సితార్ విద్వాంసులు మిట్టా జనార్ధన్ గారి పరిచయం
పరిచయకర్త : శ్రీ సుమనస్పతిరెడ్డి (AIR PEx)
పునః ప్రసారం : 06 Novemeber 2010
పరిచయ కార్యక్రమం రెండో భాగం :
The Hindu CHAT CORNER Striking the right balance Friday, Dec 07, 2007 |
Jugalbandhi concerts are not to prove one’s supremacy over the other. We have to give the audience the uniqueness of each style.
Pt.Janardhan Mitta, who initially was a self taught sitar player, later came under the expert tutelage of sitar maestro Pandit Ravishankar. Unlike some of his contemporaries who have quit film music to make a mark in the concert segment, Janardhan Mitta, who continues to strike a right balance between both, in his own style, recollects…
Music since childhood... My father was an advocate practising at Hyderabad, and deeply interested in music. In those days every Thursday evening was music time, as courts were closed on Fridays. It was customary for vidwans who came to Hyderabad to visit our house on Thursdays for informal performances that extended to the wee hours of the morning. My sister and myself would keep awake throughout.
My father, besides singing, could also play the harmonium and tabla, while my sister played the sitar. I began playing the sitar she had left behind after her marriage.To everyone’s surprise, within weeks I was able to play a few ragas, swaras and taan. I could produce good music, though, I was then not very sure of the technique. By 1952, I got through the audition at AIR Hyderabad, amidst tough competition, and was ranked higher than accomplished vidwans. Believe me, it was all self-taught.
Learning under Pandit Ravishankar....
In 1955, I was introduced to Ravishankarji, when he came to Hyderabad for the All India Radio Sangeet Sammelan. He listened to my playing and made corrections in my strokes. I had styled myself on phonetic-based playing.
My father was keen that I learn from him and did not mind my foregoing studies. This took guruji by surprise. Becoming an engineer was easier and could accomplish it at any point of time in life whereas it is not the same with music, was my father’s strong feeling. When I joined Panditji’s classes, I was in my second year of the engineering course. On looking back I have to thank my father for his foresight.
Times I spent with Panditji...
I could not get the Government of India’s scholarship that year. It was later that I succeeded. My classes under Panditji were at Hyderabad, Delhi and Varanasi. As a guru I can never forget our relationship. He did not make me go through the basics as is normally done. After just a few corrections in my stroking, he started teaching me other techniques.
Foreign tours made him even busier and teaching continued at airports too from check-in time to boarding time. He was a very affectionate person but a task master in class. At Varanasi classes were like in a gurukulam, stretching to more than 10 days at a time. Once they were over he would treat us like friends. The boat rides with him on the Ganges at sunset and the joie de vivre on full moon days are unforgettable. Lunch was always together. He would attempt cooking sambar and other dishes. Once in Chennai, after his concert, Panditji wanted to watch a night show of the Hindi film, ‘Bobby,’ which was running to full houses then. Such a fun loving person he was …
It was in June 1958 that I was selected to play for film recordings at the newly inaugurated Sarathy Studios, Hyderabad. Ghantasalagaru, Veenai Gayathri’s father and music director Aswathama liked my playing and in general, the musicians were happy to see a young sitar player amidst them. Soon I became busy and naturally studies took a back seat. We moved to Chennai in 1959, where there were more recordings. Soon, I was playing for almost all the South Indian music directors. It is a Divine blessing that I was part of the monumental work of Ghantasalagaru’s ‘Bhagavad Gita’ which reverberates on Tirumala hills, even today.
On concerts ...
Even before my concerts took off in India, I had gone on a tour abroad for performances, as a member of the youth delegation sponsored by the Government of India in 1967. On my return, Bengal Association, Chennai, arranged for a felicitation, followed by my concert. Sheikh Dawood, an eminent tabla vidwan from Hyderabad, accompanied me. Prof. Sen Gupta who liked our concert made us play at IIT the next day morning. This increased my confidence to give more performances. I have played all over India at many music festivals. Mohan Nadkarni, a well known music critic in Bombay, gave a raving review of my concert there:
“The artist handled his instrument with utmost care and earnestness (an object lesson to many of our Hindustani stylists).”
Another unforgettable occasion was the jugalbandi I played with Veenai Raghavanji (Singer Sriram Parthasarathy’s paternal grandfather) at Birla Academy, Kolkata, at about 3.30 a.m. during their music festival. have also played with T.N.Krishnan, M.Chandrasekaran, M.S.Anantharaman, M.S.Gopalakrishnan and Ravikiran. Jugalbandi concerts are not to prove one’s supremacy over the other. We have to give the audience the uniqueness of each style. Currently, I am teaming up with Kanyakumari. I was the first Hindustani player to perform at the Tyagaraja festival at Tiruvaiyaru, at the behest of M.Balamuralikrishna. This was after learning two kritis from him.
Teaching and other pursuits..
The few who came discontinued music after their marriage. One Shamsad Ali who is my disciple is now playing regularly in films. I was an external examiner at Satya Sai Baba’s Music College, Puttaparthi. Sringeri Sarada Peetam has made me their asthana vidwan.
Advice to budding musicians...
Today there are a number of young talents coming up, but not many of them turn up at seniors’ concerts. To evolve into complete musicians, they must have an open mind and listen to others (concerts) too. I am happy that many youngsters are emerging to carry on the rich tradition still forward. But I also feel they are overexposed.
V.BALASUBRAMANIAN ( http://www.hindu.com/fr/2007/12/07/stories/2007120751150200.htm )