The ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ series brings talented youngsters to the fore

In the wake of the loss of revered elders like Malini Rajurkar from Gwalior gharana, Prabha Atre from the Kirana gharana, Ustad Rashid Khan from Rampur Saheswan gharana, and vidwan O.S. Thyagarajan, it’s crucial to cultivate the next wave of music maestros. ‘Legends of Tomorrow,’ a program initiated by Pracheen Kala Kendra (PKK) in Chandigarh, is steering gifted young vocalists and instrumentalists into the limelight.

In its 23rd quarterly gathering at Triveni Kala Sangam in Delhi, the series highlighted a vocal presentation by Nirali Kartik and a dual performance of santoor and sitar by the Wahane Sisters, Prakriti and Sanskriti. Carrying the rich tradition of the Mewati gharana, Nirali Kartik impressed the audience, much like Pt. Jasraj once did. The sisters Prakriti and Sanskriti, showcasing their prowess on their respective instruments, the santoor and sitar, follow in the path of renowned musicians like Pt. Shivkumar Sharma and Pt. Bhajan Sapori.

Coming from a musical family, Nirali was guided into the realm of classical music by her parents, initially learning from P. G. Shinde, and then from Vikas Parikh and Sanjeev Abhyankar, who were Pt. Jasraj’s disciples. She also had the privilege of receiving direct guidance from Pt. Jasraj himself. Similarly, the Wahane Sisters thrived in a musical environment, first taught by their father Lokesh Wahane and currently honing their craft under Ustad Shahid Parvez and Pt. Suresh Talwalkar.

Nirali Kartik

Nirali’s performance commenced with a serene Puriya-Kalyan raag, along with the support of Sumit Mishra on the harmonium and Zaheen Khan on the tabla. The somber mood of Puriya blended with the joyful Kalyan created a melodious start. Her rendition included a profound Bada Khayal as well as a playful Chhota Khayal from ‘Manrang’, both demonstrating her precision and grace in vocal agility, while she finalized her set with a festive piece depicting Braj’s Holi celebrations.

The ensemble of the Wahane Sisters inaugurated with an extensive alap-jod-jhala in raag Charukeshi, reflecting their solid musical foundation. They performed in unity, complementing each other’s tones through their stringed dialogue. Their performances were punctuated with lively exchanges of swift taans and the rhythmic support by Zuheb Khan’s tabla playing, with the concert ending on a harmonious note with a Bhairavi dhun.

A nod must be given to their father and guru Lokesh Wahane. Educated by Ustad Shahid Parvez and a practitioner of Pt. Shivkumar Sharma’s santoor style, Lokesh helped his daughters excel musically. An interesting anecdote is shared where during a meeting with Pt. Shivkumar Sharma in Pune, Prakriti’s performance so captivated the maestro that he gifted her a santoor, a testament to her talent.

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