा पाने वाले अन्य शिष्यों को दे दों और उसके समवेत सभी को आदेश दिया कि उस काव्य का

स्वरकरण चौबीस घण्टों के अन्दर मिल जाना चाहिये। ‘छोटू’ की क्षमता की यह कसौटी थी। खैर, अन्य शिष्योंने तो इस पर किसी प्रकार का प्रयत्न ही नहीं किया। ‘छोटू’ ने केवल ६-७ घण्टों में ही उस रागसागर का स्वरकरण किया तथा गुरुजी को सुनाया। गुरुजीने सुनकर इतना ही कहा कि इस स्वरकरण में ८० प्रतीशत रूपान्तर वही हैं, जो उन्होंने स्वयम्‌ सोचा था। वे बहुत प्रसन्न हुए और मनीमन अपने ‘मानसपुत्र’ को आशीर्वाद दिया। गुरु द्वारा इस प्रकार की मान्यता पाना एक बहुत बड़ी बात हैं। ‘छोटू’ मेरा शिष्य तथा लाड़ला छोटा भाई भी हैं, किन्तु इस प्रतिभा के बल पर मैं उसे अपने गुरुओं में से एक मानता हूँ ।

आज हमें उसी स्वरूप का दर्शन ‘छोटू’ के गायन एवम्‌ शिक्षण में होता हैं। मेरा और ‘छोटू’ का क्‍या नाता हैं, यह में आज भी समझ नहीं पा रहा हूँ, यह एक अदृश्य किन्तु दृढ़ आन्तरिक सृत्र हैं, जिसका शब्दों में वर्णन नहीं किया जा सकता यह अनुभूति की चीज़ है, जिससे मन प्रफुल्लित होता हैं, रोम-रोम पुलकित होता हैं। हमारे सांगीतिक जीवन में ‘छोटू’ से प्राप्त प्रेम और स्नेह अविस्मरणीय हैं। पूज्य गुरुजी की कृपा और अपार स्नेह से हममें जैसी पारस्परिक आबद्धता, एकसूत्रता है, वह अपने आप में एक उदाहरण हैं। यह प्रेम बढ़े, अपूर्ण इच्छाएँ पूर्ण हों ।

‘छोटू’ के बारे में जितना कहूँ, उतना कम हैं। यदि वे शिक्षक के चक्र में नहीं फँसते तो मालूम नहीं कहाँ पहुँचते । मेरी प्रभूचरणों में यही प्रार्थना हैं कि ‘मेरे प्यारे छोटू भाई को’ दीर्घायु, आरोग्य और संगीत की इसी प्रकार उत्कृष्ट सेवा करने की बुद्धि और क्षमता प्रदान करे। उनका जीवन गौरवमण्डित हो, यही मेरी आन्तरिक कामना हैं।

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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

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Interaction between Vocal and Instrumental Music – Pt. K. G. Ginde

In today’s seminar, I have been requested to discuss the corelation between vocal and instrumental music. As explained by Dr. Premlata Sharmaji, in her speech a short while ago, a “geet”, “dhun” or melody, whether sung or played on instrument will be identified as a “geet” or “song”. But I want to quote an ancedote here. Late Aftab-e-Mousiqni Ustad Faiyaz Khan Saheb was accused of singing in “tant-ang”. In 1936, at a well attended conference, he announced, “During today’s vocal presentation, anyone  who feels that Iam singing in “tant-ang” should stand up and object”. That day there was not even a trace of “tant-ang” in his rendering. The fact that there can be dimension other than the “tant-ang” in vocal performance was thus revealed to the students of the music like myself. We are all aware of the fact that in India, Drupad music accompanied by the “been” was in practice for a long time. Unlike today, using of sarangi or “samvadini” for accompanying the khayal music was not in practice; instead the dhrupad form of music was performed to the accompaniement of “been”.

In continuation with the descedants of Tansen, two distinct traditions, each representing “drupad” and “been” have been traced. “Been” was played to render only the drupad form of music. The alap performed during drupad-singing was known as ‘Rupak alap’ and it was based on four distinct divisions of “Sthayi”, “Antara”, “Sanchari” and “Abhog”. When “been” achieved the distinction of a solo-performing instrument, it is possible that some special techniques were evolved resulting into a characteristic style of ‘been’ – playing. As far as the influence of vocal music upon the instrument playing is concerned, embellishments like “sut”, “meend”, “gamak” that have been characteristic of vocal music are adopted by instrumentalists. Linking one note with the next, employing techniques such as using of ‘anulagna’ and ‘poorvalagnakan’ to maintain the continuous flow of a given note is the important characteristic of Indian music. In the plucked instruments like sitar, been, sarod, the left hand plays the melody while the right hand indicates the rhythm, whereas human voice Can simultaneously produce both, the melody and the rhythm. The factors of svara (melody) and laya (rhythm) are of paramount importance in Indian music, be it vocal or instrumental. It is interesting to note as to how these factors undergo a change. I shall sing for you alap of a raga in ‘nom-tom’ style. You will notice that many elements of this demonstration have been adopted for instrument-playing (Demonstration-raga Jaunpuri). Please note how the voice indicates the laya. These types of important phrases have been adopted by many ‘Been’ players and also sitar players. This is not a tan of antara. Even if I touch the upper octave Rishabh or Gandhar, I am still in sthayi. Every raga has set patterns to approach the upper sa, called tan or antara. After singing that we can settle on the upper octave sa. Note how slowly the laya of the rendering has been increased. Now I am performing sanchari.

