(Vimal Kumar / Vimal Kumar)
Indian classical music has a long tradition going back years and a rich history ranging from Tansen to Baiju Bawra and in modern times greats like Pandit Digambar Paluskar, BR Deodhar, Fayaz Khan, Abdul Karim Khan, Onkar Nath Thakur, Vinayak Rao Patwardhan When there were singers, in the 20th century there were accomplished singers like Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Aamir Khan. Pandit Kumar Gandharva was also a great personality of this tradition and history. The only difference was that he rebelled a little from this tradition and also experimented.
Kumar Gandharva asked questions and thought in the world of music. It is true that he did not form any gharana, but he incorporated folk elements in Shastri singing and developed a new genre by connecting bhajan singing with Shastri singing. Actually he innovated in the world of music.
When someone innovates in the world of art, he has to face opposition from the people of his own world because his innovation does not get acceptance with ease. An artist has to struggle for a long time. When Mahapran Nirala wrote the poem “Juhi Ki Kali” in the Hindi world, his free verse was ridiculed. When Agyeya started experimenting, the traditionalist critics of that era did not welcome him. Muktibodh was also not accepted initially for creating new aesthetics in poetry.
When Shivputra Siddaramaiah Komkali alias Pandit Kumar Gandharva made a new experiment in his singing in the world of classical music, people did not like his innovation. He was even accused of playing a classical music band. Musicians were not ready to accept Pandit Kumar Gandharva as a classical singer but later Pandit Kumar Gandharva established himself as a great singer. He became known as a trinity with Mallikarjun Mansoor, Bhimshen Joshi and his name was taken with respect. He was also honored with Padma Vibhushan.
Famous Hindi writer and poet Dhruv Shukla has written a very beautiful and important biography of Kumar Gandharva. This biography has been published under ‘Raza Foundation Biography Mala’. In this biography published in about 200 pages, Dhruv Shukla has explained Kumar Gandharva’s struggle life, the characteristics of his singing and his innovation.
Kumar Gandharva was married to Bhanumati on April 24, 1947, but a few days after the marriage, he had tuberculosis. Then it was a fatal disease and on January 30, 1948, he settled in Dewas for health benefits. In the year 1952, Kumar Gandharva recovered and on 15 September that year gave a musical performance in Mandu in front of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Interestingly, in the discussion organized on this book recently, senior litterateur Ashok Vajpayee said that “Dhruv Shukla had no knowledge of music, but I persuaded him to turn towards music and made him the publishing officer of Alauddin Khan Academy. “
As a result, Dhruv Shukla developed a deep interest in music and became a connoisseur of music. The proof of this is his biography written on Kumar Gandharva.
Ustad Amir Khan’s disciple and famous music expert Rajeev Bora believes that reading this book does not make it seem that this book has been written by a person who had no knowledge about music, but reading this biography, it is known that its author Racha is settled in the world of music and understands its nuances very well.
As such, there are no biographies about classical musicians in Hindi. In such a situation, this biography enriches the world of Hindi. Dhruv Shukla has written at the very beginning of the book – No biography can ever be written completely. Then how can one write the biography of a musician, who has to take birth again and again in every raga. How can the story of so many births be included in a short biography and biography cannot even be sung.
He writes- “No musician can ever sing a complete raga in his life. He sings a part of each raga again and again in a new form. Every time his entry into a raga is like returning empty handed. Can this return empty-handed be called the death of a musician and then the re-entry into the same raga the birth of a musician? It seems that Kumar Gandharva kept taking many births in one birth.
Dhruv Shukla recently said in a function that he understood Kabir after reading the book of Pandit Hazari Prasad Dwivedi. But he understood Kabir completely only when he heard the verses of Kabir in the voice of Kumar Gandharva. Kabir cannot be fully understood without listening to Kumar Gandharva.
Perhaps the intention of Dhruv Shukla was that in a way Kumar Gandharva recited the music of Kabir. This is the text of the music as distinct from the text of the words.
Ashok Vajpayee has written the foreword of this book, while Dhruv Shukla has written the introduction of 17 pages. In the introduction he has written, quoting the eminent music critic Raghava Menon, “Just as we read the history of the world before Christ and after Christ, in the same way the history of Indian classical music is ‘before Kumar Gandharva’ and ‘after Kumar Gandharva’. ‘ will be read.
The great contribution of Pandit Kumar Gandharva can be well understood from this statement of Raghav Menon that how Kumar Gandharva tried to change the craft and idiom of Indian classical music singing with his singing. This was an epoch-making event in the world of music. Was.
Ashok Vajpayee has written in the foreword of the book- “Kumar Gandharva was a questioning musician. There is a deep questioning in his thinking and music. Curiosity and humility are full of them, but also questioning. This questioningness made him controversial many times, but he never shied away from presenting his thoughts with firmness and musical evidence. His imaginative boldness was unique. He is the first classical singer in the Indian history of classical music who presented a complete Sangeet Sabha of Malvi folk music. He made tireless creative efforts to remove the separation of classical music with folk music and by doing so gave respect to folk like scriptures, never considered it poor brother of scriptures. Perhaps more than any other musician, Kumar ji showed us the modernity of our tradition and its modern possibilities. His understanding of tradition and his creative faith in it, free from prejudice and stereotyping, make him one of the rare idols of the twentieth century who have shaped our democratic Indian cultural sense.
Dhruv Shukla has divided the biography of Pandit Kumar Gandharva into four stories. The first story is the story of birth, the second is the story of rituals, the third is the story of the means and the fourth is the story of the end.
In the book, famous journalist Rahul Barpute, unique painter Vishnu Chinchalkar, first wife Bhanumati, second wife and singer Vasundhara Shrikhande, elder son Mukul Shivputra and famous writer Raghuveer Sahay. An attempt has also been made to understand Kumar Gandharva’s singing and his personality from the ideas of Kunwar Narayan etc. about Kumar Gandharva. Along with this, proper evaluation of Kumar Gandharva has also been done from the views of Pandit Ravi Shankar and other artists and music experts. In this way, Dhruv Shukla has written this book with a lot of effort and in between, Kumar Gandharva’s thoughts about swar, raga, taal, alap, sadhana etc. have also been expressed and through this also his singing has been analyzed. Has gone.
There is also a poignant episode of Kumar Gandharva’s illness and his first wife Bhanumati in this book. In the success of Kumar Gandharva, both his wives have a big contribution.
In the book J. There is also a poem written by Swaminathan and Ashok Vajpayee on Kumar Gandharva. This singer can also be known from these two poems.
Tags: Books, Hindi Literature, hindi writer, Literature, music
FIRST PUBLISHED : May 26, 2023, 13:50 IST