Sitar Concerts by Adwait Gadgil At Deep Griha Academy, Morgaon and City Of Child, Kasurdi – 23 November 2018
Deep Griha Academy (DGA) – a school from nursery to class 10 – and City of Child (COC) – a residential facility for students aged 10 to 16 – are two of the projects run by the Deep Griha Foundation, near Yawat, a little more than 50 kilometers away from Pune. Baithak Foundation’s third concert at DGA and COC was a Sitar performance by Adwait Gadgil, a disciple of Ustad Shahid Parvez of the Etawah Gharana. Pandurang Pawar accompanied Adwait on the Tabla for both the concerts.
The concert at DGA began at 2:30 pm, immediately after the school hours. Students came and settled down in neat rows. Around 200 children sat in a semi-circular formation, taking care that everyone present could see the instruments as clearly as possible. Before starting with the Raag, Adwait told the children about the Sitar, its structure, technique, and tuning. He also told them what a Raag is, how it is presented, the involvement of the Tabla in the latter half of the performance, etc. He then proceeded to present Raag Shuddh Saarang – an afternoon raag – elaborately, for almost an hour. A detailed Alaap-Jod was followed by a composition in five-and-a-half beats. Contrary to the notion that such odd Taal-s are used only to gain applause, Adwait performed at ease, rooting himself in the ‘aawartan’. Of course, he demonstrated many wonderful tihaayee-s in the taal, but without sacrificing the bhaav of the Raag. Many children came up to see the instrument closely after the performance. Students asked questions ranging from how Adwait practised for so many years, to how much does a Sitar cost and where is it manufactured. Adwait was amused by such a large spectrum of questions, and appreciated the students’ curiosity.
At City of Child (COC), the serene atmosphere, as usual, cast its spell on first time visitors and city-dwellers, and it was no surprise that Adwait performed Raag Des and a traditional Bhatiyali Dhun. Raag Des consisted of a short Alaap, a composition in Deepchandi of 14 beats, followed by drut Teentaal. The Bhatiyali dhun was in Dadra, and Pandurang effortlessly played dazzling laggi-s at the end. Around 30 children in the COC enjoyed the music and the rhythm equally, and requested Pandurang to perform a short solo piece after the concert. Pandurang obliged, and the children were very happy. Making children sensitive towards listening and appreciating different musical sounds and textures with a conscious effort is one of the aims of Baithak Foundation, and the concert at COC was a step in that direction.