In continuation with sanchari, abhog section signifying the closing of alap section will be performed. Now we come to the next step with increasing tempo. This has been referred to as ‘yati-prastar’ in our ancient treatises i.e to use yatis for exposition. This section of alapti is dominated by laya. It could be surmised that this feature which is the characteristic of right hand of a n instrumentalist may be adopted by vocalists. Note the similarity to jhala playing of instrument. Thus we can see that in alap section, the instrument follows the vocal technique while during the second half, when the laya increases, vocal music follows instrumental patterns. I have heard great sitar players like Inayat Khan Saheb and Hamid Khan Saheb of Lucknow. They laid stress on alap­ playing. Hamid Hussein Khan Saheb’s sitar was rather huge, say of the siz between ordinary sitar and surbahar. It had a broad “dandi” and therefore seven note meend could be easily produced on his sitar. He played more of ‘been’-ang alap incorporating meend-s. His performance showed heavy influence of gayaki (vocal) baj. Some sitariya-s developed the right hand technique very much. By improvising upon the bol-s like dir, da, ra, dadir, dara, etc, some instrumentalists created a new style showing the dominance of ‘laya’ aspect. Hyder Khan Saheb of Delhi used to play with 2 mizrab-s in this style. He had innovated a new technique of playing dir-dir in fast laya using two mizrab-s. During conversation with him Irealised that many gat-s have been composed based on the “tarana” form of vocal music that includes phrases like nadirdir, tumdirdir, tantom, etc. This kind of vistar has been adopted for “gatkari”. Meanwhile , Ihad a chat with Nissar Hussein Khan Saheb, and as Premlataji also knows, during the last seminar, Khan Saheb stated that he has adopted certain instrumental techniques to make tarana popular. Thus this kind of mizrab techniques have been adopted for tarana singing. This has certainly enriched the tarana form, which otherwise suffers from a limited scope of improvising a few phrases and tan-s. Nissar Hussein Khan Saheb has thus made an innovation by adopting the instrumental techniques which has helped popularising tarana. In this way there has always been interaction between vocal and instrumental forms of music.

The element of layakari, if presented beyond a certain limit, tries to dominate the melody and damages the serene quality of music. This maybe the reason due to which many musicians today are turning towards gayaki-ang. When the khayal music replaced the drupad form of music, certain elements of khayal were adopted by instrumentalists. These embellishments had no place in drupad but they have an important place in khayal and have been adopted by sitar-players. Such alankars rendered with “jamjama” have also been adopted by sitar-players. This is the influence of vocal music upon the instrumentalists. So much so, that today vocal compositions(bandish) are preferred by the instrumenatal ist rather than the mastikhani or razakhani gat-s due to their popularity. If a gat is played based on this bandish and improvised upon, there is nothing wrong or bad because these kinds of changes do take place with time. Such changes can be also transformed into regular practice. This is a cycle, in which different styles come to prominence and fade off.

In this way there is a close relation between vocal and instrumental music, rather they are complementary to each other. The elements that can be easily expressed through voice remain incomplete when played on instruments but are complemented by other related techniques. Similarly, to enrich the melodic content expressed through voice, several instrumental techniques have been adopted. Thus, the dialogue between voice and instrument has been prevalent in the past and will continue to exist in the future also.

(Paper presented during Seminar on Sitar, organised by ITC-SRA (Western region) on 23rd Sept.  1990) at Indian Merchants chambers, Mumbai 400 020)

Courtsey:  Sangeet Research Academy (Western region)

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Pandit K. G. Ginde (1925-1994) by Ramesh Gangolli

Pandit K. G. Ginde died on July 13, 1994 in Calcutta after suffering a massive heart attack. He was visiting the Sangeet Research Academy, and had just finished a lecture/demonstration. Thus, he died as he lived, thinking and living in the midst of music. His passing marks the end of an era. What follows is a draft of an article about him that I was invited to write. It will eventually appear, after some revisions. I am appending it here for readers of Sangeet, for their information. I would welcome comments. I would also like however to request the members of this relatively small group not to disseminate the article in its present form too widely just yet. I would like some time to double check some facts, some dates, etc. and also have a chance to rethink some of the personal opinions that I have expressed herein. Ramesh Gangolli. P. S. The article has been written somewhat hastily, while I am on the road, and will surely suffer from a number of typos. I hope you will bear with me.

