Monday, February 28, 2005

Wah Zakir Hussain!

Last Thursday I got the opportunity to got to a Zakir Hussain concert, and I turned it down. Later that evening, I was talking to a friend of mine and she was flabbergasted that I didn’t want to see Zakir Hussain perform live! She convinced me that I should go, so I called up my aunt, H, who’d asked me, and asked her if I could still come. Luckily she still had some extra passes, and I got dressed in record time, fifteen minutes or so! I really surprised myself!
So H, her son A and I went to the concert, which was actually held in the memory of Ustad Amir Khan by his son Shahbaz Khan, who had personally signed the thousand or so passes himself! The show started half an hour late, which didn’t surprise me all that much, used to Idian Standard Time, as I’m. First Shahbaz Khan said a few words about his father, and then he introduced Zakir Hussain, and the other guests of honour, including, Pandit Jasraj and Kishori somebody (I totally forgot her surname, but it starts with “A”). Then a short film compiled on the late Ustad Amir Khan was shown. I was surprised that I’d actually heard a couple of the songs that he had sang for in old Hindi movies.
At this point I was quite bored, and was thoroughly regretting my decision for going, and cursing my friend for encouraging me to go, because it sure didn’t look like Zakir Hussain was ever going to play, as Ustad Sultan Khan, who was to accompany him on the sarangi couldn’t make it as his wife had just passed away.
After an hour or so, the intermission was announced and we trooped out to get some cold coffee and sandwiches.
Anyway, after the intermission we trooped back in to find out that Zakir Hussain was indeed going to play, and that Ustad Sultan Khan’s disciple, Dilshad Khan was going to join him.
Dilshad Khan started off on his sarangi. The sounds made by the sarangi were pristine, but very mournful. In fact, they sounded like the background music in a saas-bahu soap opera! Or maybe I’m just ignorant!
After 15-20 minutes of Dilshad Khan’s solo performance, Hussain joined in at last. And I must say, it was all worth it in the end! He was fabulous! Even though I’m no great Hindustani music aficionado, let alone being able to understand the nuances, I really enjoyed his performance. At some points, he played so fast that his fingers were a blur! As he would end in a crescendo, he would look at the audience with a big grin on his face, as if to say, “wasn’t that brilliant? Now clap for me!” Well, the audience needed no persuasion, all of us burst into spontaneous applause after each crescendo (for lack of a more appropriate word). He is a real showman! He knows exactly how to read his audience. I actually found myself tapping my fingers and feet in rhythm! My cousin, A was actually shaking with enjoyment in his seat, and that’s definitely an odd site, as he is all of 6 feet tall!This was the first Indian classical music concert I’d been to, and little did I know that day later I would be attending my first Western classical music concert!


AmitKen said...

Hmmm... You seem to be having a great musical time.
You saw Zakir Hussain perform LIVE!! thats so WoW!!!

btw.. if it was her only, then her name is 'Kishori Amonkar'. I donno if there is another Kishori around in Indian Classical scene...

Phoenix Rises said...

Thanks! It is Amonkar.
Btw, according to my aunt, Amonkar detests the colour green, and leaves a room if she sees anyone draped in this colour! Don't know how far it is true though.