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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Buddhadev enchants audience with esraj

By Rahad Abir

The eminent Indian instrumentalist, Buddhadev Das, delighted music aficionados in Dhaka by playing the esraj at Bay’s Galleria, Radius Centre, in Gulshan in the city, on Friday. Shadhona, a centre for advancement of South Asian music and dance, organised the function.

At the beginning of his recital, Das talked about the instrument and introduced his esraj. After paying his respects to his guru Ranadhir Roy, Das said that the esraj he played was a little different from the usual ones and that it was especially made for him, by his guruji.

He further described the history of esraj, which is about 200 years old, considered a new instrument in the history of the Indian music. Rabindranath Tagore preferred the use of this instrument in his music.

At the function, Das started his recital by playing the Raag Emon. The audience gradually became captivated and enjoyed the playing in pin drop silence, at the hall. Later, he played Raag Desh. The recital was concluded with Raag Khamba. Das was accompanied by Swarup Hossain on tabla. A large number of music lovers, including locals and foreigners, enjoyed the two-hour recital.

At the end of the programme, Sadaf Saaz, on behalf of Shadhona, thanked Das for his brilliant performance. Salauddin Ahmed, a patron of Shadhona, greeted the instrumentalist with a bouquet of flowers.

Expressing his feelings, Das said, ‘I actually came to Bangladesh to see my friends and to spend a good time. I have many friends here, such as Luva Nahid Choudhury, Mridul Kanti Chakraborti, Lily Islam, Chayan Islam; we all studied together at Santiniketan. My friends arranged the programme and that is why I played. But it was not the main reason for my visit to Bangladesh.’

Das performed his esraj recital twice before in Bangladesh, in 1994 and in 1999. Bengal Foundation will organise a recital of him at 7:00pm on June 4 at Bengal Shilpalaya in Dhanmondi.


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