Early promise (1925-1936) Krishna Gundopant Ginde was born on December 26, 1925, in Bailhongal, near Belgaum in what is now Karnataka state. He was the eighth of nine children. His father Gundopant was a licensed medical practitioner, and had a modest practice in Bailhongal, which was the main town of the taluka (a region functionally similar to a county). Gundopant was very fond of music, and especially admired the songs of Balgandharva, the famous exponent of Marathi Natyasangeet (stage music), featuring songs which were, typically, set to classical ragas, and which were one of the main vehicles through which classical ragadari music gained popularity in Maharashtra at the turn of the century. In those days, a full scale classical concert or Baithak was still largely associated with either the court of a maharajah or a wealthy nobleman, or to the salons of the courtesans many of whom combined the profession of music with a more ancient one. The former setting was not accessible to most middle class families. The salons of the courtesan, although easily accessible, were out of bounds for their bourgeois values. Thus, most middle class families had no specifically classical musical tradition in the home. Gundopant’s musical yearnings found expression in the form of Bhajan and Natyasangeet. Each Thursday, there would be a regular gathering of the family (and friends and neighbours who might wish to join), at which singing devotional songs in Kannada and Marathi would be the main activity. If he was home for the holidays, Gundopant’s eldest son Ramachandra, then a college student, would provide accompaniment on the dilruba (a bowed fretted lute, similar to the sarangi), and a younger son Govind would play the tabla. Krishna was

Early promise (1925-1936) Krishna Gundopant Ginde was born on December 26, 1925, in Bailhongal, near Belgaum in what is now Karnataka state. He was the eighth of nine children. His father Gundopant was a licensed medical practitioner, and had a modest practice in Bailhongal, which was the main town of the taluka (a region functionally similar to a county). Gundopant was very fond of music, and especially admired the songs of Balgandharva, the famous exponent of Marathi Natyasangeet (stage music), featuring songs which were, typically, set to classical ragas, and which were one of the main vehicles through which classical ragadari music gained popularity in Maharashtra at the turn of the century. In those days, a full scale classical concert or Baithak was still largely associated with either the court of a maharajah or a wealthy nobleman, or to the salons of the courtesans many of whom combined the profession of music with a more ancient one. The former setting was not accessible to most middle class families. The salons of the courtesan, although easily accessible, were out of bounds for their bourgeois values. Thus, most middle class families had no specifically classical musical tradition in the home. Gundopant’s musical yearnings found expression in the form of Bhajan and Natyasangeet. Each Thursday, there would be a regular gathering of the family (and friends and neighbours who might wish to join), at which singing devotional songs in Kannada and Marathi would be the main activity. If he was home for the holidays, Gundopant’s eldest son Ramachandra, then a college student, would provide accompaniment on the dilruba (a bowed fretted lute, similar to the sarangi), and a younger son Govind would play the tabla. Krishna was

allowed to keep time with the jhanjh (hand cymbals) almost as soon as he was old enough to hold them, and would do it very well already by the age of three. Gundopant also avidly bought phonograph recordings of the famous stage singers of the time, whenever they came on the market, and loved to listen to them and sing along with them, learning all the intricacies of each song. This was the environment that shaped young Krishna’s musical inclinations, and by the age of five, Krishna had acquired a sizable repertoire of stage songs and bhajans , which he sang with considerable verve; so much so that he was invited to give a recital at a local festival at the age of six, which he brought off very successfully. Krishna also had heard some 78 RPM khayal recordings of the celebrated maharashtrian khayal singer Ramakrishnabuwa Vaze, (Vazebuwa), and could imitate them perfectly. The family recognized that Krishna had exceptional talent, and had begun to entertain the possibility that he might become a good musician. A few years later, Krishna’s eldest brother Ramachandra qualified as a doctor, and was trying to establish a practice in Bombay. (This was the same R. G. Ginde who later became an internationally known neuro-surgeon.). Although he was hard put to find time for it, Ramachandra tried hard to keep up a connection wish music, and in due course met V. N. Bhatkhande, who had by then clearly established himself as one of the leading musicologists of the day. Ramachandra had long nourished a hope that Krishna could get an opportunity to develop his musical gifts fully, and play a role in the renaissance of Indian classical music that was then well under way, thanks to the work of Bhatkhande and Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. Accordingly, he asked Bhatkhande for suggestions regarding Krishna’s future musical studies. Bhatkhande suggested that Krishna be introduced to S. N. Ratanjankar, who was Bhatkhande’s top disciple and a close associate in the archival work in which Bhatkhande had been engaged, and who had by taken over as Principal of the Marris College of Music in Lucknow. The idea was to seek Ratanjankar’s opinion of Krishna’s potential and to seek his help in the matter of Krishna’s musical studies. Ratanjankar used to spend three months during each summer vacation in Bombay, during which time he would be practicing and teaching daily. With this in mind, Ramachandra arranged for Krishna to be brought to Bombay early in the summer of 1936, and Ratanjankar listened to the boy’s singing. Impressed, he allowed Krishna to attend his daily sessions of riyaz and commentary, and to sing occasionally at those sessions. Krishna made such phenomenal progress during that summer that Ratanjankar was convinced that he boy had unusual potential. By the end of the summer Ratanjankar went on to say that he would be willing to accept Krishna as a disciple in the traditional gurukul manner. That is, Krishna would move to Lucknow, and would live as a member of the guru’s household; there he would continue his studies in close daily association with his guru. Ratanjankar emphasized that he would make certain that his young disciple would continue his academic as well as musical studies. Ramachandra received the suggestion with gratitude, and asked his father’s permission for Krishna’s accepting the offer. Gundopant relied on his eldest son’s judgment, and agreed to the suggestion. He felt sure that an aspiring student could not find a better musical environment, and that Krishna would be looked after very well by Ratanjankar. Although then only eleven years old, Krishna greeted the prospect of moving to Lucknow to study with his new guru with great exultation; he seems to have already arrived at an inner certitude about how he was destined to spend his life. Krishna moved to Lucknow in September 1936, and became a member of Ratanjankar’s household.

