Monday, January 11, 2010

Pt Nayan Ghosh and Brahmandanga village

This year I had my first ever lessons from someone outside the family and students of my main guru-ji, Late Pt Ashutosh Bhattacharya. I came to Kolkata to meet with Pt Nayan Ghosh, as recommended to me by my senior guru-bhai, Govinda Chakraborty of the Kathak Kendra in Delhi.

Here is a sample of Nayan-ji's wikipedia page:
Nayan Ghosh was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra to the legendary Tabla Maestro Padmabhushan Pandit Nikhil Ghosh, the founder of Sangeet Mahabharati.[3]

He was trained by his father, and practiced under the watchful eye of Ustad Ahmedjan Thirakwa, who lived with them for many years towards the end of his life in Mumbai.

Nayan Ghosh is regarded by many as the greatest performer of the traditional tabla repertoire of the Farrukhabad style.

He has accompanied many of the all-time greats, such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Ustad Vilayat Khan and Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta. 
It doesn't mention that he is also an accomplished sitar player! Unfortunately my train was 5 hours late so I missed his sitar concert in Kolkata.

In all I had 3 lessons with Nayan-ji, who took me in with open arms and started me off with some material from Delhi, Ajrara and Farrukabad Gharanas. Having been trained exclusively in Benares gharana, my third and fourth fingers are used to being stuck together, so I've had a bit of work getting them to work independently as required by Delhi style. I received quite a number of beautiful kaidas, tukaras and gats but more than that some new techniques which have instantly expanded the scope to practise all my repertoire.

I was lucky enough to be invited to stay with Nayan-ji in his "nephew"'s village Brahmandanga, outside Kolkata. The "nephew" was actually Aneesh Ghosh, the son of a senior student of his father who was a very important figure in the area. Nayan-ji told me that when in Kolkata he often goes to this village secretly to do riaz for coming concerts undisturbed for a few days.

Pt Nayan Ghosh performing tabla solo in Kolkata.

Scenes in Brahmandanga village

Aneesh Ghosh, son of one of Nayan-ji's senior guru-bhai, took me on a tour of his farm. The freshly picked peas and cucumber were so sweet! All the food we ate at his house was grown on his farm.

Pt Nayan Ghosh and Shen

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