Monday 7 January 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 6

6.1.2013, Mumbai

A star is born

What is it about Amphi Theatre at Bandra Bandstand that every concert
I have attended there has a magical effect? It is the ambience no
doubt but it is also the kind of audience that attends these concerts.
They are all serious music lovers, eager to relish an interesting
evening. I have attended various dance and poetry recitals and come
home mesmerized. Today is one more special evening.
Singers Sunali and Roop Kumar Rathod are anxious. It is the maiden
concert of their daughter Reewa and they don’t want to go wrong.
They’ve been preparing for this moment for days and personally called
all guests to block their dates to be able to bless their daughter.
Not surprising then that the show is housefull with celebrity guests
like Gulzar, Zakir Hussain, Shabana Azmi and many more from both music
and the film faternity.
Some have known Reewa since childhood and some are associated with her
lineage. Granddaughter of Late Pt Chaturbhuj Rathod, the renowned
Dhrupad Dhamar vocalist of Aditya gharana, Jamnagar and Late Champabai
Rathod, folk singer of Rajasthan, Reewa’s maternal grandmother Late
Leena Sheth was a reputed painter and a classical dancer. No wonder
then Reewa grew up as a multifaceted artiste.
It is a cold evening with strong wind blowing from the sea. The dark
night is filled with stars as the concert begins with a Ganesh Vandana
performed by disciples of Kathak Guru Rachna Sarang who is a friend of
the family and the brain behind the concert. The set designed by
Deepak Ghatani is unconventional and so is the show proceeding.
It is now time for Reewa to take position at the piano and do her
teacher, nationally acclaimed Late Shanti Seldon proud. She has learnt
Western Classical Pianotand passed with distictions in all 8 grades
from the Royal association Schools, london. The audience was
spellbound with her flawless rendition.
From piano Reewa moves centre-stage to pay tribute to her to her Gurus
Pt Rajan and Sajan Mishra under whose tutelage she is learning the
nuances of  Hindustani Classical music and rendered Hindi, English and
even Punjabi songs all composed by her. Also trained in Carnatic Vocal
Music by her renowned Guru Balamani Iyer and Prassanna Warrier, Rewa
surprised the audience with her Carnatic recital.
In the adjoining hotel at Taj Lands End, Ratan Tata was being given a
farewell. Roop Kumar Rathod, a proud father closed the evening with ‘A
sun is setting and a star is rising…this is life!’

Bhawana Somaaya/www.

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