Chhotoo, his guru’s shishya (1936-1951) S. N. Ratanjankar was then the Principal of Marris College of Music, founded by Bhatkhande. His musical pedigree was impeccable. He was the star disciple of Bhatkhande in his musicological studies. By common consent, Ratanjankar was regarded as the leading musicologist of his generation, and the indisputable successor of Bhatkhande as a supremely authoritative arbiter of historical and musicological questions. On the other hand, Bhatkhande had placed Ratanjankar under the tutelage of the legendary vocalist, Ustad Faiyaz Khan, from whom Ratanjankar had learned the finer points of performance technique. Ratanjankar did not have the charismatic stage presence and the animal magnetism that often accompanies a performer of “star” quality, and would never achieve the wide acclaim as a concert musician accorded to vocalists like Faiyaz Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, or Amir Khan. But his control of tonality and tempo, and his ability to expound each raga in its pure form were univerally respected as being without a superior. At Marris College, Ratanjankar and his colleague Vadilalji had created a wonderful atmosphere, with many expert faculty members and talented students. The ambience of Marris College was magical, and was widely appreciated as such by most of the best musicians of the time. During the years from about 1925 to 1950, a large majority of the most famous Hindustani musicians were regular visitors to Lucknow, and came to treat Marris College almost as a place of pilgrimage. Among regular visitors were : Bhatkhande (until his death in 1935), Faiyaz Khan, Rajabhaiya Poonchwale, B. R. Deodhar, Mahadev Prasad Mishra, Krishnarao Pandit, Nissar Hussain Khan, Mushtaq Hussain Khan (the sitar player of the Rampur Senia style), to name but a few, off the top of my head. Among the students or associates of Marris College in those years we find the names of such fine musicians as : Balasaheb Poonchwale, V. G. Jog, S. C. R. Bhat, Chidanand Nagarkar, K. G. Ginde, P. V Chinchore, J. D. Patki, M. L. Dantale, Sumati Mutatkar, Dinkar Kaikini, A. Kanan, Sunil Bose, Chinmoy Lahiri, and D. T. Joshi, by no means an exhaustive list. Kumar Gandharva was a frequent visitor, who stayed for several weeks at a time, imbibing instruction from Ratanjankar, and such visiting musicians as would happen to be in residence. For an admirable description of this ambience, I refer the reader to Susheela Mishra’s book “Music Makers of the Bhatkhande College of Hindustani Music” (as Marris College is now known). Krishna arrived in Lucknow when this ambience was well on its way to being established. Already V. G. Jog, S. C. R. Bhat, D. T. Joshi, and Chinmoy Lahiri were among the advanced students, and also helped to teach beginning students. Ratanjankar was addressed as “Annasaheb” by students a colleagues alike, a term denoting both respect and affection. Both Annasaheb and his wife were gentle by nature, and would look upon Krishna like an adopted son. Krishna’s given name caused Mrs. Ratanjankar some difficulty, for Annasaheb’s given name was Srikrishna, and a traditional Maharashtrian Brahmin wife was not supposed to utter her husband’s name. So she started addressing young Krishna as “Chhotoo” meaning “the little one” or “the young one”, somewhat akin to the American practice (now a bit archaic) of using “junior” as a form of address for a son. To his closest friends and associates, Krishna was always known as Chhotoo or as Chhotuba from those days on. In Lucknow, Chhotoo soon settled into a regime. The day began with early morning musical riyaz (practice), stressing voice culture and control, especially the development of a steady voice, mastery of scales, pitch

