Sitar Concert by Adwait Gadgil at Tara Mobile Crèches Centre Pune – Bawdhan
Baithak’s third concert at TMCP’s Bawdhan Centre featured a Sitar performance by Adwait Gadgil, a disciple of Ustad Shahid Parvez of the Etawah Gharana. Pushkar Mahajan accompanied him on the Tabla.
Pushkar is also teaching Djembe to the children at the Centre, and thus having him for the concert as an accompanist made the concert more impactful. Pushkar easily interacted with the children, spoke to them about the music that would be presented, about how to listen it attentively so as to enjoy it even more, and guided them to sit comfortably, in such a manner that they would be at ease while listening to the performance.
Adwait started the concert by introducing the term ‘Raag’ in a very lucid way, avoiding any technical terms, but conveying the essence effectively. Day to day examples and anecdotes came handy in getting the concept across clearly, without mentioning definitions and terminology. He started with an Alaap in Raag Piloo. After a meend-dominating Alaap – which is the specialty of his Gharana – he ventured into a composition in madhyalaya Teentaal (16 beat rhythm cycle), folloed by another composition in fast Teentaal which culminated in a zhaala and chakradhaar.
About 30-35 children and 10-15 elders attended the concert. Post concert, both the artists interacted with the students. They talked about their instruments and how to play them. Children hesitated to ask questions in the beginning, but eventually opened up. Adwait let a few children touch the Sitar, and feel the strings and the plectrum. Children were awed listening to how the skin on the finger tips is cut multiple times in the initial stages of learning and how artists overcome the pain eventually.
Seeing children sit throughout the performance with minimal disturbance was satisfactory. As many as 10 children sat glued throughout the performance and the entire credit for this, of course, goes to Adwait and Pushkar!