S. N. Ratanjankar was then the Principal of Marris College of Music, founded by Bhatkhande. His musical pedigree was impeccable. He was the star disciple of Bhatkhande in his musicological studies. By common consent, Ratanjankar was regarded as the leading musicologist of his generation, and the indisputable successor of Bhatkhande as a supremely authoritative arbiter of historical and musicological questions. On the other hand, Bhatkhande had placed Ratanjankar under the tutelage of the legendary vocalist, Ustad Faiyaz Khan, from whom Ratanjankar had learned the finer points of performance technique. Ratanjankar did not have the charismatic stage presence and the animal magnetism that often accompanies a performer of “star” quality, and would never achieve the wide acclaim as a concert musician accorded to vocalists like Faiyaz Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, or Amir Khan. But his control of tonality and tempo, and his ability to expound each raga in its pure form were univerally respected as being without a superior. At Marris College, Ratanjankar and his colleague Vadilalji had created a wonderful atmosphere, with many expert faculty members and talented students. The ambience of Marris College was magical, and was widely appreciated as such by most of the best musicians of the time. During the years from about 1925 to 1950, a large majority of the most famous Hindustani musicians were regular visitors to Lucknow, and came to treat Marris College almost as a place of pilgrimage. Among regular visitors were : Bhatkhande (until his death in 1935), Faiyaz Khan, Rajabhaiya Poonchwale, B. R. Deodhar, Mahadev Prasad Mishra, Krishnarao Pandit, Nissar Hussain Khan, Mushtaq Hussain Khan (the sitar player of the Rampur Senia style), to name but a few, off the top of my head. Among the students or associates of Marris College in those years we find the names of such fine musicians as : Balasaheb Poonchwale, V. G. Jog, S. C. R. Bhat, Chidanand Nagarkar, K. G. Ginde, P. V Chinchore, J. D. Patki, M. L. Dantale, Sumati Mutatkar, Dinkar Kaikini, A. Kanan, Sunil Bose, Chinmoy Lahiri, and D. T. Joshi, by no means an exhaustive list. Kumar Gandharva was a frequent visitor, who stayed for several weeks at a time, imbibing instruction from Ratanjankar, and such visiting musicians as would happen to be in residence. For an admirable description of this ambience, I refer the reader to Susheela Mishra’s book “Music Makers of the Bhatkhande College of Hindustani Music” (as Marris College is now known). Krishna arrived in Lucknow when this ambience was well on its way to being established. Already V. G. Jog, S. C. R. Bhat, D. T. Joshi, and Chinmoy Lahiri were among the advanced students, and also helped to teach beginning students. Ratanjankar was addressed as “Annasaheb” by students a colleagues alike, a term denoting both respect and affection. Both Annasaheb and his wife were gentle by nature, and would look upon Krishna like an adopted son. Krishna’s given name caused Mrs. Ratanjankar some difficulty, for Annasaheb’s given name was Srikrishna, and a traditional Maharashtrian Brahmin wife was not supposed to utter her husband’s name. So she started addressing young Krishna as “Chhotoo” meaning “the little one” or “the young one”, somewhat akin to the American practice (now a bit archaic) of using “junior” as a form of address for a son. To his closest friends and associates, Krishna was always known as Chhotoo or as Chhotuba from those days on. In Lucknow, Chhotoo soon settled into a regime. The day began with early morning musical riyaz (practice), stressing voice culture and control, especially the development of a steady voice, mastery of scales, pitch

recognition. Attending school took up the rest of the morning and the first part of the afernoon. After school, some play would be followed by a bit of homework. A short prayer would precede the evening music lesson at the Marris College, located practically next door. (As Principal of Marris College, Annasaheb lived in quarters next to the College premises.) Annasaheb would instruct the advanced students. Although Chhotoo started as a beginning student, in a class supervised by S. C. R. Bhat, he was also allowed to hang out in practically any lesson. As an eleven year old, his presence would be ascribed to childish curiosity by everyone. Being in the relation that he was in to Annasaheb, he could regard the classroom as an extension of his living quarters. A boy of that age can make himself inconspicuous, almost invisible as long as he does not make a nuisance of himself. Young Chhotoo used hese opportunities well, and soon absorbed enough to count himself among the more advanced students. He finished the work towards the first degree, “Sangeet Nipun”, in three years instead of four, and by the time he was 16, he was well on his way to the more advanced “Sangeet Praveen” degree. He had also finished his high school education, and matured into a capable young man. Gradually began to play a role as a personal aide to Annasaheb. He helped in many of the administrative tasks associated with Annasaheb’s work, such as filing and book-keeping, and helped with correspondence, scheduling travel etc. In fact, in the manner of the classical ideal of a shishya, he became his guru’s alter ego. On the musical side, he had continued to benefit from the constant association with his guru, and from innumerable hours spent as a listener or participant in the continual discussions for which visitors used to come to Lucknow. His understanding continued to grow to a level which his guru came to respect well enough to regard him as a musical equal, to be consulted on important questions. Soon, Chhotoo was the first sounding board when Annasaheb had finished a new bandish (composition). Annasaheb often scribbled down the text, sang it a couple of times for Chhotoo to pick up the musical essence, and then left it to Chhotoo to produce a fully notated first draft. In producing this draft, Chhotoo had carte blanche in making changes, to the text as well as the music, that he regarded as essential for expressing Annasaheb’s musical intent. Starting from the draft, there would be a process of refinement, in which Annasaheb would often incorporate Chhotoo’s suggestions, until the composition achieved a satisfactory form. A large number of the compositions which appeared in the Abhinava Geeta Manjari, (a partial collection of Annasaheb’s compositions, which appeared in 1946-1951 in three volumes), were in fact brought to their final form in this way. In this period, Chhotoo also functioned as a full fledged member of the faculty at Lucknow, a role that he clearly enjoyed. At the same time, Chhotoo’s performing career was taking shape. With his guru’s blessing, Chhotoo had performed solo many times on the radio, as well as at some prominent musical festivals, with notable success. On the other hand, Chhotoo had started performing in the dhrupad style in the jugalbandi (duet) format with S. C. R. Bhat,

his senior co-student and erstwhile teacher. The Ginde-Bhat duo started to become well- known for their finely co-ordinated performances of nom tom alap followed by one or

more compositions, showing a versatile grasp of khayal as well as dhrupad and dhamar techniques. They were also getting to be highly regarded for their vast repertoire of compositions in commonly known as well as in rare ragas and their unerring control of tala. Towards the end of the forties, it appeared as if the Ginde-Bhat duo had a reasonable prospect of a successful performing career ahead of them.

Meanwhile, the country was going through a momentous period of change, which culminated in India’s independence from British rule in 1947. Political independence also brought with it an increased awareness of the validity of one’s own traditions, the need to preserve and assert them, and the possibility of doing so before a naturally more sympathetic audience. A number of mechanisms, public and private, began to emerge in response to these needs. The performing arts had always been regarded as an invaluable piece of the country’s heritage, and new structures of support and patronage would emerge to replace the relative absence of such support in British times. It was necessary, however, to build up an infrastructure which would be conducive to the continued support of the arts. Many leaders of the time were aware that one of the methods for doing this would have to be by widening access and exposure to music, dance etc. This thinking was, of course, a natural extension of the vision of Bhatkhande and Paluskar who had accurately foreseen the need for creating cultivated and discerning audiences for nurturing the performing arts. Persons like Annasaheb, who were in the forefront of policymaking in the musical scene at that time, were clear about the directions that would have to be followed. In the post-independence era, they saw both challenges and opportunitites. Among other institutions which were trying to contribute along these lines, there was the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, an institution founded by K. M. Munshi. It had established centers in three major cities, devoted to the work of propagating awareness of India’s heritage. Its general ethos was overlaid with a heavy Hindu-chauvinist patina, but a subset of its activities, namely those that were concerned with music were spared this ballast. The Bhavan had started a music school in Bombay in 1949-50, and Munshi had recruited Chidanand Nagarkar, a brilliant (and mercurial) disciple of Annasaheb’s, as the Principal of this school. In 1951, Nagarkar asked Annasaheb to help him recruit more staff. In turn, Annasaheb asked Chhotoo to go to Bombay to help in the task that Nagarkar had undertaken. Ever loyal to his guru’s behest, Chhotoo agreed wihout any hesitation, and moved to Bombay in 1951. Although it was perhaps not fully appreciated by anyone at that time, this would turn out to be a decisive turn for his career. For Chhotoo, it would eventually come to mean that the road to a performing career would be (to quote Robert Frosts’s evocative phrase) “the road not taken”. Pandit Ginde; missionary, teacher and scholar (1951-1981) Chidanand Nagarkar was a brilliant musician. He was known for his fast-paced concerts, wherein he combined his thorough training with a supremely confident, flashy style. He was a man of the world, able to mingle with the mighty on easy terms. His assignment as Principal of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s school of music was initially to get the operation funcional and selfsupporting, and eventually to shape it into a musical institution of lasting impact. When Chhotoo arrived there in the summer of 1951, Nagarkar had started to assemble a faculty which a few years later would include : S. C. R. Bhat, C. R. Vyas, Alla Rakha, H. Taranath Rao. In the resurgent atmosphere of the years immediately after independence, there was for a few years, a reasonable level of support for musical activities from the founding trustees of the Vidya Bhavan, which made it possible for Nagarkar to sustain a fairly active musical ambience, wih the help of the staff that he had assembled. Exciting mehfils, at which the elite musicians of Bombay would be present, followed by semi-public discussions on many occasions, gave promise

of a budding institution of some substance. But, unfortunately, this ambience could not be sustained beyond he initial “honeymoon” period, and gradually the institution settled on a less intense mode of operation. To be sure, it continued to fulfill its role as an educational institution that serves to raise the level of awareness and appreciation of music by imparting instruction in a group format to a sizable number of students of varying ability levels (which it continues to do to this day). But whatever dreams the original founders and Annasaheb and Nagarkar might have had of making that school a living center as the Marris College had been in the preceding two decades were destined to be thwarted. In my view, there were several reasons for this. At the forefront were economic factors : the infrastrucure of a combination of government and corporate patronage (with all its faults), which drives the current musical scene in India had not yet been established. The founders of the Bhavan could not continue to support large deficits indefinitely. On the other hand, there was not yet a growth, numerically, in the audiences which could have supported the level of expenditures required to sustain an active program of the sort envisioned by Annasaheb and Nagarkar in the post-war inflationary period in Bombay. To add to this, there were some political factors as well. Ratanjankar had been closely associated with the system put in by the All India Radio which established categories for artists who regularly performed on the radio. Although a very necessary system for rationalizing what amounted to a system of state patronage, although on a limited scale, the manner in which this system was installed showed a lack of political acumen. For instance, several musicians who were senior in years and had been performing on the radio for some time were asked to submit themselves to an audition. (It would have been better to allow long standing arrangements to continue to run their course, and to install the audition system to affect only new entrants to the system). The sense of insult that this generated left a bitterness towards Ratanjankar which rubbed off on everything that was associated with him, and in particular on the Vidya Bhavan’s school. Also, for a number of reasons (of varying validity) the prevailing attitude in Maharashtrian critical circles towards the Agra style of singing was that after the great Faiyaz Khan, it had lost its appeal and had reduced itself to a “dry” style, devoid of the emotive ingredients of wich the popular taste of the time was very fond. To add to these factors, there was the undeniable fact that nagarkar’s fiery and imperious personality created a tense atmosphere which many musicians found difficult to bear day in and day out. All these factors conspired to a diminution in he role that the institution sought to play, and over the next ten years or so, the institution attained an equilibrium at a level quite different from the one which had been hoped for at the outset. As opportunities arose elsewhere, many faculty members left. Gindeji (as Chhotoo was now known) perhaps saw this more clearly than most, because he always had uncanny clarity about the long-term musical aims that drove him throughout his life. Although he might have sensed a number of ways in which mistakes might be avoided, he was too loyal and correct to allow them to come to the surface. Throughout his life he was quite silent on his point. Until 1956, he remained on the Vidya Bhavan faculty. I do not know exactly the details of his status at the Vidya Bhavan from 1957 to 1962. I do know that the relation gradually became weaker until, finally, it ceased altogether in 1962, when Gindeji accepted a position as the Principal of the Vallabh Sangeet Vidyalaya, a brand new institution founded Swami Vallabhdas, who was the head of a fairly large Hindu religious group. Swami Vallabhdas was an unusual

personality, definitely not according any stereotypical mould of such religious leaders. In his youth, in the thirties, even after he was the heir apparent as the head of the sect, he had opted to pursue musical studies seriously, and that too under the personal guidance of muslim musicians : namely, Faiyaz Khan and Atta Hussain Khan, at Baroda. This was very unorthodox, but he was able to retain the trust of the community in his rectitude in observing all the strictures which an orthodox Hindu would have to obey in that situation. Swami Vallabhdas was himself quite accomplshed and knowledgeable musician, and after he became the head of his sect had a dream of starting a musical institution under the aegis of his religious sect. One of the first things that Gindeji did was to enlist the support of his old teacher/colleague S. C. R. Bhat to join him in the enterprise. ( I believe that when he proposed the appointment, there was some budgetary difficulty. Gindeji is said to have simply offered to share whatever salary was allocated to him. Eventually, funds were found for the appointment.) Thus it was that the Ginde-Bhat duo became the guding spirits of that institution from 1962 onwards. At the Vallabh Sangeet Vidyalaya, Gindeji assembled a well run operation, with a number of fine musicians to help him in the instructional tasks. However, it had been clear from the very outset that the institution had limited and well-focussed aims. It never was intended to be a musical center in the manner of the Marris College in its heyday. Thus for Gindeji, The next few years were crucial years of ambivalence as to what his life’s role should be. His temperament was such that he would have been most fulfilled if he could have combined a life as the doyen of a musical center such as his alma mater in Lucknow, with reasonably frequent performance opportunities as a vocalist. The former role he could not expect at his new institution by the very nature of the place. On the other hand, for several reasons, some of which I will touch upon below, he never did succeed in those years in establishing a national presence as a performer except on a very limited scale. Gradually, he came to accept his vocation as a teacher and scholar, and devoted himself to the task of teaching and contemplation of the rich musical lore that he had inherited fro his guru, and from the countless musicians that he had come across over the years. For a less dedicated person, this could have been a compromise that would stifle all further intellectual growth. I feel that it was a remarkable feature of his personality that he was able to overcome the disappointment that he must surely have felt (and I know from allusions to this period in his conversation that he did feel some disappointment; who would not?) and construct for himself a mode of operation which he could sustain for a long time, which gave meaning to his life, and ultimately brought him a measure of recognition for his unique musical gifts. Acharya K. G. Ginde; The Musicians’ musician (1981-1994) The particular method he chose was to think about and master the structural aspects of the Hindustani system so thoroughly, that he would come to be known as the undisputed authority on abstract theoretical questions as well as the tonal conventions that governed the practical performance of almost any raga, however abstruse. It is a well-known truism that when one is faced with the task of explaining an intricate subject to someone else, one is forced to clarify one’s own thoughts about the subject, so that one ends up learning a lot about it oneself. This was no doubt true in his case, but there was in addition a deeply contemplative, ruthlessly analytical streak in him, which would not allow any half

measures. Thus, when he thought about a group of ragas, he thought not only about the theoretical aspects, but also insisted in having a complete grasp of the practical performance aspect of the precise commonalities shared by the ragas in the group, as well as differences that distinguished the various distinct ragas of the group from one another. Such deep thinking helped him to have an overview of the structure of Hindustani music in to a degree of profundity which I have not encountered in any other musician that I have met. Moreover, the continuous contemplation (manana-chintana as he used to call it) enabled him to internalise his conclusions so thoroughly that he could instantly recall them and present them by vocal demonstration of a remarkable penetration and perceptiveness. He had also developed a total mastery of a vast repertoire of compositions. He could produce from memory over 2000 compositions. Fortunately, many of these have been recorded at various venues, such as the Om foundation and the Sangeet Research Academy. I have referred above to the fact that Gindeji never really established a far-flung reputation as a performer. Partly this was because his approach to music was a bit too sophisticated for him to be ever accepted by the masses. He also did not sell himself to the “organizers” of the various festivals which became the chief vehicle for star performers. The years in the early fifties, when he could have been devoting his time to cultivating his audience, had passed, and the door once shut, could not easily be opened again. Finally, the continued strain of teaching had endowed his voice with a quality which was not always soft, and pleasing to mass audiences. He continued to perform sporadically, at conferences where other musicians would be the most ardent admirers of what he presented, but in the main his reputation began to grow because of unequivocal and authoritative explanations accompanied by delicate demonstrations of the most subtle aspects of the tonal conventions that were special to various ragas. By the time the eighties had arrived, Gindeji would be known as Sangeetacharya, (the preceptor of music), whenever people introduced him at formal assemblies. In the decade of the eighties, honours at last came his way. Two honorary degrees, the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar were some of the belated recognitions that came his way in the late eighties. In 1985, when he reached the age of 60, many of his friend and well-wishers organized a jubilee celebration to honour him, which was attended by all the elite musicians of Bombay. The festival volume has many very interesting articles about him, by many of his close colleagues and associates. He wished to retire from his teaching duties at this point, but the Vallabh Sangeet Vidyalaya authorities would not allow him to withdraw from that institution completely, so he continued a part-time association with it till his last day. I consider it a great misfortune that I came to know Gindeji only very late in my life. Nevertheless, I had the good fortune to come to know him very well very fast. From 1986 to 1993, I was in frequent communication with him. During the first five years of this period, I visited India each winter for a period of three months each year. During these visits I had the great privilege of exended conversation with him, and also learned a great many compositions from him. During this time, he had started a project very dear to his heart. Namely to document completely all the compositions of his guruji, Annasaheb Ratanjankar. There were nearly 650 compositions in all, of which half had been printed in 1946-52. Gindeji had promised himself that, as a labour of love for his guru, he would

complete the task of bringing into print the remaining compositions, and also make a recording of the compositions for archival purposes. These recordings were not intended to be in the manner of concert performances. They were short, 3 minute recordings whose purpose would be to document the nuances of the bandish as conceived by the composer, leaving the exposition to the imagination of the individual performer who would learn them. I consider it my great fortune that I was able to help him partially in this task. In the Spring of 1991, Gindeji visited Seattle, where I recorded nearly 275 of Annasaheb’s compositions as sung by Gindeji. Shortly prior to that, he had gone to the Sangeet Research Academy in Calcutta, where Vijay Kichlu had arranged for approximately 350 compositions of Annasaheb to be recorded, as sung by Gindeji. Thus between Seattle and Calcutta there is now an almost complete archive of Annasaheb’s compositions. This is a very interesting set of recordings, which one hopes will receive attention over time for its musical content. As his activities at the Vallabh Vidyalaya became less pressing, Gindeji devoted himself also to the task of publishing a new edition of the complete collected compositions of his guru. Three volumes have appeared. The volumes were printed from camera ready masters produced by hand by Gindeji. The calligraphy displayed in these volumes has to be seen to be believed. I have not seen anything like it in recent times. I can only compare the uniformity of stroke and the elegance of form to calligraphy from a couple of centuries ago, in the manner of medieval manuscripts. I recommend strongly that the reader seek out these volumes to admire the fantastic artistry of the volumes. In the period from 1988 onwards, Vijay Kichlu of the Sangeet Research Academy in Calcutta had also recognised the resource that Gindeji represented. With his persuasion Gindeji visited Calcutta a number of times each year, where he gave intensive series of lectures and demonstrations on the fine points of ragadari sangeet. These were attended by the faculty and students of the Sangeet Research Academy, who benefitted immensely from these visits. It was during one such visit that Gindeji suffered from a heart attack which took him from us. On July 13, 1994, he had just finished a lecture, and as he was proceeding to the lunch room, in the company of other musicians, he suffered a massive heart attack. The loss is great, for I believe that had he lived, his influence on other musicians would have continued to grow, and would have had a significant impact in molding the point of view of a number of fine young musicians such as the young scholars at the Sangeet esearch Academy. That point of view, splendidly whole and seriously detailed, is generally lacking in the training of the present generation of musicians. With Gindeji’s passing, we see the end of an era. For he was clearly the last of the his generation who could claim to fulfill a standard of scholarship so grand that one could say “he doth bestride the world like a colossus”. I mourn his passing, but comfort myself with the thought that he died in the service of the one thing for which he had lived : music. Very few people are so fortunate in the manner of